Lekki Shooting: I saw soldiers picking at least seven dead, limp bodies hit by bullet into their vans – Petitioner tells Lagos panel
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KAMISIYOCHUKWU Perpetual, an eye-witness at the Lekki tollgate where protesters were shot, has disclosed that she saw soldiers carrying no fewer than seven human bodies hit by bullets and dumped them in a waiting van.
Kamsiyochukwu, who was a petitioner before the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry on police brutality, also said she and two other protesters saw another dead body with a bullet-torn head at Reddington Hospital at Lekki the following morning when they went to collect the data of injured protesters.
And before she left the hospital, dead and injured bodies were still being brought in. But when she returned to the hospital in the evening the same day, she was told by a nurse at the hospital that the casualties have been evacuated from the hospital to an undisclosed location based on an order from above.
“I saw soldiers picking at least seven dead, limp bodies hit by bullets into their vans,” she said.
“We also requested to see the dead protesters who were brought in. The doctors refused us access to see the dead bodies. The media man intervened again and we could only see one of the dead bodies whose head was torn by a bullet. He laid at the emergency unit. The doctor called the corpse ‘John Doe’.
“While at Reddington Hospital, dead and injured bodies were still being brought in. By evening when I returned to Reddington Hospital, one of the nurses informed me that the dead and the injured had been transferred from Reddington Hospital to an unknown hospital based on orders from above.
She told the panel that she and her colleagues have the names of the injured bodies and that of the dead body.
“We have the record of the names of 22 injured persons and one of the dead persons we were allowed to see.”
She gave their names as Abiola Esther, RFK, Lekan Williams, Felix Nandip, Adams Moses, Akinyele Damilola, Samuela Iordyom, Emmanuel John, Isaac Amede, and Charles Uzoma.
Others are; Raymond Simon Abah, Samuel Anthony, Andrew Ugochuckwu, Bobby Maduka, Moses Oyi, Emmanuel George, Nelson Andrew, Sheriff Akande, Chigozie Chukwujekwu, Damilola Adedayo, and 12-year-old Bakare Michael.
When the media reported about the shooting at Lekki tollgate which happened on October 20, the Nigerian military feigned ignorance and denied the allegation, saying its men were not involved.
In subsequent press releases, Osoba Olaniyi, the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, admitted that soldiers were deployed to Lekki but were only there to carry a request of the state government to enforce an earlier curfew imposed by the state government.
He however denied that the soldiers did not shoot any civilian and that there is glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact. He maintained that the allegations of shootings are the “handiwork of mischief-makers who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army.”
In a bid to further discredit the media reports on the Lekki incident, John Enenche, the coordinator, Defence Media Operations, citing some military analysts, told newsmen in Abuja that videos of the incident circulating around the social media were fake or photoshops.
However, on Saturday, during his appearance before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry, Ahmed Taiwo, Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, said soldiers deployed to the scene did not shoot the protesters with live bullets but fired blank bullets into the air.
While explaining that the blank bullets used could not have caused any damage to the flesh, Taiwo said if real bullets were indeed fired, one bullet had the potency to kill three persons.