Prof John Obafunwa continues testimony at Lagos State judicial panel by Nelson Ekujumi


– Says about 14 corpses from Fagba Agege were all charred, one corpse from Ketu was headless,

– Only one female corpse out of 99

Forensic pathologist and former Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU), presently of the Department of Pathology, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof John Obafunwa on Tuesday 13th July 2021 continued his testimony at the Lagos State judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses and other matters.

Recall that Prof John Obafunwa had on Saturday 10th of July, 2021 submitted the autopsy reports and CD’s for the 99 corpses on which autopsy were conducted on between 20-24th of October, 2020 as ordered by the panel.

Counsel to some identified EndSARS protesters, Mr. Olumide Fusika (SAN) could not continue with the cross examination of Prof Obafunwa due to his scheduled appointment in another court, but his supporting counsel held forth for him and informed the panel that it was not feasible to continue with the cross examination because of the short time remaining for the panel to wind down and so would give space for other counsels to cross examine the witness.

Prof. Obafunwa was cross examined by the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) counsel, Mr Rotimi Seriki; counsel of the Nigeria Police Force, Emmanuel Eze; counsel of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Amanda Asagba; and counsel of the Lagos State government, Mr. Olukayode Enitan (SAN).

During the cross examination of Prof John Obafunwa by Mr. Olukayode Enitan (SAN), he sought the permission of the panel to enable the witness read out the salient points in the autopsy reports of the 99 corpses on which autopsy were conducted at LASUTH on the directive of the chief Coroner of Lagos State such as the name, location, cause of death, date and who deposited the corpses.

In reading out the autopsy reports of corpses, Prof John Obafunwa said all the 14 corpses brought from Fagba Agege were charred bodies with some having tyre necklace and the cause of death were not ascertained, while one of the corpses was headless.

The forensic pathologist read the locations from which corpses were brought for autopsy to include Ikoyi correctional centre, Kirikiri correctional centre, Ikotun police station, Meiran, Iyana Ipaja, Anthony bus stop, Anisere Ojota, Ekoro Abule Egba, Iyana Ekoro Abule Egba, Denton Police Station Oyingbo, Ketu, Isolo, Surulere, Bariga, Gbagada, Olosan police station, Ajah, Mushin, CMS Marina, LUTH, Ilasamaja, Ebute Metta, General hospital Lagos Island, Ikorodu, Lekki, SARS Office Ikeja, Anthony BRT bus stop, etc.

According to Prof Obafunwa, some of the corpses were brought to the morgue by identified police officers, Correctional services officers, family members, retrieved by SEMHU, good samaritans, etc with some of the corpses with identifiable names while a large number were unknown from the records.

In response to a question by Olukayode Enitan (SAN) on the three corpses alleged to have been recovered from Lekki tollgate, the forensic pathologist said one of the corpse out of the three was revealed to have died of gunshot injuries at the Lekki tollgate plaza on the 21st of October 2020.

A major highlight of the cross examination was that majority of the corpses for which the cause of death was revealed as a result of the autopsy, died of gunshot injuries, sharp and blunt force trauma.

While being cross examined by Mrs Amanda Asagba of the NBA, the panel in rising for the day, adjourned further hearing on the Lekki tollgate incident, sine die.

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