Olamide Erinfolami, the wife of a police officer who was killed during the #EndSARS protest in Lagos has accused the Nigerian Police Force of killing her husband.
In her petition before the judicial panel set up in Lagos to investigate excesses of the disbanded SARS unit and other arms of the police, Mrs Erinfolami said her husband was killed while the police were trying to quell the #EndSARS protest at Surulere area of Lagos on October 12.
Gbemiga Ogunleye, the counsel to the victim, told the panel that the inspector was shot when the police tried to stop the protest aggressively.
Mr Ogunleye submitted video evidence of the shooting of the officer, which was admitted as an exhibit by the panel.
Her husband, Ayodeji Erinfolami, then a police inspector, served in the Anti-Cultism and Kidnapping unit, Area C, Surulere.
He had served in the Nigerian Police Force for 18 years before he was shot on October 12.
The widow, who lives in Ado-Ekiti with her children, told the panel that the police authorities did not call the family to inform them of the death of the inspector.
“On October 12, I was in Ado-Ekiti because I don’t live with him. He called me in the morning that he was going to the office and I told him to call me when he gets to work.
“I went to the market and till I came back in the evening, I did not hear from him. Around 5 p.m., someone called that have I seen what happened,” she said.
Mrs Erinfolami said she was shown the video of her husband shot and his intestines spilling out of his body.
Mr Erinfolami was one of the victims of the October 12 shooting incident where people were shot while the police were trying to quell the peaceful #EndSARS protest.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Ikechukwu Ilohamauzo, a 55 years old driver, was also killed by a stray bullet allegedly shot by police officers.
Speaking on the death of her husband, Mrs Erinfolami added that the corpse of the officer is being withheld with an excuse that an autopsy will be done. Till her testimony before the panel, no autopsy was carried out neither has the corpse been released.
Mrs Erinfolami, who was among the six widows presented a N10 million cheque each by the Lagos State Government, appreciated the gesture of the government but noted that money cannot bring back her husband.
Cyril Ejiafor, the counsel to the police, during cross-examination, said there is no evidence that the deceased was shot by a police officer.
Speaking on the failure of the police force to call or visit the family, Mr Ejiafor said the widow cannot be sure the police did not visit the two-bedroom apartment of the victim in Lagos.
“I’m not trying to embarrass you, will you be surprised that you are not the next of kin of your husband?,” Mr Ejiafor asked to further justify the act of the police.
The widow said her 10-year-old son is the next of kin and the police did not reach out since she would be the one they would call before speaking to him.
She lamented that the police neglected her husband after being shot during the protest and gave the family no information.
“Were you told that as at the time he was rushed to the hospital, he was still alive? He was rushed to a nearby hospital at Surulere, where he was treated before he was referred to another hospital,” Mr Ejiafor said.
On the allegation that the officer was killed by the police, the counsel said the family have failed to provide evidence.
“For 18 years that your husband has been in the service of the police, did he complain of having any issue with another officer? Who killed him?,” Mr Ejiafor said.
He added that the officer was shot by one of the protesters.
The police counsel asked the panel for an adjournment to enable the police bring a witness.
Dorris Okuwobi, the retired judge heading the panel, adjourned the matter till January 15, 2021.
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