Former Lagos State University (LASU) Vice-Chancellor and forensic pathologist with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof John Oladapo Obafunwa on Saturday honoured the order of the Lagos State judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters to produce the autopsy reports on 99 corpses conducted by the office of the Chief Coroner of Lagos State between 20th – 24th October 2020.
Prof Obafunwa submitted the autopsy reports on the 99 corpses as well as 99 CD’s of the reports on each of the 99 corpses as directed by the panel.
Under cross-examination by Mr Olumide Fusika (SAN) to some identified Lekki tollgate EndSARS protesters, Prof. Obafunwa restated that he doesn’t go our scavenging for bodies, that his function is strictly restricted to conducting autopsy on bodies brought to the pathology department of the LASUTH from various mortuaries across the state for that purpose as directed.
It would be recalled that at the previous sitting of the panel on the Lekki tollgate incident, Prof Obafunwa had honoured the panel witness summons and brought the autopsy reports and CD’s of 3 corpses recovered from Lekki out of the 99 corpses on which autopsy were conducted, while the rest 96 corpses were brought from various locations such as Ikorodu General Hospital morgue, General Hospital Lagos Island mortuary, Mainland Hospital, Yaba mortuary, Ikoyi correctional centre, Isolo General Hospital morgue, etc.
But Mr. Fusika then applied for the autopsy reports on the rest 96 corpses to be produced in order for his clients to identify corpses of known persons to them alledgedly shot and killed at the Lekki tollgate plaza on the 20th of October 2020.
That application was granted and honoured by the presence of Prof Obafunwa and the documents he submitted to the panel.
In response to questions by the EndSARS protesters’ counsel, Prof Obafunwa stated that some of the corpses were labelled unknown but with the location of where they were brought from registered against them for the purpose of identification during the autopsy.
Prof. Obafunwa also made it clear to the panel that the corpses were entered into the register of the various morgues with serial numbers on being lodged there, but that his department at LASUTH, in collating the register of the corpses brought from various morgues for identification purposes, labelled them as EndSARS because of the period in which the autopsy was conducted and not that they were identified as EndSARS protesters.
In the course of the cross-examination of some of the documents submitted by Prof Obafunwa and already admitted as exhibit, some of the corpses were deposited in the mortuary with medical report on the cause of death and names identity.
Prof. Obafunwa confirmed the publication of advertorial in both the conventional and new media calling for families to visit department of pathology LASUTH to undergo the process of identification and claiming the corpses of missing but dead persons and informed that only about 15 families have so far responded to the publication.
Three corpses have been claimed having scaled through the process for claiming a corpse by the families.
The panel also took the testimony of Ms. Sarah Ibrahim of the EndSARS protesters movement, which was a drama of some sort.
The panel sitting continues