The Nigerian Army has said that Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, did not inform them of a change in the time of the curfew imposed on the state on October 20, 2020.
The curfew was imposed to curtail peaceful demonstrations across the state demanding an end to police brutality.
But after protesters failed to vacate the Lekki Toll Gate area, one of the main spots of the protest, the army was moved in on the request of Governor Sanwo-Olu to disperse them.
In the shooting that soon ensued, over 12 persons were killed by the soldiers, who took at least eight corpses away with them.
Shedding light into events of that day while appearing before a judicial panel established by the state government to investigate the incident and brutality by police officers against civilians, Brigadier Ibrahim Taiwo, who represented the army, said Sanwo-Olu failed to inform them of the change in curfew time.
He said, “It is a shame that the Lagos crisis has been reduced to what happened at the Lagos Toll Gate.
“Little mention has been made of the wanton destruction that happened prior to that occurrence.
“What is worse is that the families of the police that were killed will not get closure because of the way their bodies were disposed.
“The world over, it is the custom that the army intervenes when a situation overcomes the police and paramilitary services.
“The occurrences that took place from October 18 were nothing short of lawlessness and violence.
“This was what prompted Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to request the intervention of the army.
“The change in curfew time was not communicated to the Nigeria Army.
“Contrary to what is out there, it was done throughout Lagos State upon receipt of Stage 4 of IS Security. Phase 4 is the immediate deployment of soldiers outside the barracks to intervene.
“To show how dire the situation was, the fire alarm beagle was sounded. When this is done, you report immediately to the parade ground pr the armoury.
“Troops were deployed from Badagry, Ikrodu, Epe, IApapa, Ikeja, Alimosho and even Lagos Island to restore order.
“The rules of engagement for internal security were strictly followed.
“It is inexcusable for troops to stand aside and watch the situation deteriorate.”