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21.08.2021 Justice Police Stop Family of Murdered LASU Student Leader from Performing Autopsy

Published 21st Aug, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

Officers of Adoff Police Station in the Iba area of Lagos have told the family of Yusuf Nurudeen Alowonle, an education rights activist who was murdered in front of Lagos State University (LASU), not to perform an autopsy on the deceased’s body.

Alowonle’s murder raised controversies after it happened on Wednesday night. While some argued that he was shot dead, others believed he was stabbed by robbers.

In order to establish the actual cause of the death, the deceased’s family members, as well as Taiwo Hassan Soweto, the National Coordinator of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), a civil group where Alowonle was a state coordinator, went to the morgue at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Yaba, to recover the body for an autopsy.

“On our own part, we were only interested in recovering the corpse and allowing the dead rest,” Yusuf Nurudeen Temilolu, the family’s lawyer, told FIJ.

“But, what got me really infuriated was when the police insisted that we followed them to the station to sign an affidavit that we would not seek an autopsy.”

Omomewa

READ ALSO: LASU Students Protest Killing of Student Leader Held Back by SDC

Soweto also said that the conduct of the police officers raised suspicion of a cover-up.

“There was no refusal to release the remains of our comrade until the police intervened. I wonder why these officers from Adoff Police Station are only interested in how the dead would be buried but not an investigation into the actual crime,” he said.

“One of the mortuary attendants confirmed to me that the hole by the rib of Omomewa was a result of a gunshot wound. This pronouncement coincides with the testimony of Waheed Majekodunmi, the Senior Assistant Registrar at the Lagos State University, who had equally told us he sustained a gunshot injury.”

READ ALSO: Civil Rights Group Rejects LASU’s Statement on Murder of Student Leader at Campus Gate

Soweto asked whether the police had played any role in taking care of Omomewa’s remains before the Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit ( SEHMU) was invited to deposit the corpse in the morgue.

“Since the police said they were around the vicinity as of the time of the attack, how come they didn’t hear any gunshot or screams from the two victims?” he asked.

However, Grace Umelo, the Divisional Police Officer of Iba, claimed that “There was nothing like the police refraining the family from conducting an autopsy on the corpse”.

A source told FIJ that the Investigating Police Officer in charge of Alowonle’s case didn’t examine the corpse before drafting the police extract that would have facilitated the recovery of Alowonle’s remains.

Meanwhile, John Obafunwa, the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital’s chief pathologist, has directed that an autopsy be performed on the deceased’s body.

‘PERSECUTED TO DEATH’

Alowonle should have graduated in early 2020 but LASU delayed his clearance over an allegation of admission racketeering, a case he had been facing since 2019. On the day of his death, he appeared before a disciplinary panel of the school at about 2 pm.

“Omomewa was persecuted to death,” the family’s lawyer said.

“On the day he died, we both attended a sitting of the university’s panel against him on a case that was not known in the law of the school.”

Published 21st Aug, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

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