On October 20, 2020, no fewer than nine #EndSARS protesters were killed at the Lekki tollgate.
This was contained in the report submitted by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS-related Abuses and Other Matters obtained by our correspondent on Monday.
According to the report, nine protesters were confirmed dead while four others were presumed dead.
The report listed 48 names as those who were casualties of the Lekki incident of October 20, 2020.
Among the 48 casualties listed, 24 sustained gunshot injuries, while 15 others were assaulted by soldiers and police.
The panel also noted that 96 other corpses were presented by a Forensic Pathologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Professor John Obafunwa.
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According to the 309-page report, the protesters were killed by suspected policemen and soldiers.
Part of the report read, ”The evidence before the panel shows that after the Nigerian Army left, Nigeria Police Force, followed up with the killing of the protesters, shooting directly at fleeing protesters into the shanties and the Lagoon at the Lekki Phase 1 Foreshore, close to the Lekki Toll Gate, floating corpse and one-shot close to Serah Ibrahim.
“Several unidentified bodies were removed by security agencies and LASEHMU (Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit) and deposited at various hospital mortuaries in Lagos State.
“Three trucks with brushes underneath were brought to the Lekki Toll Gate in the morning of October 21st October 2020 to clean up the scene of bloodstains and other evidence.
“The testimony and report of Professor John Obafunwa, a forensic pathologist of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, showed that three corpses were deposited at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba Hospital, all from the Lekki Toll Gate, and the autopsy conducted thereon revealed death from bleeding caused by penetrating objects or rifled weapon.
“The panel finds that the fact of lack of identity of some of the other 96 corpses on the list supplied by Professor Obafunwa would not obliterate the fact that some of them could have come from the Lekki Toll Gate Incident of October 20, 2020, or that some other unidentified corpses may have been removed by their families or the military, as claimed by the #EndSARS protesters, far and beyond the list tendered by Professor Obafunwa.”
The panel was inaugurated on October 19, 2020, to look into complaints of citizens against human rights abuses by the police. But following the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, the Terms of Reference of the panel were expanded to cover that incident.
The panel sat for over one year, listening to testimonies of petitioners, witnesses, experts, and lawyers.
The panel treated 235 petitions and awarded N410 million as compensation to 70 victims.