Brigadier General Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo of the 81 Division, Intelligence Brigade says only President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, could order deployment of soldiers to prevent anarchy in Lagos following the violence that rocked the #EndSARS protests in October.
The one star General said this while testifying before the Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution on the alleged atrocities of the now disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
Taiwo claimed the deployment of soldiers was due to a request for help by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to quell the #EndSARS riot.
He claimed that the #EndSARS protests had snowballed into massive anarchy saying that many police stations were burnt and hoodlums looted their mmunition.
He said that Sanwo-Olu had no choice but to invite the military considering the blockage of roads and extortion of money from Nigerians by touts.
Taiwo justified his claim by shoeish the panel a footage where hoodlums set somebody ablaze and started planning on how to share his body part for ritual purpose.
“These scenes are reminiscent of the Liberian Civil War when the fighters believed that once they consume human body, they would be fortified, they will be strong.
“It was these incidents that made the Governor of Lagos State ask for military intervention and in my opinion, that was the correct thing to do since the police had been overrun and policemen were fighting for their dear lives.
“It is a shame that the Lagos crisis has been reduced to what happened at the Lagos Toll Gate. Little mention has been made of the wanton destruction that happened prior to that occurrence,”.
“What is worse is that the families of the Police that were killed will not get closure, because of the way their bodies were disposed. The world over, it is the custom that the army intervenes when a situation overcomes the police and paramilitary services,” he said.
He Quoted Section 217 2C to back his claims: , “The occurrences that took place from October 18 were nothing short of lawlessness and violence. This was what prompted Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to request the intervention of the army.
“Contrary to what is out there, it was done throughout Lagos State upon receipt of Stage 4 of IS Security. Phase 4 is immediate deployment of soldiers outside the barracks to intervene.
“To show how dire the situation was, the fire alarm beagle was sounded. When this is done, you report immediately to the parade ground or the armoury. Troops were deployed from Badagry, Ikrodu, Epe, Apapa, Ikeja, Alimosho and even Lagos Island to restore order.
“The rules of engagement for internal security were strictly followed. It is inexcusable for troops to stand aside and watch the situation deteriorate. The use of lethal force can only be used when all other measures fail to work”, he said.
“The soldiers fired in the air and fired blank bullets to disperse hoodlums,” he added