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An International news network, Cable News Network popularly known as CNN has shared to the public its findings from an independent investigation carried out on the shooting of #EndSARS peaceful protesters at Lekki tollgate in Lagos State on October 20, 2020.

In October, many Nigerians especially youths took to the streets to protest against police brutality, extra-judicial killings and high-handedness of now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit.

The protest which lasted for over 2 weeks saw youths coordinate sub-groups saddled with responsibility of providing medical aids to injured protesters – as security operatives were said to have at different times attacked protesters – legal aids for arrested ones, welfare (food and drinks) and other essentials service.

READ ALSO: #EndSars: Soldiers Shot Into Peaceful Protesters At Lekki Toll Gate

The protests took place in different cities and states in Nigeria and abroad, it abruptly ended in Nigeria when security operatives, who eyewitnesses say were soldiers, opened fire on unarmed protesters at Lekki tollgate in October 20.

There has been conflicting reports from Lagos State government, eyewitnesses andNigeria Army.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu initially denied being aware of the presence of Army at the protest ground or the death of anyone. He later confirmed the death of only two persons.

READ ALSO: Lagos Government Invited Us To Intervene In #EndSARS Crisis, Nigerian Army Denies Lekki Shooting

The Army also at first denied being at Lekki tollgate but later declared that Governor Sanwo-Olu invited soldiers to enforce the 24-hour curfew imposed in the state.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Why We Won’t Disclose Identity Of Personnel Deployed To Lekki Tollgate – Nigerian Army

Popular disk jockey, DJ Switch who was at Lekki tollgate during the shooting live streamed the incident on Instagram, which several Nigerians and people around the world tuned in to watch.

After the incident, DJ Switch shared that at least 7 people were shot dead while several others were injured, adding that live bullets were used on the unarmed protesters. This revelation is contrary to Nigerian Army’s statement that soldiers shot into the sky and the bullets were blank.

The conflicting reports prompted CNN to carry out an independent investigation, which it shared its findings on Wednesday, November 17 after analysing various video footages shared on social media about the shooting incident.

CNN during its investigation spoke with a man named Elisha Sunday Ibanga, whose brother, Victor, was killed during the October 20 shooting.

It obtained and geolocated a photograph of Victor‘s body lying in a pool of blood, wrapped in a Nigerian flag one of which had being waved during the evening protest while they sat on the floor singing the national anthem. Elisah confirmed the photograph is of his brother.

Elisha Sunday Ibanga said since he knew of his brother’s death, he has been visiting hospitals in a desperate search for his remains. He said;
My mother, my sisters, all my family are in prayer, just to see if we can find out and know where my brother’s dead body is.

The bodies of other protesters like Elisha’s brother are allegedly still missing, further corroborating eyewitnesses’ accounts that soldiers took away dead protesters in their vans.

Another Peace Okon, hasn’t seen her younger brother Wisdom, 18, since he went to the protest the night of the fatal shooting. She also said;

He just came back from work on that Tuesday, ate his food and went there.

She also said;

I’ve gone to hospitals, I’ve gone to police stations, I’ve gone to everywhere. I can’t find him.

Peace said her brother had only moved to Lagos State few weeks ago before the protest broke out and she helped him find a job as a cleaner at a bank. She says he didn’t know anyone at the protest and had never been to one before. She is demanding to know if her brother is alive and detained or dead.

CNN also spoke with some of the protesters who were at the scene when the shooting occurred, who confirmed that soldiers indeed fired shots at them.

It examined bullet casings found at the scene and confirmed with current and former Nigerian military sources that the shells match those used by the army.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Why amWe Won’t Disclose Identity Of Personnel Deployed To Lekki Tollgate – Nigerian Army

Two ballistics experts found out that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the army’s claim they fired blanks.

CNN has verified that bullets fired at Lekki toll gate are from live ammunition. This one was manufactured in Serbia in 2005, and currently in use by the Nigerian army.

CNN also made it known that several of the bullets found at the protest ground originated from Serbia and export documents show that Nigeria purchased weaponry from Serbia almost every year between 2005 and 2016.

Watch some videos of the incident verified and  compiled by CNN below;

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