In a bid to unravel claims of mass killings by the military at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos during the EndSARS protest, the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS and the Lekki shootings, yesterday paid an unscheduled visit to the Military Hospital in Ikoyi, in search of its mortuary.
There had been speculations that the bodies of some protesters were dumped at the mortuary after being allegedly killed by soldiers while trying to dislodge them at the toll gate.
But gaining access to the mortuary was initially tough following a mild standoff between members of the panel and soldiers manning the gate of the military hospital.
The soldiers claimed that they were not aware of their coming and that it was against protocol coming without prior notice.
After initial resistance by the soldiers for about 30 minutes, the panel members were eventually allowed into the premises of the hospital. The soldiers apparently got approval from their superiors to allow the panel members into the hospital.
While inside, they were conducted round the military facility by General A. I. Taiwo. Surprisingly, no mortuary was found at the facility during the inspection.
General Taiwo disclosed to the panel that the hospital did not have a mortuary.
The panel members were also informed that the hospital had been under renovation in the past one year.
Addressing journalists before they were allowed into the military hospital, a member of the panel, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, said the panel had “confidential information” about the military hospital relevant to the investigation of the Lekki shootings of Tuesday, October 20, 2020.