The cops watched us carry the tailor’s apprentice they killed in Lagos – an eyewitness account

Posted by on Nov 8, 2020, Under: News

The cops watched us carry the tailor’s apprentice they killed in Lagos – an eyewitness account

A witness to the police murder of a tailor apprentice from Lagos spoke of the incident in an interview with The PUNCH.

Kingsley Charles, 34, is an entrepreneur who risked being shot while trying to rescue 20-year-old tailor apprentice Femi Orojo, who was allegedly killed by officers from Pedro Police Station. Somolu, Lagos state, October 21. He shares his experience with TOBI AVORINDE.

What happened on the day Femi Orojo was killed?

When the accident happened, I was not there. I was told why there are shootings in the area all day. I live about 500 meters from Pedro Police Station. Femi was a student in one of the shops near where I live, so we knew him well. The accident took place on a street far from where I live. I don’t know exactly what happened or how it happened. But I was told that police from the Pedro Police Station (Somolu, Lagos State) were shooting in Bolaji Omupo Street. Femi’s younger brother said that they wanted to go past Pedro police station, but these guys chased them, saying that they could not go through this place. But when they tried to go back and cross Bolaji Omupo Street to take another road that led to where they were going, the police started shooting. I do not know why.

The gate at the end of Bolaji Omupo Street was closed; of which I am very sure. Then the police officers thrust their weapons into the gate openings and started shooting in the street. Thus, the bullet hit Femi. He fell near the ditch, fleeing. I have a video where it fell.

We couldn’t get to him for over an hour because the cops kept shooting and it went on for a very long time. Everyone was afraid to go and bring Femi. It took over an hour before we were able to reach his body. It was too late by then.

Were you at home when you started hearing shots?

Yes, i was.

How long after the shooting of Lekka on October 20 did this incident take place?

It happened the next morning. This incident took place on October 21st.

The atmosphere in the area should have been tense …

Yes it was. It is my understanding that the officers at Pedro Police Station were probably trying to prevent the attack on them. But the truth is, they had no excuse to shoot straight into the street. I can understand if you’re shooting in the air, but when you aim at people, I don’t know any explanation or excuse that can be given to that. Femi was only 19 years old. He was not the only one shot there, but the rest were lucky enough to survive. The bullets hit them and they weren’t fatal. The people managed to get them to the hospital on time.

Have any of your neighbors been injured?

No, but there was a lot of tension. I sent my girlfriend somewhere to buy me something at a bus stop in the area before filming began. Everyone was so scared. I kept calling her, but she couldn’t even pick up the phone, let alone answer the call. It happened all day long. I couldn’t even take Femi by car, because hardly anyone wanted me to go. Everyone was so scared that something might happen to me if I went there. Even when we took Femi’s body, several police officers stood at the gate and looked at us. I had to hide. I cannot explain this experience because I had to drive the car so that he didn’t think I had an ulterior motive and didn’t start shooting at me when I went after him. It was a terrifying experience. This is an experience that no one would ever want to witness.

How many of you went after Femi’s body?

There were four or five of us. There was also a tailor with whom Femi was under his care. His mother came too. We had to get in there and use some kind of machines there as a shield to prevent bullets from hitting us. Here’s how we did it.

How difficult was it to get the body to the morgue due to the curfew?

It was quite difficult because when we arrived at the morgue, they initially refused to accept the body. But after a while we had to pay some money. But one of the reasons it was difficult was that they insisted that we produce a certificate of his death. And since we couldn’t take him to the hospital, because he didn’t die there, there was no way to get a death certificate. So we had to pay some money and then promise that we would find a way to get a death certificate to issue it. It took about two hours before they took the body to the morgue.

Where was Femi killed?

He was shot in the back and the bullet came out of his chest. His family has a photograph of his body. Everyone was very scared and we could not leave his body there. Moreover, all gates in the streets were closed. Even people with keys refused to leave the house to open the gate and get to his body. Even as we carried his body, the police continued to shoot. This is an experience that no one wants to do twice. All night long the police kept shooting

Source: The PUNCH