Nigerian Government on Thursday described claims that soldiers shoot live bullets at youths protesting against police brutality in Lekki tollgate, Lagos on 20 October as false.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture said at a press conference in Abuja that the testimony of an officer of Nigerian Army of Brig.-Gen, Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo before the Panel set up to investigate the alleged massacre by the Lagos State Government has proved that the claims that live ammunition were fired at protesters were untrue.
Making allusions to last Saturday’s testimony of the General before the panel, the Minister said soldiers who were called in to intervene when hoodlum who hijacked the EndSARS protest on 20 October were briefed on the rules of engagement, which they adhered to all through.
He also said the soldiers blank ammunition which cannot do any damage to the flesh, or kill anyone.
The Minister also noted that the Army Officer said firing live ammunition into the crowd, as some have alleged, would have led to mass killing, which never happened.
“While we await the Judicial Panel in Lagos to unravel what transpired at the Lekki Toll Gate, what we can say, based on testimonies available in the public space, is that the world may have just witnessed, for the very first time ever, a MASSACRE WITHOUT BODIES! Some have tagged it ‘social media massacre’.
“Sadly, the purveyors of fake news and disinformation succeeded in deceiving the world that indeed there was mass killing in Lekki, even when, till date, not a single body has been produced and not a single family or relative has come out to say their child or ward was killed at Lekki.
“More surprising and irresponsible is the fact that some people have been calling for sanctions against Nigeria or against Nigerian government officials on the basis of a hoax. This is one of the dangers of fake news and disinformation. Once fake news is out, many run with it, without looking back, even when the truth is eventually revealed.
Nevertheless, the Minister said those who have any evidence to prove that there was a massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate should go to the Judicial Panel set up by Lagos State Government to present their evidence(s) to the world or simply admit that they have goofed.