…says both weapons part of table of equipment on ISO
By: Okosun Dennis
The Nigerian Army has again re-emphasized and corrected growing insinuations on social and mainstream media that the troops of Nigerian Army contradicted its evidence of firing blank ammunition when it also carried live ammunition for Internal Security Operations on the 20 October 2020.
The Commander, 81 Division Intelligence Brigade, Brig Gen Ahmed Taiwo had on Saturday during cross-examination at the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other Matters said the army didn’t only go to the Lekki Toll Gate with blank ammunition but with live rounds as well as it was part of their routine on internal security operations to carry but types of ammunition.
In a statement on Sunday morning, the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Olaniyi Osoba said, “We hereby state unequivocally that carrying both blank and live ammunition is part of our Table of Equipment for Internal Security operations.
“It is part of the Rules of Engagement for soldiers on Internal Security operations to carry both live and blank ammunition. The use of any of these ammuntions as stated in our Rules of Engagement depends on the level of threat at the operational area,” he emphasized.
Osoba explained that “the attention of the Headquaters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to news items on both the Social and mainstream Media insinuating that the troops of Nigerian Army contradicted its evidence of firing blank ammunition when it also carried live ammunition for Internal Security Operations on the 20 October 2020.
“Please, note that one of the principles of internal security operations is the use of minimum Force. Minimum Force in itself is a function of the assessment of the Commander on the ground.
“In this circumstances, ie The Lekki Toll Gate, the Commander on the ground assessed that there was no need to use live ammunition that was why only blank ammunition was used at the Lekki Toll Gate.
“The blank ammunition was fired into the sky and not at the protesters. The results are all glaring as there was no fatality recorded – this has been corroborated by both BBC report and other reputable news media outfits.
“The use of blank ammunition/minimum force achieved the aim of dispersing the hoodlums and crowd. It is pertinent to reiterate that the Nigerian Army is a law-abiding institution that acts in tandem with her Rules of Engagement.
“We, therefore, wish to advise all stakeholders to guard against being used by local and foreign agents of destabilization who do not wish this country any good, Major Osoba reiterated.