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Mother of salesgirl ‘shot’ during Yoruba Nation rally breaks down at court hearing

Mother of salesgirl ‘shot’ during Yoruba Nation rally breaks down at court hearing
August 09
17:07 2021

Ifeoluwa Oyeleke, mother of  Jumoke, the lady allegedly killed by a stray bullet during a rally in Lagos, broke down in tears on Monday, while narrating her experience before a court.

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On July 3, ‘Yoruba nation’ agitators converged on the Ojota area of Lagos to demand an independent state for the south-west region.

TheCable had reported that police shot into the air and used teargas to disperse the crowd.

During the protest, Jumoke, a 25-year-old salesgirl, was found dead after police fired shots to disperse agitators.

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Speaking on Monday during the coroner’s inquest, which is being held at the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court, Ogba, the deceased’s mother said she was at her place of work on the day of the incident, when she received several calls asking her to come home.

Jumoke’s mother said on her way from Ikeja, she overheard some passengers in a tricycle saying someone had been shot at Ojota, but she did not know it was her daughter.

The deceased’s mother said the corpse of her daughter had been taken away by the police before she got home, adding that she went to the Area H, Ogudu, Ojota police station with some of her relatives to ask for the body of her daughter.

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She noted that since the day the incident happened, she had not seen her daughter’s corpse.

“I work as a househelp. I was at work that day. My daughter usually goes to work by 7:30am. I was in the place where I was doing house chores, when some people started calling me to come home. The first person called, the second person did the same thing,” she said in Yoruba, while crying.

“When I discovered that the calls were too much, I left work. When I got home, I saw so many people in my brother’s sitting room. I asked them what happened, but nobody told me anything.

“That same day, while I was coming from Ikeja, I had overheard passengers saying an innocent lady in her shop was gunned down by the police.”

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She told the court that her daughter was seven years old when she lost her father, and that Jumoke had not spent up to three months in Lagos, after she had arrived from Osun state where she was previously residing.

Speaking as one of the witnesses, Olutosin Oyemade, employer of the deceased, said she was in choir rehearsal in a church around Gbagada axis, when she was called that her salesgirl was dead.

The ice cream distributor noted that when she got to her shop at Ojota axis, she saw the lifeless body of Jumoke on the ground with blood stains.

She noted that Jumoke’s corpse was taken away by some police officers to the Area H, Ogudu, Ojota police station.

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“On the 3rd of July, I was in Deeper Life Bible Church headquarters, Gbagada in a choir practice. I got a call that the person working for me was killed by a stray bullet. The person initially said a boy, and I was surprised when the person now said it was a girl,” she said.

“I knew there was a protest that day but I heard from the news that the protest had been cancelled. I gave her instructions before leaving for the choir rehearsal. When I got the call, I quickly left the church. When I got to the scene, I saw her lifeless body with blood.”

During cross-examination, S.A. Adegbeshin, representative of the police, asked about the salary of the deceased.

“It is N15,000,” Oyemade responded.

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During the hearing, Taiwo Olawanle, counsel to the deceased’s family, sought an application that the court should issue a warrant of burial, so that Jumoke’s corpse could be retrieved.

Responding, M.K.O. Fadeyi, the chief magistrate, said he is going to inquire from the chief medical examiner if the examination of the corpse has been completed.

The chief magistrate also appealed to members of the public who had reliable information to come forward to the court.

The case was adjourned till September 6, 2021 for the hearing of more witnesses’ testimonies.

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