CNN published damning evidences it had gathered about the Lekki toll gate shooting. Here are our 10 biggest takeaways.
On Tuesday, 18th November 2020, CNN published an investigative article on what happened on the mournful night of 20th October 2020.
Up until now, the details have been sketchy. While witnesses have come forward, the Nigerian government has denied that a ‘massacre’ occurred. CNN comes with some key evidences that we will point out here.
- The media house obtained and geolocated the photographed body of Victor Sunday Ibanga, wrapped in a blody Nigerian flag, and traced it to the protest location at the time of the shooting. They did this for another photo, that of an injured protesters named Matthew.
- The Nigerian Army had been at the Lekki toll gate during the time of the shooting and while the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, denied inviting them, the army cliamed he had called on them because the police was overrun. (This admission came after initial denials). Verified video footage — using timestamps and data from the video files — shows soldiers who appear to be shooting in the direction of protesters. And accounts from eyewitnesses establish that after the army withdrew, a second round of shooting happened later in the evening.
- Also, Sanwo-Olu had admitted to CNN that video footage showed uniformed soldires shooting but he said “only two demonstrators” died. However, during a judicial inquiry into the shooting, army representative Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo said: “There’s no way officers and men will kill their brothers and sisters. I repeat no way. We have those who constantly seek to drive a wedge between us and between the citizens of Nigeria…” The army continues to deny firing live rounds.
- Bodies of dead protesters were taken away as the family of Victor Sunday Ibanga, mentioned above, have not seen his corpse. Another protester, Peace Okon claims that her brother has not been seen since the night of 20th October 2020.
- Current and former Nigerian military officials confirm that the bullet casings from the scene match those used by the Nigerian army when shooting live rounds. And working with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, CNN has established that several of the bullets from the Lekki toll gate originated from Serbia. Export documents CNN has seen show that Nigeria purchased weaponry from Serbia almost every year between 2005 and 2016.
- Forensic examination of hours of video and dozens of photographs captured before, during and after the two shooting incidents and several testimonies showed use of deadly force to stop the protesters.
- From multiple videos, CNN pieced together a timeline that shows that shooting by the army lasted from 6:43 p.m. until at least 8:24 p.m.
- The media house also verified from videos that protesters were carrying bodies of dead or injured companions in the dark in a bid to save some lives. Also, other videos showed several injured people, some on the ground bleeding while defiant protesters continued to wave Nigerian flags.
- Dr. Ayo Aranmolate, executive medical director at Grandville medical center, told CNN he and his colleagues received around 15 injured people that night with various gunshot wounds and cuts but no one died in his hospital.
- CNN says there are evidences that witnesses were asked to recant their initial testimonies. Also, it met with brick wall when it tried to obtain comments from; Lagos State police spokesman, a Lagos State government spokesman, and others.
You can read the full CNN article here and check out the evidences it presents on the lekki toll gate shooting.