As Lagos state Judicial Panel continues to investigate cases of human rights abuses by officers of defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), some victims of the shooting of unarmed protesters on October 20 at Lekki tollgate, have come out to share their horrifying ordeals.
In an interview with AriseTV on Friday, December 4, victims of the incident relayed their sad stories following the judicial panel’s call for witnesses of the shooting to show up in order to help investigation.
The call was made amid conflicting reports from Federal and Lagos state government as well as Nigerian Army over the true happenings on the night of October 20.
One of the victims, Edwin Augustine recounted how he went for the protest with a friend on that fateful day and got hit by bullet from military men who stormed the tollgate.
He expressed that the bullet was yet to be removed from his body, stressing;
I was at the snooker board that night but I don’t know how to play snooker. I was standing with him while he was playing. I was like let me go and check my phone that was charging. The lights went off and we were like what is wrong?
The next thing I heard was shooting everywhere. The guy that was leading me to the charging point was shot at the side. I received my own on my thigh. Right now the bullet is still in me. It has not yet been removed.
The next day, I woke up and saw myself at Ikeja General Hospital.
The bullet in me is giving me discomfort and affecting my leg, making it swell everyday. Sometimes my leg gets stiff. Sometimes I wonder why the government is saying they didn’t shoot at us while I am still having the bullet in my bod.
Mr Tunde Odeyemi, father of another victim, recounted how he met his son in the hospital after the shooting.
I met him lying down, being treated by the corner of the hospital. He couldn’t talk to me, he couldn’t open his eyes. I was surprised to see him in that position.
I had to try and see the doctor so he can be transferred to Ikeja. They wrote a letter that he should be transferred that night but they said there was no ambulance. It was the next day in the night that they brought us to the emergency ward in Ikeja .
That very day, they asked us to go do an X-Ray of the brain. When the doctor studied it, he noticed that that there was blood at the front and back of the brain and he said that is why he (the son) cannot say anything now and that when they start giving him drugs, the blood will vanish.
It was about 5 days later that he started talking. He did not get himself well until when they discharged us from the hospital.
He stated that his son was discharged and asked to come back in January to pick a date for further checkup.
The man said he took him to his house and has since employed the service of a nurse who caters for him at home.
On her part, Olufunmi Aiyedungbe spoke about her brother, Aiyedungbe Gabriel Ayoola, who she said died during the protest.
A tearful Olufunmi said her deceased brother was shot in the head, stressing;
I am speaking on behalf of my brother Aiyedungbe Gabriel Ayoola. He was shot in the head. We were actually looking for him because he doesn’t stay with us so it was like two days before he passed on that somebody sent this(a message) to me on whatsapp. They wrote it there that he is at LASUTH and that they are looking for his family. So we went to LASUTH,
They said he was unconcious for like two weeks. By the time we got there, he had opened his eyes and he was moving his hands but he couldn’t talk. They were feeding him through his nose. There was sore all over his body because they did not turn him for a long time. I think he did not get medical attention. That was what led to his death eventually.
Watch a video of the victims and some of their family members speaking below;