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EXCLUSIVE: Soldier who warned against shooting #EndSARS protesters transferred to Defence Intelligence

In a viral video, Lance Corporal Harrison Friday urged colleagues to avoid killing civilians marching against police brutality.

• October 31, 2020
Photo of Lt General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (Photo Credit: @HQNigerianArmy) Twitter

The Nigerian Army has yet again moved Harrison Friday, a lance corporal who warned against deployment of live bullets to quell #EndSARS protesters.

Mr. Friday was moved to Nigeria’s Defence Intelligence Agency in Abuja for additional questioning earlier this week, military sources told Peoples Gazette.

The soldier was previously sent to the South-east and held incommunicado inside a guard room at 103 Battalion, Enugu, military sources told the Gazette last week.

The soldier was arrested last Tuesday after the military identified him as the man behind a viral video, wherein a masked army personnel was heard warning his colleagues not to attack #EndSARS protesters because doing so would be costly for the country.

“The fight the civilians are fighting is our fight, do not let them (the Nigerian government) use us. If you are firing civilians, the bullets may hit your brother or your sister”, Mr. Friday said in the widely circulated video on October 18. 

The Nigerian Army went on to deploy troops on October 20, leading to the massacre of at least nine civilians. Dozens were also wounded during the shooting, which came as protesters were singing the national anthem and waving the national flag at Lekki Toll-Gate, Lagos.

The Army initially denied that he was a soldier, but later retracted and confirmed he had been arrested to face disciplinary action.

But military sources told the Gazette Friday that the soldier was questioned by Nigerian Army 82 Division intelligence unit in Enugu, where it was decided that he had no case to answer.  

“They said the soldier has no case, but (he) has been moved to Abuja. The army sent flight tickets for his transfer to army headquarters or the Defence Intelligence Agency”, our source said.

A spokesman for the Nigerian Army did not immediately return requests for comments about the conclusion of 82 Division and Mr. Friday’s transfer to Abuja.

The military said Mr. Friday would face multiple charges of cybercrime violation. The Gazette could not independently verify if the soldier had gained access to legal representation.

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