The Nigerian Army has said that with the benefit of hindsight, it will not have taken a different line of action if presented again with a scenario similar to the Oct. 20 shooting incident at the Lekki Tollgate.
The Army made the assertion on Saturday at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters.
Representing the Army was Brig.-Gen. Ahmed Taiwo, Commander of the 81 Division, Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island.
He made the assertion while being cross-examined by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
“Given the same set of circumstances, the military would have acted in the same way. After every operation we usually do an After Action Review and come up with lessons learnt.
“I have looked at the tollgate issue with the same set of facts. We wouldn’t have acted differently,” he said.
Responding to questions from Mr Bernard Oniga, the lawyer representing the NBA, the witness explained why the army did not take the alternative route which avoided the tollgate if they were clearing up the Eti-Osa corridor as claimed.
“The discretion was at the hands of the commander, they were attacked by hoodlums and they responded,” he said.
Taiwo also denied that the actions of the military at the Lekki Tollgate triggered the wanton destruction of properties and loss of lives in Lagos.
“There was wanton loss of life and destruction of properties before the Lekki Tollgate incident. The loss of lives on Oct. 21 was on the Eti-Osa corridor and the loss of life were cult boys settling scores.
‘I saw businesses being torched, some plazas were torched while some were left. I do not know the connection between that and the Lekki Tollgate plaza.
“If they were reacting to the Nigerian Army they could have burned down an army barracks,” he said.