Prof. John Oladapo Obafunwa, the Chief pathologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has testified before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry that autopsy was carried out on 99 dead bodies during and after the #EndSARS protest.
The LASUTH Chief Pathologist gave the testimony on Saturday after he was summoned by the panel to present autopsy reports on victims of the Lekki shooting.
Prof. Obanfunwa in his testimony said that only three corpses labeled EndSARS were recorded to have been from Lekki, and 96 other bodies in different parts of Lagos.
He also presented the autopsy reports and pictures of the three bodies from Lekki to the panel, showing different degrees of injuries.
Olumide Fusika (SAN), a counsel to some #EndSARS protesters, however, alleged that claims by the pathologist that only three dead bodies were brought in from Lekki is not true.
The SAN then prayed the panel to order the chief pathologist to present the records of all 99 cases recorded during the period.
“Since he was told that only those three are from Lekki, he might have been told the wrong thing,” said Mr. Fusika.
Prof. Obafunwa noted that the bodies were deposited by the Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit (SEHMU), an agency in charge of recovering dead bodies.
“I don’t go about scavenging for dead bodies,” he said. ” It is when they are brought in that we are told and it is recorded where they were taken from.”
The pathologist noted that by his record, bodies were recovered from different parts of Lagos, including Ikorodu, Lagos Mainland, Yaba, Mushin and other areas.
The SAN also requested that the panel orders the Chief Coroner of Lagos State, Hon Justice M. A. Dada (Mrs.) to produced records of the 99 deaths to the panel, including autopsy reports.
The Chief Coroner of Lagos State had previously issued a notice to the general public that the Pathology Team would want all those who have lost loved ones between 19th – 27th October 2020 (that is, next-of-kin of the victims) to provide relevant information that would assist the identification exercise.
Justice Doris Okuwobi (retd), Chairman of the Judicial panel investigating the Lekki shooting incident ruled that the chief pathologist should produce a record showing the 99 deaths on the next adjourned date Saturday, 19th of June.
However, she said autopsy reports will not be required as that would expand the work of the panel beyond the terms of reference.