Nigeria: #EndSars - Pathologist Tenders Autopsy Reports of 99 Persons Killed During Protests

The pathologist said the 99 bodies include three killed at the Lekki Toll Gate during the shooting on October 20, 2020 by soldiers,

The Chief Pathologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), John Obafunwa, on Saturday submitted the autopsy documents of 99 deaths resulting from the #EndSARS protests in Lagos to the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

Mr Obafunwa, a professor of forensic pathology, was told to submit the autopsy reports at the last proceedings on June 6

According to him, the 99 bodies, which include three killed at the Lekki Toll Gate during the shooting on October 20, 2020 by soldiers, were deposited at the morgue between October 19 and October 24, 2020.

While giving evidence at the panel on Saturday, Mr Obafunwa, the head of the department of morbid anatomy at the Lagos State University College of Medicine, said the ethical practice, especially during a 'mass disaster' or "a situation where all sorts of speculations arise", is to do an x-ray "before you put a knife to a body."

"You need to look for hidden fractures or prosthesis. It will help if such is discovered because it will be circumstantial evidence to make you say that this body belongs to this person.

"We need to avoid sensationalism. If you look at a page in the report I submitted, all I did was to summarise. However, if I do an autopsy and I do not do radiography, you would tear me to pieces if I come to court with such a record. That is why I had to do everything, leaving nothing to chance."

The chair of the panel, Doris Okuwobi, ruled that the records presented be accepted as evidence and adjourned further hearing till June 26.

Soldiers' shooting

On October 20 last year, soldiers opened fire at unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate killing yet-to-be-determined number of people.

Although the army initially denied its soldiers shot at unarmed protesters, the multitude of evidence presented by witnesses, including videos showed that soldiers shot at protesters.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who initially said no one died from the shooting, later said only two persons died.

Several protesters, including those who have appeared before the judicial panel to give evidence that many people were killed at the Lekki tollgate and many injured, have insisted that some of the corpses were taken away by the soldiers.

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