Lekki Shooting: Army, judicial panel on collision course

November 1, 2020
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The Justice Doris Okwuobi Judicial Panel of Enquiry probing the Lekki Toll Gate shooting may have a run in with the Nigerian Army as the panel’s investigation will be testing the integrity of the force which is already in defensive mode.

According to reports, the panel is inviting the 81 division of the Nigerian army which deployed soldiers that open fired on ENDSARS protesters at the toll gate on October 20.

“We have summoned several authorities, including the military,” the Punch quoted a panel member, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“We have no limitation as to who we are going to summon. We want to get to the root of the case. The panel had agreed that a letter be dispatched to the military authorities.”

The army has however indicated it will not honour the invitation.

According to Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and 81 Division’s Spokesperson, Major Osoba Olaniyi, the panel cannot summon the army.

He said since Lagos Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu invited them to the Lekki toll gate, he is the only one that can equally invite them to come before the panel.

“If we receive a letter from the state, we will go. Are we not under civil authorities? Are we not part of Nigerians? Have you forgotten that we did not go there (Lekki tollgate) on our own?” he told the newspaper.

The army initially denied deploying soldiers to the scene of the shooting where many protesters were injured and unspecified number died.

It later said Sanwo-olu invited them.

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