Sunday 14 March 2021

#EndSARS: Reddington Hospital Presents Medical Records Of Lekki Tollgate Victims

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The Nigerian Army has been accused of opening fire with live bullets on peaceful protesters at the Toll Gate demanding an end to police brutality using the hash tag #EndSARS.


According to a report by The Nation, the popular Reddington Hospital Lagos, Saturday produced the medical records of some of the patients it treated following the Lekki toll gate ‘shootings’ of last October 20.

One of the hospital’s trauma and orthopaedic surgeons, Dr. Babajide Lawson, presented the case files to the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS and the Lekki Tollgate Incident.

The Nigerian Army has been accused of opening fire with live bullets on peaceful protesters at the Toll Gate demanding an end to police brutality using the hash tag #EndSARS.

Some of the protesters have submitted petitions to the panel alleging that men of the Army’s 81 Division shot at and killed several #EndSARS protesters that night, a claim the Army denied.

The Army has, however, shunned further appearance at the panel, without giving any reason.

The counsel to the panel, Jonathan Ogunsanya, told the panel that he now had in his possession a total of 25 case notes submitted by the hospital.

He noted that these were more detailed and would help give clarity to cases of petitioners before the panel.

Last month, Dr Lawson told the panel that the hospital dealt with mass casualties on October 20, but proper records of the number may not have been kept because the medical staff on duty were overwhelmed.

According to the doctor, the hospital was more concerned with saving lives and so did not prioritise the time patients arrived at its facility.

“On the night of this event, in the Lekki facility, when patients were brought in, it was a mass gathering situation in which case you have a large number of people presenting at the same time, literarily overwhelming the facility.

“In that kind of situation, there are lots of cases that might be compromised. If this patient says he was treated at the hospital, he can present at the hospital and get a medical report,”
 he said.

One of the patients treated at Reddington, Lucky Philemon, also testified yesterday.

Philemon, who now walks with the aid of crutches, had testified on February 27 that he was shot by soldiers at the toll gate on October 20, but the absence of his medical records before the panel had stalled proceedings.

Philemon is demanding to be paid compensation of N200m as damages for the inconvenience of losing his limbs as well as another $50,000 for Prosthetic limbs.

His counsel, John Uthman demonstrated to the panel that his client arrived at the hospital for treatment at about 9pm contrary to the insinuations by the counsel to the Lagos State Government that he presented himself for treatment at 11.30pm and could not have been shot at the Lekki toll gate.

The complete medical records of the petitioner showed that he received medical treatment at about 9pm and later at about 11.30pm.

A second witness Richard Oku who testified for the petitioner, Lucky Philemon also told the panel that at 6.45pm on October 20, the army arrived at the Lekki Toll Gate and started shooting.

The witness narrated how he helped the petitioner after he was shot.

He said: “I heard on radio that a protest was going on at the Lekki toll gate and I decided to go there around 4pm.

“At 6.45pm or so, we saw the army people arrive and started shooting. DJ Switch was on stage telling people to be calm and sit down. Some sat down, others could not bear it and started running.

“I also found a way to leave. I saw one man beside me shot. I saw another try to get up, his leg had been shot, he could not make it and other people were stepping on him and others as they were running. I stopped one man and we helped him to the side of the toll so that people would not step on him. I picked his phone and left him.

“I found my way to Lekki gate and I saw private cars stopping there. I approached them to help. I went back to the toll and helped an elderly woman and a young man to the hospital with the car that agreed to help.

“We went to an hospital in Ajah, Doreen Hospital. They were treated then. it was later that the petitioner’s brother called his phone which i had picked and that’s how I came to know his name and to also testify in his case.”

The panel adjourned to March 27 for the petitioner and Reddington Hospital to continue their testimonies.

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