Reasons we’ll not reveal identities of soldiers deployed to Lekki tollgate —Nigerian Army

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The Nigerian Army has said on Sunday that the army will not reveal the identities of soldiers deployed to Lekki Toll Gate area on October 20.

This was revealed by the acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and 81 Division’s spokesperson, Major Osoba Olaniyi during an interview.

Armed soldiers had on October 20 opened fire on #EndSARS protesters at the toll plaza and reportedly killed some youths campaigning against police brutality in the country.

The force which had earlier denied any involvement in the incident came out last week and said the soldiers were deployed to the scene at the instance of the state government.

Members of the Lagos State judicial panel of inquiry set up by the state government to probe cases of rights violation by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) were turned back by soldiers manning the Military Hospital in Ikoyi when they paid an unscheduled visit to the facility last Friday.

However, they were later granted access to the premises when the hospital authorities intervened in the matter.

And in a chat with journalists on Sunday, the spokesman of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Osoba Olaniyi, said it was unprofessional for the army to release the names of soldiers who were deployed to the Lekki tollgate on October 20.

He said: “It is against operational security. We don’t give that. It is against the policy of operational security. There is no problem here. The picture some people paint, as if we are fighting with the state government is wrong.”

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The spokesman also said the army would appear before the panel of inquiry if the invitation comes from the state government.

Olaniyi added: “If we receive a letter from the state government, we will go. Are we not under civil authorities? Are we not part of Nigeria? Have you forgotten that we did not go there (Lekki tollgate) on our own?

“It is not the duty of the members of the panel to tell us that. If the state wants the 81 Division to come, they will write and we will oblige. See, if they have written to the division, it is our duty to go. It is not for them to go through the media as if we are scared of coming.

“It is the state government that constituted that panel of inquiry. So if anybody needs to get in touch with us to come, it is still the state and not members of the panel.”

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