A thirty-year-old man, Emmanuel Ajomafuwe, on Friday pleaded with the Lagos State Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS and Related Abuses to help him get justice for his girlfriend, Ada Ifeanyi, who, according to him, was shot dead by a policeman.
Another witness, Mrs. Hannah Olugbodi, narrated how her left leg was shattered by a stray bullet fired by officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) two years ago, while the widow of a Lagos State Traffic Management (LASTMA) officer, Rotimi Adeyemo, killed by a policemen at Iyana Ipaja two years ago asked for scholarships for her three children up to the university level.
Ajomafuwe told the panel, chaired by Justice Doris Okuwobi, that he was driving with his 20-year-old girlfriend, Ada, around 7am on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Apapa, Lagos when he
was accosted by a team of policemen who claimed that they flagged him down but he refused to stop.
Ajomafuwe said he told them he did not see them stopping him as it was raining.
He said the development led to an argument between them and the police.
He said: “Due to the argument between me and the police while I was still inside the car, I was shot on the head by Inspector Dania Ojo.
“Inspector Dania Ojo also shot my girlfriend on her leg and stomach.
“I was lucky to survive the life-threatening injury to my head but my girlfriend died,” Ajomafuwe said.
The petitioner said while he was grateful to be alive, he had continued to suffer from psychological trauma from the incident.
He said he resorted to taking sleeping pills when he continued to find it difficult to sleep at night.
“I have had a brain scan at Reddington Hospital where I was admitted. I have done a check-up in Dubai due to my sleeplessness.
“My sanity has not been the same after the incident. Anytime I remember Ada, I feel very bad,” Ajomafuwe said.
He said while six members of the police team involved in the incident were arrested at the time, Inspector Dania Ojo, who pulled the trigger on him and his girlfriend, escaped and the police had not given him any update on him.
He also said none of the policemen was punished.
He said: “I want the judicial panel to remind the Nigeria Police to arrest and prosecute Inspector Dania Ojo and to fulfil their promise to pay my medical expenses.”
However, the police counsel, Joseph Ebosereme, sought an adjournment to cross-examine the petitioner.
The panel adjourned the case till December 11.
How SARS shattered my left leg, by hairdresser
In her own testimony, Mrs Olugbodi, a 35-year-old hairdresser, said her left leg was shattered by a stray bullet fired by officers of the disbanded SARS two years ago.
Olugbodi, a mother of two, said she now walks about with the aid of a crutch.
She said the incident happened in June 2018 when men of the SARS were attempting to arrest a young man with tattoo on his body suspected to be a ‘yahoo boy’ in the Ijeshatedo area of Lagos.
According to Olugbodi, the policemen had arrived one Ogun City Hotel, Ijeshatedo, to demand money to fuel their vehicle.
In the process, she said they saw a young man with tattoo on his body among some young men watching a football match at the hotel.
The petitioner said the owner of the hotel, one Abu, who usually gave men of the SARS money for fuel, was not around when they arrived.
She said an attempt by the SARS operatives to arrest and take the boy with tattoo away was resisted by the other boys who insisted that the boy was not a yahoo boy.
She said this made the SARS operatives to start firing their guns to scare the boys in the area away.
Olugbodi said she was at Ijeshatedo Market trying to buy pepper with which to prepare food for her children when she was hit by a stray bullet.
She said the market women rushed towards her and asked her for her address and the name of her husband which she managed to give before passing out.
She said she was eventually taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital where they said there was no bed space and she was given four bags of intravenous fluid right inside a bus.
“The bullet hit me in the left leg and affected my bone. It left a hole in the bone of my left leg.
“The doctor said they needed to do four surgeries on my leg.”
She said the first surgery had been performed which left her walking with the aid of a crutch because one leg is now longer than the other and her legs are no longer balanced.
“The second surgery would involve cutting my bone because the bone did not survive and has a hole in it from where the bullet entered,” she said.
Olugbodi said she spent six months in LUTH and that the doctor told her she needed to return two years later for a follow-up surgery.
Under cross examination by the police counsel, he insisted that the SARS operatives came from Gbagada.
told him that the stray bullet was fired by SARS operatives from Gbagada.
Justice Okuwobi adjourned the case till December 8 for further hearing.
Mrs Silifat Adeyemo, widow of Rotimi Adeyemo, asked the judicial panel to help secure scholarship for her three children up to the university level.
Mrs Adeyemo told the panel that her husband was at his duty post in November, 2018 at the Iyana Ipaja roundabout when he was killed by an official of the SARS named Olakunle Olonade.
The widow said her husband was at home on the fateful day until about 2pm when it was time for him to resume for the afternoon duty.
Amidst tears, the witness said both of them left their home together as she also wanted to buy certain things.
She said when they got to Iyana Ipaja, she left him and went to buy the items.
She said on her way back, she saw him still working at his duty post.
She said: “I told him I was going home and he said I should go and prepare beans for him. He said he was coming. He even bought a phone and gave it to me to configure for him.”
She said at about 10pm when her husband should have returned home, she didn’t see him.
Rather, she said it was her sister-in-law and a friend that came in and told her that her husband had an accident and had been taken to the National Orthopedic Hospital (NOH), Igbobi.
She said she was taken to her family house where the news of her husband’s death was eventually broken to her.
She said since that time, things had not been the same for her.
“I pass through Iyana-Ipaja every day because that is my route to work and I go through psychological and emotional pains each time I see where my husband died. I have not been stable since then,” she said.
She alleged that the policeman who killed her husband was not brought to justice by the authority.
She said he was only mobbed at the scene of the incident because her husband was loved by people in the area.
Asked what she wanted the panel to do for her, she said: “I want the panel to help me financially because it has not been easy ever since he left me to care for our two kids.
“The future of my children is most paramount to me. I want them to be given good education up to the university level. I don’t know if they can grant them scholarship up to university. I also want them to give us a good house to live in.”
Under cross-examination by the police counsel, the widow said the policeman who killed her husband was lynched by the mob the day her husband was killed.
The police counsel then asked: “would you be surprised to discover that the policeman who killed your husband was lynched that day?
Responding, the widow said: “He was not lynched that day.”
“But he later died?” the police lawyer asked.
“I don’t know,” the woman said.
“Will you be surprised if I present the death certificate and mortuary receipt for the Inspector Olakunle Olonade?” the police counsel asked, to which the widow replied: “Let me see.”
The widow, however, admitted that the Lagos State Government gave her N10million .
She said the money had been exhausted.
According to her, her children were about a year-old at the time her husband was shot by the police.
Justice Okuwobi adjourned the matter till December 11 for the continuation of cross-examination