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Lekki Shooting: ‘Soldiers Used Blank Ammunition’ – Former Army Spokesman, Sani Usman

Former Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman
Former Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman.

Former Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman has on Thursday said that military personnel who shot peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate used ‘blank ammunition’.

It would be recalled that the Army earlier denied that its officers were present at the scene of the shooting.

However, on Wednesday, the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army (NA) revealed that the Lagos State Government invited the military to intervene during the #EndSARS protests.

Read Also: Lekki Tollgate: Nigerian Army Denies Shooting Peaceful #EndSARS Protesters, Says Lagos Invited Military To Restore Order

Usman in an interview with Arise News said the blank ammunition used to disperse protesters had “little or no effect on its target”.

He expressed;

If you look at the canisters, they were blank ammo and blank ammo don’t even kill. At a close range, l – maybe 100-metres – maybe it will have some pigmentation on your skin.

Remember the military are armed and by the nature of their training, they are trained to kill and I think the military in its wisdom instead of using live ammunition decided to use blank armour which is meant for training.

Usman said;

I think they should be commended for that otherwise there would have been serious collateral damage, but they were professional enough to have done that.

Human rights group, Amnesty International had on Wednesday, October 28, released a timeline of the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the toll plaza on October 20.

The AI said its crisis response experts investigated and verified social media videos and photographs that confirmed that security forces were present at the scene when the shootings occurred.

It also stated that at least 12 people were shot dead in the Lekki tollgate incident alone while several others were killed around the country.

Read Also: ‘Nigerian Authorities Trying To Cover Up Lekki Shooting’ – Amnesty International

Usman, however, said Amnesty International has a long history of spuriously accusing the Nigerian military.

He stressed;

There was a time when I was the director army public relations, Amnesty International accused the Nigerian military of killing over 5000 people in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

Common sense would have told you that there was no hospital with the capacity to contain even 50 dead bodies or 100. This and many other spurious allegations have been going on against the Nigerian military by the Amnesty International.

Many Nigerians, international bodies and celebrities are still demanding for the lives lost during the fatal shooting incident.

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