One of the #EndSARS protesters lawyers, Adesina Ogunlana, says more than nine protesters were killed at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020.
He explained that the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS-related Abuses and Other Matters named only nine deceased because of the evidence available before them.
According to the report submitted by the panel, no fewer than nine #EndSARS protesters were killed at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020, 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, but were rejected over lack of concrete evidence linking the cause of their deaths to the Lekki tollgate.
The lawyer lamented that many families and witnesses were scared to testify publicly before the panel.
While commending the efforts of the panel, he noted that the pieces of evidence supplied by the protesters and their legal teams overpowered those of the Army, police, and Lekki Concession Company.
He told The PUNCH in a telephone interview that some of the eyewitnesses thought they could be killed if they testified.
Ogunlana said, “It was a quality report not because it is favourable to us but the meticulous that went into it. A report of over 300 pages is not a joke. That report was unanimous. The police representative was there, government, respected lawyers and you have a sitting judge who did not sell her integrity.
“The representation was rich and balanced. Our pieces of evidence overpowered them. They were more credible than those of LCC, police, army. The evidence brought by the petitioners was a quality one that sailed through despite cross-examination.
“I give kudos to the teams defending the protesters. We had galLant ladies that came up despite the intimidation. There was a fair hearing.”
When asked if only nine protesters were killed, he replied, “They are more than nine but the panel worked with those with concrete evidence.
“Some of the eyewitnesses and relatives were scared to speak. It was hectic to get people to testify. some thought they will be killed.
Assuming that there was no fear, more people would have come out. Some people are regretting they didn’t come out to. About five people withdrew when it was time to testify before the panel. They thought they will be hurt later.”