The acting Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, Dr. Sunday Soyemi today testified before the judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses.
He showed the panel a bullet he extracted from a victim of an extrajudicial killing, Charles Otoo.
At a previous proceeding, the panel had summoned the doctor to shed more light on the cause of death of the late Charles Otoo.
In a petition put before the panel by his widow, Victoria, the late Charles was said to have been shot on Oct 21, 2020, at about 6 pm by men of the Nigerian Police Force, Divisional Headquarters, Ojodu.
According to the widow, a policewoman simply identified as Chinyere allegedly shot the gun which hit the late Charles Otoo by the side of his head. He reportedly lost a lot of blood and eventually died at about 8 pm at the hospital where he was rushed.
At the proceedings today, Dr Soyemi, a lecturer in the college of medicine, Lasuth and a pathologist of 17 years, testified that “the cause of death was a severe injury to the brain following a gunshot to the skull”.
The pathologist who also signed the post mortem report of the deceased showed the panel the bullet he extracted from the late Charles Otto in the course of examining him.
He said the bullet would still need to undergo ballistic examination before the coroner’s court.
After sighting the bullet, the panel admitted photographs of it in evidence and returned the bullet back to the doctor to enable it to undergo the necessary examinations and analysis.
The panel also admitted the post mortem report as evidence.
The panel then listened to a police witness who testified that contrary to the evidence of Mrs Victoria Otoo, the police had nothing to do with the death of the late Charles.
The police witness, Lukeman Sowemimo, who claimed he was the station officer at the Ojodu police station at the time denied that his station had any female officer named Chinyere.
He narrated how some #EndSARS protesters allegedly set part of the police station ablaze on the 22nd of Oct., 2020 but insisted that the officers stayed back in the station to protect it and themselves and did not go out for any patrol.
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When shown the bullet brought by the pathologist, and asked if he could identify it, the witness said from his experience, the bullet came from a pistol.”
“The difference between a pistol and a rifle is that pistol can only kill at a close range while a rifle can kill from any distance. I am not a ballistician, but with my experience as a mobile man, if I see pistol ammunition, I can differentiate it from an AK 47 ammunition,” he said.
Under cross-examination by counsel to the petitioner, Mr Adebola Lema, the witness admitted that police officers sometimes carry pistols.
On the question of the maximum range of an AK 47 when shot? The witness put the range at 40metres and said that even at that range it can still do maximum damage if it hits someone.
On further cross-examination by counsel to the Lagos State Government, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), the counsel asked the witness; “We had a General (from the Nigerian Army) testify before the panel that the AK 47 could cause damage even up to 350m? Do you agree?
The witness answered in the affirmative.
The Petitioner’s counsel, Adebola Lema has adopted his final written address and asked the panel to take note of the inconsistency in the answer given by the witness as to the maximum range of the Ak 47.