The Nigerian Army has said it will not disclose the identities of its men who were deployed to the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020.
In an interview with Punch, Osoba Olaniyi, spokesman of the 81 division of the Nigerian Army, said it is unprofessional for the Army to release the names of the soldiers who were deployed to the tollgate on that day.
“It is against operational security. We don’t give that. It is against the policy of operational security. There is no problem here. The picture some people paint, as if we are fighting with the state government, is wrong,” the newspaper quoted him to have said.
Olaniyi in the interview, also stated that the Army will only appear before the judicial panel set up by the Lagos state government to investigate allegations of police brutality in the state as well as the October 20 Lekki tollgate gunfire incident, if the invitation is coming from the state government and not the panel.
Recall that the judicial panel on Friday, October 30, paid an unscheduled visit to the Military hospital Ikoyi to inspect the mortuary. They were initially denied access but after a while, were allowed in. They were later to be told that the morgue is undergoing renovation.
Punch reports that an invitation has been sent to the military to appear before the panel. However, Olaniyi said only the state government can ask them to appear before the panel.
“If we receive a letter from the state, we will go. Are we not under civil authorities? Are we not part of Nigerians? Have you forgotten that we did not go there (Lekki tollgate) on our own?
It is not the duty of the members of the panel to tell us that. If the state wants the (81) Division to come, they will write and we will oblige. See, if they have written to the division, it is our duty to go. It is not for them to go through the media as if we are scared of coming.
It is the state government that constituted that panel of inquiry. So if anybody needs to get in touch with us to come, it is still the state and not members of the panel.” Punch quotes him as saying