Witness faults autopsy report tendered by pathologist


A witness of last year’s #EndSARS protest in Lekki, Sarah Ibrahim, has faulted portions of the autopsy reports tendered by a forensic pathologist to the judicial panel of inquiry on Saturday.

John Obafunwa, a chief pathologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), had told the panel investigating the shooting of protesters at the Lekki tollgate in October 2020 that 99 corpses were received at the state morgue between October 20 and 24 last year.

He said that three of the corpses – males – were victims of the October 20 shooting at the Lekki toll gate by soldiers, while the remaining 96 came from other parts of the state, including Surulere Ikorodu, Ajah, Fagba, among others.

The professor then produced the post-mortem examination reports to verify his testimony as ordered by the panel.

Meanwhile, Ms Ibrahim had in April said she witnessed the shooting by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate. She testified before the panel on Saturday. She said at least 10 persons were killed during the October 20 incident.

Cross-examination

While answering questions at the panel last month, Mr Obafunwa had walked back his earlier claim of three corpses being recovered at the Lekki toll gate. He said the bodies were recovered from the Lekki area. Of those three, according to him, two were tagged ‘EndSars’ and were, therefore, from the toll gate.

During cross-examination on Saturday, the Lagos State counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko, compared Ms Ibrahim’s account of the Lekki shooting incident with the autopsies done on three of the 99 bodies picked up
from across the state.

The three corpses were identified as 005, 041, and 062. The autopsy report noted that 062 died from rifle shots at around 9 p.m. on October 21.

But Ms Ibrahim disagreed, saying that 062’s death occurred on October 20, at 1:23 a.m. She also said one of the three bodies, which the autopsy reported blunt force as the cause of death, was shot in the head.

She also identified one of the dead bodies, stating that “his death was confirmed at Reddington hospital” in Lekki, Lagos.

ALSO READ: Autopsy report of woman killed during protest counters police account

When probed further, she said the corpse was brought into the hospital the following day, October 21, from the tollgate around 6 a.m. by two people who wished to be anonymous.

The witness also outlined the names of about 12 persons allegedly shot and killed by security forces that night, including one Victor Sunday, whose body is said to be among those still missing, and one Olamilekan
Ajasa, whose body was retrieved by his mother.

TEXEM

The pathologist’s findings on 041 reveal a skull fracture, sutured scalp laceration, left fifth rib fracture, and hypertension.

But the report also noted that the corpse had been tampered with possibly from the mortician that worked on it, which allegedly hampered an in-depth examination.

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