Few weeks after soldiers opened fire on peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State, the Nigerian Army at that time alleged that its operatives were invited by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to avoid total anarchy.
Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo of 81 Division Intelligence Brigade while appearing before the Lagos Judicial Panel in November 2020 alleged that Sanwo-Olu called on the military for support on October 20, after the #EndSARS crisis degenerated into chaos.
He claimed that the protest was hijacked by hoodlums and the military intervened to stop the killing of police officers as well as the looting and raping of citizens in the name of #EndSARS.
Testifying before the panel, General Taiwo had said, "On 20th of October 2020, Lagos State descended into anarchy.
"Sanwo-Olu asked the army to intervene and that was the correct thing to do since the police had been overrun."
Taiwo claimed that on arrival at Lekki Toll Gate, protesters were pelting stones at the army as he reinforced the point that the army used blank shots and only fired into the air.
The army representatives played videos of the incident before the Lekki incident as well as videos from the toll gate to back the position of the military.
“I spoke with the governor and said the army was unhappy that he said he did not ask for army’s intervention but I am sure that after you watched everything (video footages), you saw he had more than enough grounds to ask for army’s intervention; perhaps it was the way everything went,” he added.
SaharaReporters had reported that soldiers on October 20, 2020 opened fire on the protesters, who had converged at the Lekki tollgate to protest against police brutality.
The incident triggered a global outrage, with calls for justice echoing from different parts of the world.
It was gathered that before the shooting started, some officials uninstalled the Closed Circuit Television cameras in the area.
The electricity at the protest area was also disconnected to prevent demonstrators from filming the attack.
Minutes later, heavily armed Nigerian Army personnel moved into the scene to complete the plan.
By the time sounds of their guns died down, dozens of protesters had been killed.
Though Sanwo blamed ‘forces beyond our control’ for the attack, the army in a statement later revealed that the soldiers were invited to the scene of protest by the governor.
Also soldiers involved in the operation confirmed they were drafted in for the mission on the request of Sanwo-Olu.
Angered by the killings by the army and the Lagos State Government's suspected involvement in the massacre, angry residents attacked public properties and also destroying some known investments of a former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Television Continental and The Nation Newspaper are two among several investments burnt by irate youths.
The toll plaza of the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, another money spinner said to be controlled by the former Lagos governor was also burnt.