Metro & Crime

#EndSARS: Judicial Panel visits military hospital in Lagos over lekki shooting

As part of its ongoing investigations into the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by the officers of the Nigerian Army, the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution of Victims of SARS and related abuses and Other Matters on Friday visited the Military Hospital, Falomo, Lagos.
The nine-man judicial panel paid an unscheduled and unannounced visit to the hospital on Friday with a pathologist.
The purpose of the visit was to inspect the morgue of the facility in relation to October 20 killing of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza.
However, arriving the facility at about 1.40pm, the military officers at the gate of the hospital prevented the panel from gaining access into the facility requesting that the media should not make video recordings or take photos.
Ms Patience Udoh, a member of the panel, informed the officers that the panel of inquiry had the backing of the Presidency and the law to pay unscheduled visits to any facility as part of their investigations.
The military officers, however, insisted that a letter should have been written informing the Nigerian Army of the panel’s visit beforehand.
Another member of the panel, Mr Ebun Adegboruwa (SAN) added that the pathologist was brought to conduct examinations on bodies that may be found at the hospital morgue.
“We are not just here on the authority of the government of Lagos State but that of the President. It was the National Executive Council that gave directives that this panel be set up. We are only following due process.
“If we are not allowed access, we will go back and take other options. We got confidential information that facilities at the Military Hospital, Ikoyi here will be relevant to our investigation.
“This hospital is controlled by the 65 Batallion, and we are taking steps to reach the authorities of the 65 Batallion. Therefore, informing the military beforehand would have defeated our purpose.
“We didn’t give them notice because of the importance of what we wanted to do. If we give information ahead of time, it will jeopardise our investigation,” Adegboruwa said.
Thereafter, At 2.18pm, a General of the Nigerian Army, A. I. Taiwo, eventually attended to the members of the judicial panel and the press.
The Chairman of the panel of inquiry, Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd) informed the General that the Military Hospital was one of the terms of reference of the panel and that the request of a tour into the facility should be granted.
Obliging her request, Taiwo told a military officer, Col. G.S Ogoh to take everyone present on a tour of parts of the facility and the morgue.


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