Soldier kept dancing while shooting Lekki protesters – Petitioner

Published November 19, 2020

Oladimeji Ramon

One Dabira Ayuku , who said she participated in the # EndSARS protest at the Lekki tollgate , has narrated how soldiers and policemen allegedly opened fire on and killed the Nigerian flag -bearing protesters on the night of October 20 .

In a petition she submitted to the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry probing the October 20 tollgate shooting , Ayuku wrote that “ The soldiers were asking people to run , whilst they shot at them . I remember a particular soldier that kept dancing whilst he shot.”

In the 29 – paragraph affidavit she deposed to and submitted to the Justice Doris Okuwobi- led panel , Ayuku said the shootings started at about some minutes before 7pm and lasted for about 45 minutes .
She wrote , “ The soldiers kept shooting at random and I saw people falling to the ground , injured or lifeless . I took cover behind the wheel of one of the trucks at the protest ground to shield myself from the bullets that were flying all over .

“ A male protester , who identified me , walked towards me and attempted to sit beside me but was hit by a bullet before he could sit down beside me . I noticed more people being hit by bullets and with the help of others , we began lifting them from the ground to the stage truck.

“ Among the people placed on the truck, I saw four lifeless bodies on the stage truck that night and two on the floor .”
She said a senior military officer later came in a jeep , put up a white cloth and ordered the soldiers to stop shooting .
She said , “ He appeared to be a senior military officer and also well known to the soldiers because they recognised his authority and obeyed his orders .”

Ayuku said upon a visit to the Grandville Hospital , Victoria Garden City , she met injured protesters who were being treated and operated upon at no cost .
She added , “ The injured protesters with gunshot wounds that I met and interacted with in the hospital were people shot in the chest , head , ribs , hands and legs . Some concerned protesters and I started to cater for their welfare . ”

Ayuku , who assured the judicial panel that she has pictorial evidence of the incident , said, “ I am apprehensive about my safety as some strange persons have been noticed visiting my house , asking after me , with some concerned persons duly alerting me of this suspicious and alarming visits and movement , a situation which has forced me to move away in fear of my life . ”

But the Nigerian Army has denied that its personnel shot at or killed any protester at the Lekki tollgate .
The army insists that only blank bullets were fired into the air.

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