A pathologist, Dr Oluwaseun Williams on Thursday told a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja that Kolade Johnson, a 35-year-old football fan allegedly killed by a policeman at the Mangoro area of Lagos, suffered six gunshot injuries.
Williams made the revelation, while testifying as a prosecution witness, in the on going trial of Ogunyemi Olalekan, a dismissed police inspector accused of murder.
Olalekan, was arraigned before Justice Adenike Coker by the Lagos State government on a one count charge of murder.
According to the prosecution, the defendant, who worked with the Special Anti-Cultism Squad (SACS) of the Nigeria Police, committed the alleged murder at 5.10p.m. on March 31, 2019, on Onipetesi Estate, Mangoro, Lagos State.
The state accused the former police inspector of unlawfully killing Johnson by shooting him with a AK47 rifle in the lower abdomen.
The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Yhaqub Oshoala insisted that the offence contravenes Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
While being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mr Abayomi Omotubora, Williams, the sixth prosecution witness, said when he examined the deceased he discovered four injuries on his body.
The witness, who is a Consultant Pathologist at the Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital said that he had practised pathology for 10 years.
While interpreting an autopsy report (Exhibit D2) during the cross-examination he disclosed that there were four injuries on the thigh, two injuries on the hands, one on the right hemiscrotum (either half of a scrotum), one on the left hemiscrotum of the deceased.
He claimed, “The injury on the left hemiscrotum was an abrasion which could be from anything and the second hand injury was not related to injuries caused by gunshots.
“Six of the injuries were related to the penetrative missiles. The injuries on the thigh were through and through. There are features that are suggestive that they were caused by firearm missiles.
“We counted six injuries identified as firearm injuries,” he said.
The anterior defects in the right hemiscrotum and thigh had dark burn edges caused by something hot and penetrative at the same time which is suggestive of a bullet,” he stated.
Williams further testified that a wound on the deceased’s left hand was a gunshot injury while the injury on the right hand was a laceration.
“In this case, the cause of death was gunshot injuries,” Williams told the court.
Earlier, while being led in evidence by Oshoala, Williams narrated how he carried out an autopsy on April 10, 2019, on Johnson’s corpse.
The witness said prior to the autopsy, the body of the deceased was identified by the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) from the State Criminal Investigation Division (SCID), Panti, Lagos.
The pathologist insisted that as part of the autopsy, a verification of all relevant documents and coroner’s papers was done and the body was identified via a name tag.
He added that a forensic photography of the corpse was conducted.
“The clothing was examined for defects and, in this instance, it was blood-soaked. The contents of his wallet which included ATM cards and a slip, which I believe was a football betting slip, were removed.
“We removed the clothing with the assistance of our morticians and it was released to the family of the deceased. We did a thorough examination of the body – front and back.
“We were able to identify multiple defects both anterior and posterior on the right lower limbs.
A further examination of these defects revealed injuries with round burnt edges which are suggestive of firearm injuries or gunshot.
“On further examination of these defects, we were able to identify defects in the tissues of the lower limbs as well as a destruction of the lower limbs,” he said
Williams said that Johnson’s right femoral vessel which supplied blood to the lower limbs were totally separated and destroyed by bullets which penetrated his front thigh and passed through the back of his thigh.
“Due to the through and through injury that we found on the lower limb, we were not expecting to retrieve any bullet due to the trajectory of the missile.
“In the right thigh, there was destruction caused by multiple gunshot injuries,”the pathologist said.
Williams said that on conclusion of the autopsy, his team prepared an interim report for the IPO of the case, adding that the original copy of the death certificate was issued to Johnson’s family.
Justice Coker adjourned the case until March 19 for continuation of trial.