Autopsy reports of 99 persons reportedly killed in Lagos during last year’s #EndSARS protests were Saturday admitted in evidence by the state’s judicial panel of inquiry.
The panel chaired by Doris Okuwobi also admitted compact discs of all the 99 bodies deposited at the morgues in the state, between October 20 and 27, 2020.
The Chief Pathologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), John Obafunwa, who testified before the panel submitted the reports following an order on June 5 for the post mortem results of all the 99 corpses to be made available.
The documents were contained in two bags.
During the cross-examination, Olumide Olumide-Fusika, legal counsel to some of the protesters, noted that Mr Obafunwa disclosed that the bodies were recovered from different parts of Lagos at the time.
“I want to prove to this panel that the claim that only three dead bodies were brought in from Lekki is not true,” Mr Olumide-Fusika said.
During his testimony in June, Mr Obafunwa, a professor of Medicine, and the Head of the Department of Morbid Anatomy at the Lagos University College of Medicine, said at least 99 persons were killed during the #EndSARS protests.
He added that three persons were killed in Lekki when soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters at the toll plaza on October 20, 2020.
The remaining bodies were received from other parts of the state including Surulere, Ikorodu, Ajah, Fagba, among others, Mr Obafunwa said.
Mrs Okuwobi adjourned the matter until July 13.
There has been a controversy around the casualty figures of the Lekki tollgate shooting since the incident occurred last year.
At about 6:45 p.m. on October 20, men in military uniform arrived at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos in three Toyota Hilux vans and almost immediately began shooting into a crowd of peaceful protesters gathered there waving the Nigerian green-and-white flag and reciting the national anthem.
The protesters, mostly youth, were protesting police brutality and asking for reforms in governance.
The army which initially denied shooting at the protesters, later admitted that its men carried live bullets that night but only to tackle armed hoodlums who had hijacked the protests.
Ahmed Taiwo, Commander of the 81 Division, Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, told the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry into the Lekki Tollgate incident then that the army went to the tollgate “with both blank and live ammunition”.
The official also fell short of saying his men fired live shots at Nigerians on their way “to clear the Lekki, Eti-Osa corridor”.
After the incident and the outcry it generated, the federal government disbanded the notorious SARS unit known for human rights abuses and asked states to set up panels of enquiry into cases of human rights abuses by the police.
Most of the panels are concluding their work which are expected to be submitted to the federal government.
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