No live bullet was fired by the military at Lekki toll gate during End SARS protest – UK-based forensic expert hired by Lagos State says

The UK-based forensic and ballistic company, hired by the Lagos State government to investigate the shooting incident at the Lekki Tollgate, has said that live military-grade ammunition were not fired at protesters on the night of October 20, 2020.

The UK-based company, Oxygene Consulting UK Ltd, represented by its Executive Director, Dieye Willie-Harry, gave the report on Tuesday, September 28, via zoom during the proceedings of the Lagos State Judicial Restitution for Victims of #EndSARS Related Abuses and Other Matters Panel investigating police brutality.

He said: “We have not viewed any footage, which definitively shows a muzzle aimed towards any individual and at the same time being fired with the effect thereof, but what we can freely assess was that no live bullet was fired.”

He added: “However, given the injuries sustained from 21:00 hours and further, we believe that live and military-grade ammunition were fired at some point by persons yet-to-be-identified.”

He said by the time the team of experts arrived in Lagos in December last year, “the medical treatment of victims had reached an advanced stage, injuries had healed and victims had been discharged from healthcare centres”.

Willie-Harry told the panel that investigations conducted by his team were from the examination and research surrounding open-source imagery and news reporting (including social media), along with the individual injuries and medical reports.

He said they were of the opinion that ammunition may have been discharged and possibly aimed at the road surface in front of protesters, which ultimately caused the projectiles to ricochet, resulting in the core breaking out of the jacket and hitting the majority of the victims in the lower limbs at much reduced kinetic energy but with enough energy to fracture the long bones without exiting the victims’ bodies.

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He further said that the team identified the firearms alleged to have been fired by the military officers during the alleged incident as Kalashnikov AK-type variants, including Chinese Type 56, some with (foldable bayonet) extended, adding that such weapons could have caused more devastation had it been used as alleged by the military.

Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd), who adjourned the proceedings at 6:15 p.m., said the panel would retire to consider its ruling and communicate to parties later when the ruling is ready for delivery.

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