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Nigerian army admits to having live rounds at Lekki Toll Gate, despite previous denials

November 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The Nigerian army admitted on Saturday that soldiers were given both live and blank bullets when they were deployed to protests at Lekki toll gate on October 20. The admission seems to confirm a key finding of a CNN investigation into the shooting.

(CNN)The Nigerian army admitted on Saturday that soldiers were given both live and blank bullets when they were deployed to protests at Lekki toll gate on October 20.

This is the first time the Nigerian army has admitted having live rounds at the Lekki toll gate.

The army statement also contradicts previous statements about the incident including from Brigadier Taiwo himself who told the judicial panel previously that the soldiers were firing in the air and firing blank ammunition.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the army denied any involvement, describing reports of the incident as "fake news," before backtracking and saying that soldiers were present but fired their weapons in the air and used blanks, not live rounds.

The CNN investigation included evidence that bullet casings from the scene matched those used by the Nigerian army when shooting live rounds, according to current and former Nigerian military officials.

Two ballistics experts also confirmed with CNN that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the army's previous claim they fired blanks.

And accounts from eyewitnesses establish that after the army withdrew, a second round of shooting happened later in the evening, by police, according to witnesses who spoke to CNN.

Saturday's admission by Nigeria that live rounds were deployed is yet another in a series of constantly changing narratives as to what happened on October 20th at Lekki toll gate, where protesters had gathered to demonstrate against police brutality.

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