CNN investigation: Nigerian Army used live bullets on Lekki protesters
A CNN investigation has alleged that the Nigerian army used live bullets on protesters during its intervention in the #EndSARS protests in Lekki, Lagos state.
The American cable network also unveiled the identity of a protester who reportedly died on the night of the shootings.
He was named as Victor Sunday Ibanga.
CNN said a forensic probe of the bullet casings recovered from the scene of the incident revealed that live bullets were fired at the protesters.
It said current and former Nigerian military sources confirmed that the bullet casings “match those used by the army”.
Two ballistics experts also confirmed that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, CNN said.
The network also said it worked with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and “established that several of the bullets from the Lekki toll gate originated from Serbia. Export documents CNN has seen show that Nigeria purchased weaponry from Serbia almost every year between 2005 and 2016”.
The Nigerian army has repeatedly denied using live rounds, insisting that its soldiers used blank bullets and shot only into the air.
FINALLY, A NAME AND A PICTURE
Before the publication of Ibanga’s picture, no dead victim had been publicly identified.
Others who were previously reported dead later came out to deny — or it turned out they died elsewhere before the October 20 shooting.
Obianuju Udeh, aka DJ Switch, who streamed the shooting live in Instagram, said she counted 15 dead bodies.
A protester who testified before the judicial panel set up by the Lagos state government to investigate the incident said he saw one dead body.
The Nigerian army had initially denied its men were at the scene of the incident where hundreds of #EndSARS protesters gathered to demand an end to police brutality.
Some of the protesters told CNN that soldiers fired into the crowd.
The Lagos state government had first said no deaths were recorded before Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, the governor, revealed that two persons later died from their wounds.
It is still unclear if Ibanga was one of the two since the details were not made public.
TheCable captures the inconsistencies between the Lagos government and the army regarding the incident in this timeline.
CNN said its probe of the incident showed that 27-year-old Ibanga died of bullet wounds sustained from the Lekki shootings — but it was the police that were said to have taken his body away.
According to the investigation, Elisha, Victor’s brother, received a call that he (Victor) had been shot dead and “that the police took his body away”.
CNN also quoted one Peace Okon as saying she has not seen her 18-year-old brother, Wisdom Okon, who went to the protest ground on the night of the shooting.
Okon, missing after Lekki shooting (Photo: CNN)
Okon was said to have relocated to Lagos only a few weeks before the incident.
”I’ve gone to hospitals; I’ve gone to police stations, I’ve gone to everywhere. I can’t find him,” his sister said.
CNN also reported that several families are yet to locate their loved ones since Lekki shooting.