A preliminary inquest into the death of Monsurat Ojuade, an 18-year-old girl, who was shot by a police officer in Surulere, Lagos, was held Wednesday with the deceased’s family demanding a photograph of the killer cop.
Israel Mbaebie, the lawyer to the family, told the coroner that the public needs to know the identity of the police officer.
Mr Mbaebie said the police had arraigned six men on September 24 over the teenager’s death.
“Late Monsurat was not killed by six men, just one person whom the police have identified as Sergeant Philip, but have failed to provide his picture or even his service number,” the lawyer said.
“The family is demanding that they know what the killer of their daughter looks like.”
After initial attempts to shield the identity of the trigger-happy officer and claiming that the deceased was killed by a stray bullet, the police announced it had dismissed the culprit identified, as Samuel Philip, a sergeant.
Last week, a magistrate court in Yaba ordered the officer’s remand for 30 days, pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution.
Mr Mbaebie, through a letter presented to the court, demanded the body of the victim should be released to the family for burial.
The coroner, Bola-Folalarin Williams, explained that the purpose of the inquest is not to make accusations.
“When we talk about an inquiry to know how things happened, why did it happen and how to avert it from happening in the future. From the trial and inquiry, the court advises the state government on measures to take (so) as to make the state safer for all of us,” she said.
Mrs Willams instructed the counsels to provide the names of their witnesses and all necessary documents for the case to the court before the inquest properly begins.
She also directed the police to ensure that the body of the deceased is released to the family for burial and adjourned the matter till October 20.