Lekki Shooting: Army Backtracks On Decision To Appear Before Panel

The Nigerian Army has reportedly accepted the invitation of the Lagos State Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters by soldiers on October 20 at the Lekki tollgate. Naija News reports that the Nigerian Army had earlier stated that they would not honour the invitation of the Judicial panel. The spokesman […]

The Nigerian Army has reportedly accepted the invitation of the Lagos State Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters by soldiers on October 20 at the Lekki tollgate.

Naija News reports that the Nigerian Army had earlier stated that they would not honour the invitation of the Judicial panel.

The spokesman for the Nigerian Army, 81 Division, Lagos, Major Osoba Olaniyi stated that it was not in the place of the panel to invite the army to testify before it.

He said the army would only appear before the panel if it received an invitation directly from the Lagos State Government, rather than the panel.

However, sources on Thursday confirmed that the Nigerian Army has made a u-turn and acknowledged the Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel’s invitation.

The source close to the paenl stated that the judicial commission had scheduled Saturday (November 7) for the army’s appearance at the hearing taking place at the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Lekki.

“Contrary to its earlier posture of resistance, the Nigerian Army seems to have bowed to pressure in respect of the invitation to appear before the Lagos panel on SARS. The Army will appear before the panel on Saturday. That is the day the panel has fixed for the Army to appear,” one of the source said.

“You know the panel was set up with the approval of the National Executive Council and President Muhammadu Buhari has always assured Nigerians and indeed the international community of full cooperation with the panel, so the Army cannot afford to ignore the invitation from the panel duly signed by its chairperson, who is a judicial officer.

“The whole world is watching us and all eyes are on the panel, especially in respect of the Lekki Tollgate. The Army is critical to the work of the panel and it will erode public confidence in the government if any of its institutions snubs the panel with impunity. After all, the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, so how can the army openly defy the Panel that its own Commander-in-Chief has endorsed?”