No Gunshot Wounds on Deceased Mobitel Boss - Expert

  • Monday, November 21, 2005 - By Chika Amanze-Nwachuku
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A professor of Forensic Medicine, Dr. Williams Odesanmi, who conducted the second autopsy on the late President of Mobitel, Engr. Charles Alaba Joseph has insisted that the victim died of multiple fractures of the skull due to a fall from a height.

In his evidence yesterday, at the Lagos High Court venue of the Coroner's inquest, Odesanmi, a forensic expert from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) declared that "based on the review of the initial autopsy report and pictures as well as our autopsy re -examination, we are of the opinion that the cause of death is multiple fractures of the skull associated with lacerations of the brain due to a fall from a height. There were no gun shot wounds to the head or any other part of the body"
Odesanmii who diagreed with Prof. Oladapo Obafunwa's report that the victim died due to gun shot injuries, also debunked reports earlier credited to him that the deceased jumped to death.

Obafunwa, a Pathologist of great repute who carried out the very first autopsy had concluded that the cause of Joseph's death was skull fractures due to gun shot on the head.He had also ruled out the possibility that the victim jumped to death.

But Odesanmi who faulted the first report, stated that what was decribed as bullet wound on the first report was a blow out wound which was as a result of accidental fall.

He noted that the analysis which he conducted with three other experts showed that both the eye leads and the eye balls of the deceased were not damaged, contending that it is not possible for a bullet to pass through the eyes without shattering them.

He claimed that what they saw were fractures virtually every where at the base of the skull, arguing that if there was gun shot, there would have been definite bullet hole.

Odesanmi, who concluded that the fractures of the base of the skull are not consistent with gun shot, alleged that the deceased landed on his head because it was an accidental fall.

It would be recalled that Engr Joseph was found dead in the pool of his blood on a balcony in his office on September 15. It was the same day Mr. Kemi Pinhero, an appointed receiver/manager had gone to take over the company due to alleged unpaid debt.

In a bid to ascertain the true cause of his death, two autopsies were conducted on his body but the results were conflicting, a situation which prompted Lagos State Government to apply for a Coroner's inquest to unravel the cause of the mysterious death.

Last Saturday, a team of Pathologists from the Nebraska Institute of Foresic Science, in the company of three of their Nigerian counterparts, exhumed the body for a fresh autopsy after which they concluded that the victim did not jump to death. They stated that they could not ascertain gun shot becaused some of the bones and tissues were missing and could not been examined.

So far, about 12 witnesses have given evidence before the coroner, Mrs. Ayo Odugbesan.The Inquest continues today.

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