Brig.-Gen. Ahmed Taiwo, Commander of the 81 Division, Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island has said that he was unaware that the Nigerian Army Headquarters had denied being at the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of October 20, 2020.
Specifically, he revealed that he was unaware the shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate was labelled fake news on Twitter.
Taiwo made the disclosure on Saturday while being cross-examined at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters.
Responding to questions from Mr Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), the counsel for some of the #EndSARS protesters; Taiwo said he was unaware of the denial by the headquarters of the Nigerian Army; attributing this to the fact that he did not own a Twitter account.
“Why did you tell lies, why did the army deny being at the scene?” Olumide-Fusika queried.
Taiwo denied telling lies. Further, he said that the Nigerian Army made the first statements because they did not have the full facts. Also, he stated that the army was not sent to Lekki to break up the protest.
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“I have not seen the denial that the Nigerian Army on Twitter called their presence at the toll gate as fake news,” he said.
Following the General’s denial, Olumide-Fusika questioned him further about the Army’s denials.
“There is controversy between you and our Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, when you (Army) denied saying that it was fake news…The governor came out to say he saw some footage.
“Based on the Army’s tweets, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF); said the people that went to the toll gate must be hoodlums in army uniforms. Are you aware of the Army HQ handle on Twitter? If you go to your HQ’s verified Twitter account right now, the denial is still there. I challenge you to go online now to see it.
“Are you not aware that information posted on the Nigerian Army Twitter handle on October 21 still exists till this day? Aren’t you an intelligence officer?” the SAN queried.
Responding, Taiwo said Sanwo-Olu had made the assertion about seeing some footage before the army made any verification.
“I’m not aware of what the AGF said. I’m not on twitter. I am speaking here as the most senior Army officer on ground and on behalf of the 81 Division.
“I’m not aware of the Nigerian Army HQ twitter handle. I do not follow it because I’m not on Twitter,” he said.