Ifeoluwa Oyeleke, the mother of Jumoke, the salesgirl who was allegedly killed by a stray bullet during the Yoruba Nation rally in Lagos on July 3, has accused the police of keeping her daughter’s corpse.
Ifeoluwa stated this on Monday at a coroner’s inquest.
Agitators for the Yoruba Nation gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Park at Ojota amid the presence of armed policemen and soldiers.
Jumoke, 25, who displayed soft drinks at her boss’ shop in a compound close to the rally ground when security men chased some agitators into the premises, was hit by a stray bullet.
While the police denied killing her, witnesses said she was hit when the police opened fire on protesters.
The state government later set up a coroner’s inquest to unravel the circumstances surrounding her death.
While being cross-examined at the hearing on Monday, Jumoke’s mother said she learnt of her daughter’s death while in a tricycle.
“I was inside a tricycle while rushing back home after people called me to start coming home when passengers were saying that an innocent child was gunned down by the police and I didn’t even know that it was my daughter they were talking about. I have not seen her corpse up till now,” she added.
Jumoke’s boss, Olutosin Oyemade, while giving evidence before the court, confirmed that the corpse was carried away by the police.
She said, “The police came en masse and surrounded her body. They came to meet me and my dad that they wanted to carry her corpse away and we said they could not carry it because we wanted her mother to see her corpse, so they left.
“One of them later came back to meet me that they had to carry her corpse to avoid more death and I said if that was the case, I would have to follow them anywhere they were going. They carried her corpse into their van and my dad and I followed them to Area H, Ogudu.”
During cross-examination by the police counsel, Oyemade said the deceased had only spent about one month with her before the incident happened.
Following the evidence of the witnesses, the counsel for the family, Taiwo Olawanle, urged the court to order the police to release the body for burial.
However, the state counsel, O.E. Akide, said the state chief medical examiner said his team was not through with some processes to enable the release of the corpse.
The presiding magistrate, Chief Magistrate M.K.O. Fadeyi, urged the state counsel to find out why the corpse had not been released.
He adjourned the matter till September 6 for continuation of hearing.