A coronary inquest into the death of Monsurat Ojuade, an 18-year-old girl who was shot by a police officer in Surulere, Lagos, was adjourned on Tuesday following the absence of the deceased’s lawyer and family members.
According to the registrar of the Ebute-Metta magistrate court, Morris Olatunji, the matter has been adjourned to November 23.
Mr Olatunji told PREMIUM TIMES that the court cannot sit without the presence of the deceased’s relatives and lawyer.
Ms Ojuade was shot in September at her residence at Mogaji Street, Surulere, during a raid by operatives of State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in the area around 10:30 p.m.
Tosin Ojuade, the deceased’s sister, had alleged that one of the officers tried to force the gate open from the outside and fired shots into the compound, and the bullet hit the deceased on her thighs.
But the police claimed that the deceased was hit by a stray bullet, adding that the “erring police officer,” Samuel Philips, a sergeant, has been dismissed and detained. But the family through their lawyer, Israel Mbaebie, insisted that the victim was shot at close range.
A magistrate court in Yaba had ordered the officer’s remand for 30 days, pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution.
During the preliminary sitting, the coroner, Bola-Folarin Williams, explained that the purpose of the inquest is not to level accusations but to investigate why the incident occurred and how to avert a recurrence.
The deceased was buried on October 2.
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