The Lagos State judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters sitting in Lagos today Tuesday 7th September 2021 took the testimony of the Lagos State Commissioner of police Mr. Hakeem Odumosu on the role of the Nigeria police force Lagos State command during the October 2020 EndSARS protests.
Represented by Assistant Commissioner of police ACP Oludotun Udubona OC operations of the Lagos State command, the Commissioner of police narrated how the Lagos State command of the Nigeria police force suffered killings and maiming of officers, rape and assault of police female family members, vandalization and burning of police formations, divisional commands, police stations, police posts and barracks, looting of arms and ammunition, release of detained suspects and destruction of exhibits vehicles, police vehicles and personal vehicles and household properties of police officers in the barracks.
The ACP while narrating how police men were attacked without provocation and sustained various degrees of injuries while returning from duty on the 20th of October, 2020 at Adekunle axis of the third Mainland bridge, submitted a list of 6 police officers killed and 112 personnel of the command who were lucky to survive with injuries with some severe to include gun shot and pellets injuries. He also stated that corpses of some police men posted to Lagos State on official assignment were recovered but declared as missing in action because they were not from the Lagos State command, so the command could not claim responsibility for their corpses.
The Assistant Commissioner of police then submitted photographs of some of the incidents mentioned, two flash drives which contained the casualties suffered by the Nigeria police force Lagos State command and it was tendered and admitted as exhibit by the panel. The police counsel then sought the permission of the panel to view footages of the flash drive which was granted by the panel.
When the flash was played, the panel watched as the Orile Iganmu police station was attacked and burnt down on the 20th of October 2020, 3 police officers from the station burnt alive and their corpses cannibalized, detained suspects released, arms and ammunition carted away by the mob of protesters. Another scene was the Ebute Ero police station which was burnt down and suffered similar fate like the Orile Iganmu police station, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was mobbed to the extent that he lost his memory and is now boarded, meaning he is no longer useful to the Nigeria police force and so has been released from service. This was also the fate of the Divisional Police Officer DPO for Orile Iganmu police station who has also been boarded. The DPO of Ajah police station was attacked and a vehicle was used to climb over his leg while pleading with the protesters.
The list of police stations attacked and burnt are Orile Iganmu, Ebute Ero, Ikotun, Ilogbo, Layeni, Ajeromi, Layeni, Isokoko, Alade, Elemoro, Makinde, Ojodu, Ilasamaja, Cele, Morogbo, Ajah, Amukoko, etc. Some of the police stations burnt also had barracks in which police personnel families lived, in which the residences were attacked and female family members raped, not to mention some female members of the Nigeria police force family who lost pregnancies due to the stress and trauma inflicted on them by the protesting mob.
According to the ACP, in all the police stations and barracks attacked and burnt, arms and ammunition were stolen, detained suspects set free, exhibit vehicles, police vehicles, personal vehicles of policemen and their household goods were destroyed.
The panel adjourned the matter to 14th September 2021 at the instance of the Nigeria police counsel to enable him produce some other videos of the casualties suffered by the Lagos State command of the Nigeria police force.
In another petition of the day of Nicholas Okpe and others vs the Nigeria Army, in the case of Olamilekan Faleye one of the petitioners, the petitioner summoned a consultant orthopaedic surgeon from Igbobi orthopaedic hospital Fadeyi by name Dr. Kehinde Adesola Alatishe who came and gave testimony that the hospital treated the petitioner based on the referral from Grandville medical and laser hospital Lekki on the 24th of October 2020.
Under cross examination by Mr. Rotimi Seriki of LCC, the medical doctor could not produce the referral letter on the petitioner addressed to Igbobi orthopaedic hospital, but produced one in which it was addressed, To whom it may concern. When asked if that is a standard practice in medicine for referral letter to be addressed, To whom it may concern, the medical doctor replied in the negative by saying that referral letter is supposed to specifically mention the name of the hospital referred to.
On the observation by the counsel that the referral letter addressed, To whom it may concern and which was produced by doctor Alatishe was not signed, has only has a single name without even initials and the doctor’s designation, the medical doctor could not provide an answer. The counsel then asked Dr. Alatishe if that is the standard practice even in his Igbobi orthopaedic hospital? He replied in the negative, that in referring any patient, the doctor who makes the referral letter would either write his name in full and sign with his designation or in his own case when asked if he writes referral letter, he stated that he writes his name and initials and sign with his designation on the document.
Under cross examination by Mr A.J. Owonikoko, Dr. Alatishe was confronted with the conflict of his evidence in chief where he mentioned high velocity gun shot as the cause of the injury of the petitioner and he couldn’t corroborate, because it was put to him, that he is not a military or ballistic expert and based on the Grandville hospital and Igbobi orthopaedic hospital case notes. He stated that his testimony of high velocity gun shot injury was suggestive and not emphatic.
When confronted with the medical report of Igbobi orthopaedic hospital of the petitioner and signed by the medical director in which it was stated that the petitioner was a victim of gun shot wound sustained at the Lekki protest ground on the 20th of October 2020 from security agents, Dr. Alatishe distanced himself from the report by claiming that he was not the maker of the document.
The panel sat over some other four petitions for the day, before adjourning.
The panel sitting continues.