EndSARS: Lagos Plans Mass Burial as Pathologist confirmed autopsies on 3 bodies from Lekki Toll Gate, 96 from other parts of Lagos

As the Lagos State government has approved a mass burial of the year 2020 Endsars victims, PRNigeria reports that autopsies had been conducted on at least 99 bodies recovered from various parts of Lagos State.

Of these 99 bodies, a pathologist had disclosed in 2021 that only three bodies were identified as victims of the Lekki Toll gate. And that only one from the toll gate died as a result of gun shot injury.

While the state government is yet to issue an official on the funeral arrangement, a letter dated July 19th, 2023 with reference number LA/PPA/NO ONJ/VOL22/213, confirmed that the Mass Burial was planned for 103 victims of 2020 EndSARS protests in Lagos.

The letter was signed by the Director General of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, Mr Onafowote Fatai Idowu for the award of the contract TOS Funerals Limited.

Meanwhile, a consultant anatomic and forensic pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa had on June 5, 2021 told the Lagos state judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters, that the coroners office conducted post mortem autopsies on 99 bodies between the October 20 and 27.

Prof Obafunwa made the disclosure while testifying with a view to assist the panel in its investigation of the October 20 Lekki toll gate shootings.

The pathologist, who was involved in coroner services through the office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, said the 99 bodies were picked up from different locations by officers of the Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit, LASEHMU.

Of these 99 bodies, the pathologist said that only three were identified as victims of the Lekki shootings.

He proceeded to speak to the post mortem report and the cause of death of each of the three victims, all male.

The witness also played a video evidence detailing the extent of injury suffered by the deceased and the cause of death.

According to the witness, the first body of an unknown victim simply identified as number 005, EndSARS/Yaba/2020 and brought in from Lekki bridge, on October 24 by the Lagos state government agency showed a fracture, a laceration on the left side of the skull and a body that was already decomposing.

The pathologist gave the cause of death as “a result of bleeding into the chest cavity, following a blunt force trauma to the chest.”

According to the witness, the second body , “041 unknown identity”, was said to have died at about 1.45am on October 21; he was taken to Reddington hospital Lekki in an unconscious state as a result of open skull fracture, an attempt to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead after which he was taken to LASUTH on November 1 for post mortem.

“X-ray conducted prior to touching the body showed no bullet or pellets in the body,” the witness said. “The x-ray revealed multiple skull fracture. Autopsy showed there was a ragged laceration running from the left side to the right side of the skull, further exploration of the wound showed bleeding into the scalp, multiple fracture of the skull, bleeding into the brain tissue. In the chest, there was bruises of the anterior, fracture of the left rib.

“Generally the internal organs were pale and it suggested there was severe blood loss. Hypertensive heart disease, upon examination under the microscope and samples for DNA, death was as a result of skull and brain injury which was due to blunt force trauma.”

The third case, identified as “062 unknown identity”, was also said to have died at Lekki tollgate. The body was said to have been taken to the General Hospital Yaba and autopsy was conducted on November 2. Cause of death was said to be severe blood loss as a result of disruption of major blood vessel, caused as a result of gun shot injury.