The forensic and ballistic firm employed by the Lagos State authorities to analyze the capturing incident that occurred in the course of the #EndSARS protest on the Lekki Toll Gate has submitted a report that yet-to-be-identified individuals fired dwell bullets at protesters on the night time of October 20, 2020.
The UK-based firm, Oxygene Consulting UK Ltd, represented by Mr Dieye Willie-Harry, its government director and senior marketing consultant, revealed this within the report of the staff by way of Zoom on Tuesday, Premium Times studies.
“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, with what we can freely assess to be firing live ammunition (no flailing or falling injured victims),” Willie-Harry mentioned.
“However, given the injuries sustained from 21: 00 hrs and further, we believe, that live, military-grade ammunition, was fired at some point, by persons as yet to be identified.”
According to Willie-Harry, the staff was engaged by the federal government 10 days after the capturing incident to conduct medical, ballistic, and forensic damage evaluation of the incident.
He mentioned by the point the staff of consultants arrived in Lagos final December, “the medical treatment of victims had reached an advanced stage, injuries had healed and victims had been discharged from healthcare centers.
“The ability of the victims to give reliable accounts of how, when and where, their respective injuries were sustained, may have deteriorated, or been contaminated by exterior influences and the passage of time,” he mentioned.
Willie-Harry, a UK-based Nigerian, is a navy operation analyst, forensic investigator, kidnap and ransom negotiator, educated paramedic, and surveillance officer.
Giving the forensic and ballistic report of the staff, he mentioned his staff probed medical studies and x-rays of the victims who have been handled at private and non-private hospitals in Lagos.
The forensic investigator additional mentioned the medical information studied included the timeline of arrival at medical services and the character of the accidents sustained by the victims delivered to the services.
He mentioned their investigation revealed there was “no military-grade live ammunition (high-velocity) fired at the protesters, at Lekki Toll Gate, on 20 October, last year within the timeframe of 6: 30 p.m to 8: 34 p.m.”
He added that the military-grade ammunition was used later, after 9 p.m.
The surveillance officer additionally disclosed that 4 victims of gunshots, who reported at hospitals between 7: 05 p.m. and seven: 45 p.m on the day of the capturing, have been examined by the staff.
Willie-Harry mentioned the injuries sustained by the victims “can be safely identified as being discharged by either low-velocity calibre and/or artisanal/12 gauge firearms.
“The team is unable to ascertain, how, by whom, where and when exactly these GSW [gunshot wounds] injuries were sustained, due to the apparent breakdown of law and order, prevalent during the day, afternoon and evening of 20/10/2020, in Lagos at the time of the alleged Lekki incident.”
The Nigerian Army earlier told the panel that although soldiers were deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate axis, the soldiers fired only blank ammunition into the air to disperse the protesters.
Amidst several reports of deaths and injuries, allegedly resulting from gunshots supposedly fired by soldiers of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Army later said it went to Lekki Toll Gate with both live and blank ammunition.
Willie-Harry said the team reviewed 19 ballistic-related injuries, non-law enforcement grade ammunition-related injuries, and 23 medical injuries classified as non-ballistic, non-fire arm-related injuries.
He said a total of eight injuries were “commensurate with 7.62 x 39mm (law enforcement grade ammunition), and only two were recorded on the night of October 20, last year. The remaining six were recorded between October 21 and 22, last year, according to medical reports.
Willie-Harry said 11 injuries were, however, firearm injuries not commensurate with 7.62 x 39mm, non-law enforcement grade ammunition. He said the injuries are from artisanal weapons, locally-made weapons that are classified as small arms, and light weapons (SALW).
“What is, however, certain, is that had the military personnel, deliberately fired military-grade live ammunition, directly at the protesters; there would have been significantly more fatalities and catastrophic injuries recorded. This was clearly not the case,” he mentioned.
The forensic investigator mentioned military-grade ammunition, if fired right into a mass of human tissue at shut vary by navy personnel who’re educated by default to intention for the central physique mass, would have undoubtedly resulted in a lot of victims, with deadly, catastrophic thoracic and head accidents.
“Apart from the sworn statement by the military spokesperson at the Lagos State Tribunal, the team observed, on examined video material, that the military was firing blank ammunition. This is due to the repeated arming of their weapons to reload, before firing into the air,” he mentioned.
He, nevertheless, mentioned examination carried out by the forensic staff into the open-source imagery and information reporting, together with the social media, confirmed that “the military fired live ammunition at some point.”
“Along with the individual injuries and medical reports, we are of the opinion that ‘live’ military-grade ammunition, may have been discharged at some point at the Lekki Toll Gate on 20th October 2020, after 21: 00 hrs and possibly aimed, at the road surface in front of protesters.”
The knowledgeable mentioned the dwell ammunition hit 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.”
He mentioned accidents of this class have been recorded round 9: 30 p.m in response to the time stamp on medical information.
“The staff has recognized the firearms carried by the navy officers, in the course of the alleged incident, as Kalashnikov AK sort variants together with Chinese Type 56, some with (foldable bayonet) prolonged. These weapons discharge the 7.62mmx39 Type 56 / PS.
Following his testimony, the knowledgeable was cross-examined by legal professionals to the police, #EndSARS protesters, and the Nigerian Bar Association.
Doris Okuwobi, a retired decide heading the panel, mentioned the knowledgeable’s testimony could be the final the panel would take earlier than giving its ruling on the capturing incident on the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20 final 12 months.