The Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, has said there were no bloodstains at the scene of the October 20, 2020, Lekki shooting incident when the state governor visited.
Mr Muri-Okunola said this on Tuesday during his cross-examination at the Lagos Judicial Panel.
The official said when Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his entourage – which included himself – visited the Lekki toll plaza between 12:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. – few hours after the shooting, they did not see any bloodstains on the ground.
The Head of Service was earlier summoned by the panel to give evidence for the state on the controversial shooting of protesters by soldiers on the night of October 20, 2020.
At his first appearance before the panel last Tuesday, Mr Muri-Okunola said injuries recorded in the aftermath of the Lekki shooting were predominantly fractures, machete wounds, and minor cuts.
“At the time we were there, most of the injuries were all in the nature of cuts, bruises from machetes’ wounds, and stampede. Nobody at the hospitals said they were shot at,” he said.
No blood at the gate
Mr Muri-Okunola was cross-examined on Tuesday by counsels to the #EndSARS protesters, Olumide Fusika and Adeshina Ogunlana.
Mr Fusika took on the Lagos State official on his last testimony, saying it contradicts what doctors from Reddington and other hospitals that treated victims of the shooting told the panel.
Mr Fusika, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the video clip presented by the Head of Service during his last testimony was edited.
Although the counsel representing the state government, Abiodun Owonikoko, raised an objection to the line of question, the panel allowed the question.
Responding to the question, Mr Muri-Okunola said the video clip presented was the way it was “because cameras were not admitted at a point during the hospital visit.”
He added that the government only tendered the “relevant portion of the clip.”
Amidst the numerous questions thrown at him by counsels to #EndSARS protesters, Mr Muri-Okunola insisted that at the time the governor visited the hospital, they were informed that there were no persons with gunshot injuries.
Mr Fusika presented records from the hospitals that treated victims of gunshot injuries, asking the Head of Service to react to them.
“Either the hospital misled the governor or the governor misunderstood.
“We were informed by Reddington, Lekki, that the patients were not shot,” Mr Muri-Okunola said.
Following a series of questions to which Mr Muri-Okunola maintained the same position to, Doris Okuwobi, the chairperson of the panel adjourned the matter till July 3.