#EndSARS: Hoodlums Wearing Army Uniform May Be Behind Lekki shooting – Abubakar Malami
Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), has opined that there is a likelihood that hoodlums dressed as military men attacked and shot peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki tollgate in Lagos state on October 20, and not soldiers as widely reported.
Early October, protest broke out in different parts of Nigeria, calling for the disbandment of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) over police brutality and high-handedness of their officials. The police unit was thereafter disbanded but the protests persisted as citizens demanded reforms in the force.
The protest continued until peaceful protesters who converged at Lekki tollgate in Lagos State were brutally shot at by suspected soldiers. According to eyewitnesses and human rights body, Amnesty International at least 10 people were shot dead in the incident while several others were injured. However, there has since been disparities in the number of casualties and identity of persons who shot at the protesters.
Speaking with journalists on Monday in Abuja, the AGF said the matter was being investigated and there was a need to establish whether the shooting took place, who was responsible, and whether the people who were shooting were part of the military.
Malami said it was “pre-emptive,” to conclude that there had even been shootings, adding that “hoodlums,” may have been hired to create a scene, stressing;
You cannot rule out the possibility of perhaps hoodlums that set in to create a scene… could equally partake in the process.
The Lekki tollgate incident had sparked off outrage across the country. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos state governor, blamed the incident on “forces beyond my direct control”.
However, Osoba Olaniyi, acting director, army public relations, said the Lagos government invited the army to restore order, but he denied that soldiers shot protesters, describing reports on the attack by the military as fake. The army also said it will not disclose the identity of its men who were sent to Lekki tollgate on October 20.
The judicial panel set up by the Lagos state government to probe alleged brutality by the disbanded SARS and happenings at Lekki tollgate have already commenced sitting. The panel visited the Lekki tollgate last Friday but were prevented from visiting the military hospital or morgue over allegations that the military took away some dead bodies on the night of the shooting.