The Lagos State Government has ordered an investigation into the death of a 14-year-old girl killed during Saturday’s Yoruba nation rally in the state.
Attorney General Moyosore Onigbanjo said in a statement Sunday that a Coroner’s inquest has been requested in line with sections 14 and 15 of the Coroners’ Systems Law, Laws of Lagos State 2015, to determine the cause and circumstances of death.
“The State assures the public that everything will be done to ensure that the cause of death is known. The findings of this investigation will be made public in due course and appropriate sanctions meted out to anyone found culpable,” Mr Onigbanjo said.
The girl, identified as Jumoke, was allegedly hit by a stray bullet on Saturday after police officers began firing tear gas to disperse the crowd at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park at Ojota. She reportedly died on the spot. Multiple witnesses said it was a police bullet since there were no other armed groups at the rally.
The police, however, denied responsibility, saying its officers never fired a “single live bullet” at the rally.
“The said corpse was found wrapped and abandoned at a distance, far from Ojota venue of the rally, behind MRS Filling Station, inward Maryland, on the other side of the venue, with dried blood stains suggesting that the corpse is not fresh,” the police had said in a statement.
“After a close look at the corpse, a wound suspectedly sustained from a sharp object was seen on it.”
PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
Our attention has been drawn to the death of a 14-year-old girl in Ojota during the Oodua Republic Mega Rally on Saturday, 3rd of July, 2021.
We commiserate with the family of the deceased. The Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered a thorough investigation of the death. A Coroner’s Inquest has immediately been requested in line with section 14 and 15 of the Coroners’ Systems Law, Laws of Lagos State 2015, to determine the cause and circumstances of death.
By Section 14(1) (d) of the Coroners’ System Law of the State: “A report of death shall be made to any of the agencies for the report of death or the office of the Coroner and be subject to post-mortem examination where there is reasonable cause to believe that the cause of death was: violent, unnatural or suspicious.”
Section 15(1) and (9) further enjoins the Coroner to hold an inquest whenever he or she is informed that the death of the deceased person was in a violent, unnatural or suspicious situation or believes an inquest is desirable following the report of a reportable death.
As a government, the security and wellbeing of citizens are of utmost importance to us. The State assures the public that everything will be done to ensure that the cause of death is known. The findings of this investigation will be made public in due course and appropriate sanctions meted out to anyone found culpable.
Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN)
Attorney-General/Honourable Commissioner for Justice
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