…Report shows Army fired live ammunition purchased from Serbia
…Families of victims still in frantic search of loved ones’ bodies
An exclusive report by Cable News Network (CNN), on the Tuesday, October 20 shooting incident at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lekki, Lagos, has sparked fresh outrage from Nigerians.
The five minutes 50 seconds report detailing the events before and after the shooting, to a large extent, counters claims by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Nigeria Army chiefs’ downplaying the events of that fateful day, despite increasing evidence proving an onslaught against the peaceful protesters.
Sanwo-Olu had earlier claimed that only one person died from the shooting and then recanted during an interview with CNN two weeks ago, to say that two persons died but that “there was no scratch of blood at the scene of the incident.”
The Nigeria Army also told the Lagos Judicial Panel at the weekend that its men only fired blank bullets at the protesters insisting that it was not capable of killing anyone, except causing minor body injury.
But the latest report by CNN has proved otherwise.
From multiple videos, CNN has pieced together a timeline that shows that the shooting by the Army lasted from 6:43 p.m until at least 8:24 p.m.
Elisha Sunday Ibanga, brother to one of the victims, Victor Sunday Ibanga, said he received a call on his brother’s phone number in the early hours of October 21 to say that he had been shot dead at the Lekki Toll Gate where he joined other protesters for the #EndSARS protests.
He said he rushed to the hospital where those wounded from the shooting were taken to, but he didn’t see his brother.
“The person told me that the police took his body away,” Ibanga, 24, told CNN.
An eyewitness to Victor Sunday Ibanga’s death told CNN that the 27-year-old entrepreneur was shot in the head during the protest.
CNN has obtained and geolocated a photograph of Victor’s body lying in a pool of blood and wrapped in the white and green of the Nigerian standard — one of the same flags gripped by fellow protesters earlier in the evening as they sang the country’s national anthem.
Ibanga confirmed the photograph was that of his brother.
The Ibangas are one of several families yet to locate the bodies of their missing loved ones — protestors at the toll gate — who dozens of eyewitnesses say were shot at, first by members of the Nigerian Army and then hours later, by the police.
Eyewitnesses told CNN that they saw the Army remove a number of bodies from the scene.
Celebrity Disc Jockey, DJ Switch who had live-streamed the incident via her instagram page, had also come under fire from several quarters, prompting her to flee the country.
Speaking to CNN, DJ Switch said the protesters lifted bodies with bullet wounds and put them at the soldiers’ feet.
“I said, why are you killing us? Why are you doing this?” She said. “He expressly told me: ‘I am acting on orders from above.’”
CNN had also examined bullet casings found at the scene and confirmed with current and former Nigerian military sources that the bullet casings matched those used by the Army. Two ballistics experts have also confirmed with CNN that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the Army’s claim that they fired blanks.
CNN has verified that bullets fired at Lekki toll gate are from live ammunition. These ones, they claim, was manufactured in Serbia in 2005, and is currently in use by the Nigerian Army.
Working with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, CNN has established that several of the bullets from the Lekki toll gate originated from Serbia. Export documents available to CNN has shown that Nigeria purchased weaponry from Serbia almost every year between 2005 and 2016.
Reacting to the CNN report, Convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, said it was an eye opener for those who had consistently insisted that nobody died from the incident.
“#EndSARS to those without conscience, who kept claiming nobody died at #LekkiMassaccre, #Lekkilies are falling apart like a pack of cards! Next they will go after @CNN but what does it matter?” Sowore said.
@DrOlufunmilayo wrote, “The good thing to all this is: NBC cannot fine CNN. Central Bank cannot freeze CNN accounts. Immigration cannot seize CNN passports. Army cannot label it fake news. Sanwo Olu cannot write to CNN as a “father” and “brother”. Shameless Lawmakers cannot regulate CNN on social media.”
@TopeAkinyode said, “CNN’s detailed documentary has shown that the Nigerian Army actually opened fire on peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate leading to the death & injury of many contrary to the denial of lying machines – Gov. Jide Sanwo-Olu & the Army. #LekkiMassaccre”
@DannyWalta said, “I’m shocked at all the Video evidences CNN put together. So all these Videos are available and the Nigerian Army with NBC made sure the media houses never showed them. Wow! Thank God for the Internet!#LekkiMassaccre”
Broadcaster, @SEzekwesili wrote, “Tag all the m……..s who said nobody died. This is an exclusive investigation conducted by the CNN. If you spend your data on nothing else today, let it be this.”
@Chief_ire said, “I’m waiting for Femi Adeshina and Sanwoolu to reply to the CNN video. Let’s hear what they’ll say this time.”