A magistrate has ordered the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos Command to produce a warrant, which the court will sign for the release of the corpse of one Monsurat Ojuade, who was shot dead by a police officer on September 10, 2021.
Senior Magistrate, Bola Folarin-Williams, of the Magistrate Court 5, in Ebute Metta, made the order on Wednesday, during a preliminary Inquest into the murder.
Lawyer for the Ojuade family, Israel Mbaebie,
had written to the Chief Coroner of Lagos State on Monday, requesting an investigation of the circumstances leading to the 18-year old’s death. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana had also requested an inquest into the incident.
Police Chief Superintendent, Oseni Razak represented the Police, from the State Criminal Investigation Department.
While, the late Miss Ojoade’s father, Nurudeen; her uncle, Waheed; as well as sisters, Tosin and Olaide all attended the hearing along with the family’s lawyer. Israel Mbaebie.
The magistrate told parties that the aim of the coroner’s inquest was to probe how the incident happened, and advise the state government on how to avert such occurrence in future. She added that the procedure was not set out to determine the guilt or innocence of anyone.
Mr Mbaebie also told the court that the corpse is yet to be buried as the police took it away in order to carry out an autopsy.
The police counsel also affirmed that the autopsy has now been conducted.
In her response, Chief Magistrate, ruled that the corpse should be released to the family for burial, without any further delay, and asked the Police Prosecutor to prepare the warrant of release and transmit it to the court for signing.
Further hearing is fixed for October 20.
A Police Sergeant, Samuel Philips, who has now been dismissed over the act, appeared at a Magistrates’ Court in Yaba, last Friday before Chief Magistrate Adeola Adedayo.
He is alleged to have fired at Miss Ojoade hitting her on her two thighs, while on a criminal raid on September 10, 2021, at the Ijeshatedo area of Lagos State.
The defendant is now remanded at the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Ikoyi, pending an advice from the Lagos State’s Director of Public Prosecution, for the murder trial to be heard at the High Court instead, which has the jurisdiction to hear charges relating to capital offences, including homicide.