By Abiodun OBA |
Nigerian soldiers fired shots “into the air” to disperse #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on Oct. 20.
The U.S. Department of State has given its assessment about the controversial shooting incident, during the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria in its report released on Tuesday.
Its position contradicts claims by the media and #EndSARS activists that soldiers fired live bullets at the protesters.
The US State Department said there is no “accurate information” on the alleged fatalities.
“On Oct. 20, members of the security forces enforced curfew by firing shots into the air to disperse protesters, who had gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos to protest abusive practices by the Nigerian Police Force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“Accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at year’s end.
“Amnesty International reported 10 persons died during the event, but the government disputed Amnesty’s report, and no other organisation was able to verify the claim.
“The government reported two deaths connected to the event. One body from the toll gate showed signs of blunt force trauma.
“A second body from another location in Lagos State had bullet wounds.
“The government acknowledged that soldiers armed with live ammunition were present at the Lekki Toll Gate,” part of the report stated.