The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army (NA), has admitted that they were called in by the Lagos state Government after a curfew was declared last week in the state.
The admission came a week after the Army authorities denied their involvement in the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate on October 20.
According to a statement on Tuesday by the Acting Director of the Army Public Relations of the division, Major Osoba Olaniyi, the Army, however, said the soldiers did not shoot at the protesters.
“The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilian protesters were massacred by soldiers at Lekki Toll Plaza. This allegation is untrue, unfounded and aimed at causing anarchy in the country.
“At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian. From the onset of the ENDSARS protest, there was no time personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army Lagos were involved.
“However, the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24- hour curfew was imposed.
“This was as a result of the violence which led to several police stations being burnt, policemen killed, suspects in police custody released and weapons carted away.
“The situation was fast degenerating into anarchy. It was at this point that LASG requested for the military to intervene in order to restore normalcy.
“The intervention of the military followed all laid down procedures for Internal Security operations and all the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) for Internal Security operations.
“Finally, Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army reiterates Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities did not shoot at any civilian as there are glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact.
“This allegation is the hand work of mischief makers who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army. The general public is hereby enjoined to discountenance this allegation as there is no iota of truth therein” the statement said.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has claimed last week that forces beyond his control were responsible for shooting of the EndSARS protesters.
“The hierachy and chains of command of the military is not something that I have responsibility for. I do not pretend that I have such powers to control or to activate the military. That’s what I was trying to explain in that phrase” the Governor told Arise TV last week.