It has been a day of drama at the Lagos State Judicial Panel On Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters.

A man who claims to have been a victim of extra-judicial shooting by security forces of Lagos State has demanded compensation in the total sum of N225,450,000 from the government.

Lucky Philemon told the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Saturday, February 27, 2021 that he was one of the victims shot by soldiers at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.

Troops of the Nigerian Army had approached hundreds of Nigerian youths protesting against police brutality on the evening of the incident and opened fire at them.

While the military has since claimed that soldiers only fired blank ammunition to disperse the crowd, eyewitness accounts from the tragic day have accused security forces of shooting live ammunition, killing a yet-to-be-determined number of protesters, and injuring over 30 others.

Philemon told the panel on Saturday that he was protesting at the toll gate alongside others when soldiers attacked and shot him in the leg.

The construction worker said he was subsequently moved to Reddington Hospital in Victoria Island around 9 pm.

His left leg was eventually amputated at the hospital due to the injury he suffered from the toll gate shooting.

The petitioner prayed to the panel to award him $50,000 for foreign prosthetic limbs, N1.5 million for psychological support, N5 million for subsequent medical care, and N200 million as damages for inconvenience.

During a cross-examination, counsel for the Lagos State Government, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), pressed the petitioner for when he was shot and admitted to the hospital.

He said that contrary to Philemon’s claim, he wasn’t admitted to Reddington Hospital until around 11:30 pm, with the time of shooting estimated at 11 pm.

Owonikoko, citing a medical report from Reddington, said security forces of Lagos State could not have been responsible for the petitioner’s injury because they already left the toll gate at the recorded time of his shooting.

The lawyer further established that anyone that was out in public spaces in Lagos around 11 pm was doing so in violation of a 9 pm curfew order, and therefore could not hold the government responsible for injuries suffered.

Chairperson of the panel, the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, noted that the hospital records cited by Owonikoko was yet to be tendered as evidence before the panel.

The case was therefore adjourned indefinitely until Reddington can appear before the panel to provide evidence regarding many victims that they treated following the toll gate shooting.

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