Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that the EndSARS report by the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality, was not released properly.
The leaked report states that officers of the Nigerian Army shot and killed unarmed protesters without provocation while they were waving the Nigerian Flag and singing the National Anthem” at the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of October 20, 2020.
The CDS while saying that he had not yet seen the official report, maintained that the Nigerian Army is a professional institution, peopled by Nigerians, hence if there are any issues, they will be addressed appropriately.
General Irabor, who spoke after a courtesy visit to the Edo State Governor in Benin-City, said that the Nigerian armed forces are committed to their constitutional mandate and do not engage in ignoble acts.
He added that it would not be right to make disparaging remarks about men and women of the Nigerian Armed Forces who have given their lives to maintain the territorial integrity of the country.
CDS Irabor said:
“I am sure those of you in the media must have seen a report that was released through, in my view, a wrong channel, that is making the rounds in the social media,” the CDS said.
“Whether it is a true report, I can’t tell. But I’d like to indicate that the normal procedure is to have such a report submitted to the convening authority. And then there will be a white paper that will be presented, based on which one can make informed comments.
“But whatever it is currently, I’d like to indicate that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional armed force. We are peopled by Nigerians and we remain committed to the constitutional mandate. So we will not at this point think that Nigerians should make disparaging remarks regarding the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in the sense that we are a professional armed forces. If there are issues, of course, we address them within the ambit of the provisions.
“It would not be right to disparage men and women who have worked so hard to ensure that the territorial integrity of this nation is kept intact. So in the meantime, until I see the full extent of the report.
“I can assure that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are well-disciplined and we do not engage in any ignoble acts. If Nigerians do not trust us, then we won’t be doing what we are doing, and in any case, it is the Armed Forces of Nigeria; we are not talking of the police. So when the Armed Forces are called out, it is because there is a need; there is no one who doesn’t desire to live in peace.
“We need to understand that the Armed Forces are there to keep the peace, to provide the ambiance that will enable each Nigerian to live his or her desires in peace and harmony. So let us not make inciting comments that will put the entire space on fire. That’s not right.”