Emotions flowed freely as family and sympathisers gathered on Friday in the Ojota area of Lagos for a candlelight procession in honour of Jumoke Oyeleke who was shot during the July 3 Yoruba nation rally in the state.
Ms Oyeleke, 25, was not part of the rally but was hit by a stray bullet after police officers began firing guns and tear gas canisters into the air in an attempt to disperse the peaceful rally at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Ojota.
The police denied responsibility for the death, saying its officers never fired a “single live bullet” at the rally.
However, witnesses at the rally had told PREMIUM TIMES that the deceased was hit in the back as she, alongside others, was fleeing from the scene of the police shootings.
The post-mortem report on the cause of death said the deceased died of “hemopericardium, disruption to the heart and lungs and missile injury to the chest.”
In the procession held at a hotel in the state, the deceased’s three siblings, in tears, described her as the financial backbone of the family.
Oni Ayoyinka, an activist, said “we are saddened by this sudden loss, we need to honour the dead and ensure we get justice but we all know the country we are in. Let’s be patient and show our grievances.”
Meanwhile, one of the family’s legal counsel, Taiwo Olawanle, said there would be an inaugural sitting of the coronary inquest opened by the Lagos governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to investigate the incident.
The sitting will be held on August 2, at Court 13, Magistrate, Ogba, Ikeja.
The state Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, had announced that the governor had ordered a probe into her death.
Mr Olawanle said the sitting will be attended by the Ojodu Area H police Commander, the pathologists and witnesses.
He urged witnesses of the protest to come forward to testify at the sitting.
He said: “I believe that justice will be served at the end of the day. We will also be progressive by asking the government for compensation.
“Whenever any wrong is done to any member of the society, such families must be compensated.”
“We are surprised that in this civilised world, the police are coming to the protest ground with AK-47, when we have many bandits across the country.”
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