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Lekki shooting probe suffers setback after Nigerian Army representative shun panel

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The ongoing probe on Lekki shooting incident has suffered another major setback following rejections of two officers of the Nigerian Army summoned by Lagos SARS panel of inquiry to testify before it.

These two officers, a lieutenant colonel of the 81 Division, S.O Bello, and the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 81 Division, Godwin Umelo, were reported to have played key role in the actions that occurred before and after the shootings.

The officers were summoned by Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (retd) last year to appear before the panel and testify on Friday, January 8th, 2021, their actions on the shooting that occurred at the Lekki toll-gate in Eti-Osa Local Government.

On Friday when the witnesses were called, none of them was present at the panel to testify and narrate their account of events that occurred October 20th, 2020.

Following the actions of the officers, Okuwobi ruled that the seating be adjourned to January 23rd, to allow the military to prepare themselves and appear before the panel as the Commander, 81 Division and Head, Military Intelligence Brigade, Ibrahim Taiwo, did last year.

While giving his testimony, Taiwo, who appeared before the panel twice, explained the role played by Bello, a senior officer of the Nigerian Army in the Lekki Shooting incident.

The Commander, while testifying on the incident, stated that Bello was the Commanding Officer of the 65 Battalion which was at the tollgate on the fateful date, and that he gave the order for the soldiers to shoot in the air and was there to employ non-kinetic (non-violent) means thereafter.

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