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Only one person was shot dead at Lekki toll gate – Pathologist



CNN Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry begun sitting on Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Professor John Obafunwa, an anatomy and forensic pathologist says only one body of the 99 bodies presented for autopsy was revealed to have been killed as a result of gunshot at the Lekki toll gate.

Prof. Obafunwa in his deposition confirmed that only the body tagged ENDSARS/YABA/2020/062 out of the entire was from to Lekki toll gate.

On page 104 of the report presented by The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS related abuses and other matters, Prof. Obafunwa confirmed that the deceased had a gun shot on the 21st of October, 2020.

According to the list of 99 victims, the autopsy report from case 62 read, “Unknown was said to have been recovered at Lekki toll gate about 7:43pm on the 21St October, 2020 by SEMU. Death was due to severe blood loss following damage to the major vessel on the right side of the neck following gunshot injury, rifled weapon.”


After listing and stating the causes of death of the 99 bodies, Prof. Obafunwa confirmed that only the body tagged ENDSARS/YABA/2020/062 out of the entire 99 was from to Lekki toll gate.

He also confirmed that there were others that happened at Ikoyi Prisons, Ikotun Police Station, Ojota, Bariga, Ikeja, Ajah, Ifako, Mushin, Denton, Ketu, Kirikiri, SARS Ikeja, Fagba, Tejuosho and Lagos Island respectively.


Prof. Obafunwa who is from the Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos, explained that bodies were brought in from across the state and that only three came from Lekki.

Under cross examination by Mrs Amanda Asagba on behalf of the Nigerian Bar Association, Prof. Obafunwa said that his department made no effort in getting to the scene of the Lekki incident as they were not invited there.


He noted that the police ought to have invited or informed the Coroner. However, what happened at the scene was that bodies were moved from place to place. When asked to describe
the scenario of the Lekki incident, he noted that Nigeria was a funny country in which things did not operate as they would in other countries. Also, those things could have been handled in a better way.

When asked to describe the ideal procedure in which his department is involved, the witness responded by stating that his job as a forensic pathologist was not strictly limited to the autopsy room. Rather, it starts from the scene and would form the basis
for his ability to answer medico-legal questions, which would arise in court.

He stated that in an ideal situation, the scene is cordoned off before the team of crime officers and forensic medico-legal team are invited to the scene during which the position of the body, objects at the crime scene, general observation of the scene, determination as to whether the scene had been altered or tampered with and so on are observed and noted.

He stated that the purposes of the autopsy reports were simply to tell how the death came about. It also afforded the opportunity of retrieving bullet fragments and pellets which were kept with the hope that they could undergo ballistics tests. However, there is a limit to the questions that can be answered from the autopsy reports without the forensic pathologist being at the scene in the first instance.


He gave the example that although a forensic pathologist could make findings in respect of where a victim was shot, however, findings could not be made as to the locus or whether or not bullet shells were present or absent. He reemphasized that his job as a forensic pathologist required him to be at the scene of
the incident.

He noted that his team was at the scenes of the Synagogue and Dana airlines crash incidents. Further, that he would under normal circumstances not come to present autopsy reports with names of victims unknown.

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