An Ebute-Meta Magistrates’ Court in Lagos has ordered the police to prepare a warrant of burial for an 18-year-old girl, Monsurat Ojuade, allegedly shot by a policeman on September 10, 2021.
The order was given by Senior Magistrate Bola Folarin-Williams. She said the court would sign the warrant to allow the police to release the body to the family for burial.
The order is also following what was scheduled to be the commencement of a preliminary inquest into the alleged murder.
The Ojuade family counsel, Israel Mbaebie, had written to the Chief Coroner of Lagos State on Monday, requesting an investigation of the circumstances leading to the teenager’s death. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana had also requested an inquest into the incident.
Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Oseni Razak represented the police, from the State Criminal Investigation Department.
The inquest was stalled as parties had not been able to file the statement on oath of their witnesses.
Afterward, Folarin-Williams ordered both parties to prepare their witness statements on oath, file them before the court and also serve each other.
She told parties that the inquest aimed to probe how the incident happened, and advise the state government on how to avert such occurrence in the future, adding that the procedure was not set out to determine anyone’s guilt or innocence.
“We can’t start anything today, but there is going to be an enquiry into this case. When doing an enquiry, we don’t say this person is guilty; it is to advise the government to avert it in the future”.
Mr Mbaebie also told the court that the corpse was yet to be buried as the police took it away to carry out an autopsy.
The police counsel affirmed that the autopsy had been conducted.
Mbaebie, therefore, apply for the release of the deceased corpse for burial, adding that the autopsy was done on Monday, September 20 and he has sent a message to the DSP.
“We have two requests: one, that the stray bullet narrative should be changed, that it was deliberate. Six men were paraded at Ikeja, and nobody showed the family who the killer of their daughter was.
“Despite several attempts, the family is yet to know the true identity of the killer of their daughter. Last Friday on September 24, a young man was arraigned before your learned brother in Court One Yaba.
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