By Seun Adeuyi
A Twitter user, @tisblvckoreo, has taken to his handle, saying Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State blocked him, after he asked who killed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, on October 20, 2020.
“The govt of Lagos blocked me after asking him who killed people at Lekki, such an accountable man,” the Twitter user wrote alongside a proof.
TheBreakingTimes had reported that at about 6:45 p.m. on October 20, men in military uniform arrived at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, in three Toyota Hilux vans and almost immediately began shooting into a crowd of peaceful protesters waving the Nigerian flag and reciting the national anthem.
The protesters were at Lekki Toll Gate as part of a mass, youth-led movement against police brutality, known as #EndSARS, demanding the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a tactical unit of the Nigerian Police, whose members were accused of atrocities including extortion, rape, abduction, torture and extrajudicial killings.
Protesters and other witnesses at Lekki Toll Gate claimed several people were injured and killed in the shooting.
PremiumTimes quoted DJ Switch, a popular Disc Jockey, who streamed the incident live on Instagram, as saying that the soldiers took the dead away. She also claimed that a team of police officers arrived later to mop up after the soldiers.
She said the military initially prevented first responders and ambulances from reaching the injured but later allowed them through. She also said she saw at least 15 corpses and claimed that security agents took the bodies away.
Amnesty International (AI) claimed 10 people were killed during the shooting at the toll gate, and two others at the Alausa protest ground, both in Lagos, Nigeria.
However, Governor Sanwo-Olu, while describing the shooting as a “dark note in the history of the state” blamed it on forces beyond the “direct control” of his government. He initially said no lives were lost in the shooting.
He later admitted in an interview on October 22, that two persons died from the incident — one of them from blunt force trauma.
On Monday, October 26, during an interview on Cable News Network (CNN), Sanwo-Olu continued to discredit witness accounts about the number of dead and wounded. He said he found no bloodstains when he visited the scene:
According to him, “What has happened is that there have been so many footages that were seen, that people have shown, but we have not seen bodies.
“We have not seen relatives, we have not seen anybody truly coming out to say I am a father or a mother to someone and I cannot find that person. Nobody has turned up. I have been to the ground, there is no scratch of blood anywhere there.”
The army initially claimed its troops were not at Lekki that night. However, it later admitted that soldiers were deployed at the request of the Lagos State government. The army, however, insists that its personnel did not open fire on the protesters, let alone kill anyone.
As part of the #EndSARS movement, protesters across Nigeria asked for investigations into the allegations against Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) personnel.
For at least 10 days, peaceful protests, especially in Lagos and Abuja, were conducted, despite attacks on protesters by suspected pro-government hoodlums.
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