The forensic experts investigating attacks on EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate have disclosed that the bullet shells recovered from the scene were shot by troops of the Nigerian Army deployed to the scene for law enforcement.
They added that the Cartridge Casings obtained from the Lekki Tollgate, after the shooting during the EndSARS protest in Lagos, were of the same calibre as the Nigerian Army’s live Ammunition that were claimed not to have been used.
The experts’ claim came barely a year to the first anniversary of the attacks on protesters agitating for a complete stop to Nigerian Police brutality of citizens across the country.
Representatives of the experts from Sentinel Forensic Limited, Joseph Funsho, on Friday, revealed these while addressing the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by Lagos State Government to unravel details of the shooting that took place at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, during the #EndSARS protest and other related matters.
“The live ammunition presented by the Nigerian Army is of the same calibre as the cartridge casing submitted by the judicial panel,” Funsho added.
The forensic expert, however, hinted that the blank bullets submitted by the panel, chaired by Justice Doris Okuwobi, did not match the records from the Nigerian Army’s inventory.
“While the blank ammunition submitted by the Nigerian Army is not of the same calibre as the cartridge casings submitted by the Judicial Panel. The blank ammunition submitted by the Nigerian Army is not designed to be fired by rifles chambered to 7.62 x 39mm.”
After listening to the expert’s discovery, Justice Okuwobi, thereafter, adjourned the presentation by the expert to tomorrow, Saturday, September 11, for further hearing.
Previously, Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, who appeared before the Judicial Panel insisted that only blank bullets containing gunpowder were fired at the protesters that gathered at Lekki Tollgate on October 20.
He also insisted that the military only fired into the air and not directly at the #EndSARS protesters after they declined to leave the ground following the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directives to enforce curfew impose on the state.
While explaining that the blank bullets used, cannot cause any damage to the flesh, Taiwo said that if real bullets were indeed fired, one bullet had the potency to kill three persons at one shot.
The army had initially described reports of its involvement in the shooting as fake news before admitting to being present at the scene.
There had been claims that the military men, who were present at the scene, shot and allegedly killed several persons and hid the bodies at a private morgue in Lagos.
But both the army and the state government have faulted the reports, insisting that only two persons had been confirmed dead from the incident.
“Two dead bodies. That is what we have seen from all the morgues, that is what we have going to hospitals, that is what we have seen as records,” governor Sanwo-Olu had said in an interview.