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#EndSARS Reports: Nigerian Army faults procedure of release, restates professionalism of armed forces

General Lucky Irabor, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff

*The Nigerian Army has taken an exception to the purported procedural error in releasing the #EndSARS Report, insisting ‘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’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Explaining the reason the Nigerian Army could not comment on the apparently leaked document officially, General Lucky Irabor, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), has criticised the procedure adopted in the release of a document said to be the report of the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police brutality.

It was gathered the said report indicted Officers and Men of the Nigerian Army for killing “unarmed helpless and defenceless protesters, without provocation or justification, while they were waving the Nigerian Flag and singing the National Anthem” at the Lekki Toll Gate October 20, 2020.

Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry Report on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters during sitting

ConsumerConnect reports General Irabor, in his response to a media inquiry on the widespread allegation during a visit to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, in Benin City, however, explained that he could not comment on the contents of the document at the moment because he has not seen the official report.

He rather maintained that the Nigerian Armed Forces are committed to their constitutional mandate, and do not engage in ignoble acts as purported in the report.

Irabor stated: “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.

“Whether it is a true report, I can’t tell. But I would 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.”

The CDS also noted: “But whatever it is currently, I would 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.

According to him, “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.”

On the commitment of the Nigerian Armed Forces to their constitutional mandate, Irabor said, “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.”

The CDS added: “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.”

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