A 65-year old man, Olukayode Omotosho, narrated to the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other Matters how he picked a bullet shell from a Special Anti-Robbery Squad gun that hit and killed a physically challenged man.
Omotosho, a deputy registrar at Yaba College, said that before the victim of the stray bullet Francis Eni Idun, was killed on July 15, he was with him till past 5pm, on Sunday July 14, 2019, at Christ Apostolic Church, Shilon Street, Ilupeju Lagos.
He said that on July 15, 2019, he was in his office when he received a call that Idun has been killed in a street at Agishegiri Street, Ilupeju.
“I quickly picked my car and rushed down to the place, when I got there, I saw a large crowd there, it took me sometime to get there, when I eventually got there, I saw Eni Idun, he was down with blood on his shirt, he was a physically challenged person.
“His occupation is cleaning, he cleans people’s houses, each morning when he wakes up, he goes to the next house to clean their bath room, toilet and then move to the next house”, Omotosho said.
The witness who was led in examination by Mr M.M Sanni, said by the time he got to the scene of crime, he heard people saying ah! this man has been killed by Akeem Mohammed AKA, Sokoda, a SARS operative from Ladipo Mushin Station and no one dares remove the corpse.
He testified that he picked up a bullet shell beside the dead victim close to his head and also took his picture.
Omotosho said, “I picked up the bullet shell beside him, he was hit on the head and the bullet was very close to his head so I picked it”.
He further testified that the people on the street were shouting that Akeem Sokoda must come and carry the corpse.
Omotosho said according to eye witnesses in the area, Akeem and his colleagues came in a Toyota Corolla with tinted glass.
“Not quite long as we were there looking at the dead body, the Police came with a lot of policemen and siren and started tear gassing people who began running and there was a stampede”, he said.
“I had the effrontery to ask their commander, who said he is the area Commander from Area F, and carried the corpse away, after that the police went to the houses of people to arrest them and also extorted them before they were released”, he said.
The witness further told the panel that the corpse of the victim was dumped in a container in Yaba beside the Military Hospital.
“When I got to the mortuary, I was told by the mortuary attendant that the corpse was not in the mortuary, that I should check the container. He said that those in the container are for mass burial, they said before the corpse can be removed from the container and kept in a real mortuary, we have to pay N10,500”, he stated.
Omotosho also said that it was the investigative Police Officer that directed them to the mortuary, where the corpse of the deceased was found in a container.
He said, “There was an autopsy carried out which showed the cause of death was gun shot to the head, his aged parents at Cross River requested that we bring him home for burial”.
The witness stated that in less than an hour of after the incident ocourred Police public relation officer, SP, Bala Elkana, released a press statement that Francis Eni Idun was killed by hoodlums.
According to the people that were on ground before I got there, they said that immediately Akeem Sokoda got to the area, people started running and Sokoda fired the gun and unfortunately the bullet hit Francis Idun.
“I wrote a petition to the Assistant Inspector General of Police on July 18, 2019, three days after he was killed, made copies to the Lagos state Governor, DPO, Ilupeju police station, Area Commander Area F, Commissioner of Police Alagbon Annex, on August 9, Civil Liberty organisation and on our behalf they sent a petition to the commissioner of Police at Ikeja and the office of the Public defender OPD, on August 30, sent petition to the police.”
During cross examination, by the police counsel Cyril Ejiofor, the witness said that the container where the corpse was dumped was inside the hospital premises.
He said that they also traced the vehicle to where it was packed outside in Mushin SARS office.
Omotosho said he doesn’t know the name of the person he paid N10,500 to at the mortuary for them to remove the corpse from the container.
The brother of the deceased victim Sunday Eni Idun, also corroborated Omotosho’s testimony.
Idun, an Aluminum Fabricator, who resides in Delta state, said that his late elder brother was the bread winner of the family.
He said that after his parents heard the news of his brother’s death, his father had high blood pressure and it developed to stroke.
Idun who said he had since lost his job and asked the panel to help compensate his family, adding there is no improvement in the health of his parents and that he had to take them home from the hospital as he couldn’t pay the hospital bill.
“When I got to Lagos, I was told that the police shot my brother, we can not afford the services of a lawyer, the only thing we did was that a lawyer in Christ Apostolic Church helped us to draft a petition after that we also went to the OPD and they helped us to write a petition and sent it to the police, we didn’t hear anything again until three months ago, when I received a call from Lagos State Ministry of Justice, that based on COVID-19, after the lockdown they are going to call me to their office, it was while I was waiting for their call that I heard about this panel, so I felt it was an opportunity to write a petition to this panel”, Idun said.
While being cross examined the witness said that he got a call on the 15 of July 2019 and traveled down to Lagos on the 16.
He said, “The Commissioner of Police abandoned our petition because we are poor, the DPP, did not call me until the effort I made. They said they were going to call me and I have been waiting for their call until I heard about this judicial panel”.