Tuesday, 15 June, 2021

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‘I saw 4 corpses at Lekki Tollgate when I came to pick my brother’s body’


One Mr. Nathaniel Solomon has told of how he saw about four bodies on the ground when he went to pick his brother’s remains at Lekki Tollgate in the aftermath of the shootings by soldiers on October 20.

Solomon was one of the 15 #ENDSARS protesters that, Friday, came to protest at the Lagos State Court of Arbitration and Mediation in Lekki, venue of Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS-related abuses and other matters.

He said: “The person in the picture is my younger brother, Abouta Solomon. We’re from Mubi North Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

“My brother was shot at Lekki Tollgate, on October 20. It was the Army that shot him.”

Asked why he felt it was the Army, Solomon said: “Because some boys that he was with told us that he had been shot, so we rushed there and picked up his corpse.

“I didn’t know when my brother left home for the tollgate. He never told me he was going there. He was living with me here in Lekki, at Marwa.

“Some boys called me. By then, my phone battery was flat and the phone had gone off. They called one of our brothers and told him that Abouta had been killed.

“His corpse was at Lekki Tollgate. There were people around at the time; protesters. He was laid on the grass in the middle of the road. He was already dead.

“We took him to St Paul’s Mortuary at Oyingbo. One of my brothers had a car, so we drove down there.”

Nathaniel said they first went to the Lagos Island General Hospital, but were told there was no space.

“They directed us to Oyingbo and we began driving around until we found the place. It’s on Ibadan Street. We kept his corpse there. The next day at about 4p.m., we took the corpse and travelled to the village and buried him.

“Everyone was there— my family, my village people. The name of the village is Keria, in Mubi North, Feli area.”

Solomon alleged that he saw other corpses at the tollgate, when he went to pick his brother.

He said: “That night when we took my brother’s corpse, we saw other people who had been shot; about four of them, on the floor. They were dead.

“I didn’t see any soldiers around. This was about 11p.m. I didn’t see any policemen, too.”

Responding to the question whether he informed government authorities about his brother’s death, Nathaniel said no, but that it was common knowledge in his neighbourhood.

“Everybody in Marwa knows,” he said, adding that despite online offers of cash assistance for Lekki shooting victims or their families, nobody approached him with help.

He further added that no one had induced him with money to keep quiet about Abouta’s death.

One of the survivors, Edwin Augustine, who was on crutches, said he didn’t see who fired the shots that pierced his thigh and that his companion was hit first around the chest.

Augustine said: “I was shot on October 20 at Lekki Tollgate. I didn’t see who shot me.

“I was at the snooker board when I heard gunshots. The first one was in the air. The second was direct at people. I wanted to follow someone to the charging spot to collect my phone, but he was shot right near his heart.

“Immediately he fell, I tried to turn and check what was wrong and I received mine on the thigh. I fell and I was unconscious. When I woke up the next day, I saw myself at the hospital.”

He said he had been receiving treatment at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

Another victim Damilola Ogunleke, with scars on his head, said a bullet hit him on the head and that he had undergone two surgeries already.

“I was shot in the head, but I didn’t see who shot me. It happened on the protest ground, Lekki Tollgate on the night of October 20, near Access Bank,” Ogunleke said.

Credit: Vanguard

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