The Interim Chairman of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has written a letter to the Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN), drawing the attention of the state government to the existence of some unclaimed corpses in government mortuaries following the shooting of protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20, 2020.
The letter, which was obtained on Saturday is titled, ‘Request for Coroner’s Inquest Into the Brutal Killing of Unarmed Protesters at Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday, October 20, 2020’.
It read in part, “ASCAB requests the Lagos State Government to check the mortuaries in the Lagos State hospitals and at Lagos University Teaching Hospital with a view to confirming the actual number of protesters that were killed by the soldiers at the venue of the protest or those who lost their lives as a result of fatal injuries.
“The investigation ought to be carried out as some of the dead bodies dumped in the mortuaries have been marked ‘unknown’.”
The ASCAB interim chairman also demanded a coroner’s inquest into the incident since the state government had confirmed that at least two people died in the incident.
Falana said the group had confirmed that soldiers from a particular military barracks on Victoria Island, Lagos invaded the venue of the peaceful protest at the Lekki toll gate on Tuesday and fired live rounds at the protesters under the cover of darkness.
The statement further read, “From the information at our disposal, two of the protesters have since lost their lives while some survivors are still receiving treatment in two hospitals in Lagos State. Others who have been discharged from the hospitals are recuperating in their homes.
“In view of the denial of the Nigerian Army in the brutal attack of the unarmed protesters ASCAB is compelled to request the Lagos State Government to conduct an inquest into the cause and circumstances of the unnatural death of the deceased pursuant to the provisions of the Lagos State Coroner’s Inquest Law.”
Lagos panel calls for memorandum
Meanwhile, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the Lagos State Government has set aside three days of the week to look into the Lekki Tollgate incident and grievances of victims, while calling on the public to come forward with memoranda for discussion.
According to the state government on Saturday, the panel would be sitting on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 4pm at the Lagos State Court of Arbitration in the Lekki Phase 1 area of the state.
A notice by the government said, “Judicial panel of inquiry and restitution of victims of Special Anti-Robbery Squad related abuses and Lekki Tollgate incident – Members of the public are hereby invited to submit memoranda at the public sitting of the panel set up by the Lagos State Government to look into the grievances of the victims of SARS abuses and the incident at the Lekki Tollgate.