The Ondo State High Court in Akure has ordered the state government to pay N30 million in compensation to a commercial motorcyclist who lost his leg to a gunshot by the state’s security network agency code-named Amotekun.
The motorcyclist, Oluwarotimi Oluwasegun, said in his suit that Amotekun men shot him in the Araromi area of Akure, the Ondo State capital, on 9 August 2021, leading to the amputation of his left leg about a month after.
Determined to get justice, Mr Oluwasegun, 36, through his lawyer, Tope Temokun, sued the Ondo State Government at the High Court.
Delivering judgement on the suit on Wednesday, the judge, Omolara Adejumo, awarded N30 million against the Ondo State Government and the Amotekun Corps, the claimant’s lawyer, Mr Temokun, said in a statement he shared with PREMIUM TIMES.
“In awarding this sum, the court condemned in the strongest terms the illegal shooting of the applicant (Mr Oluwasegun) in the leg that led to the amputation of his leg,” Mr Temokun stated.
Mr Temokun filed the suit on behalf of his client on 28 October 2022, over a year after the incident happened.
The lawyer said he filed the suit after receiving a 26 October 2022 reply from the state government to his complaint letter, alleging that his client was arrested while the Amotekun officers were on a trail of kidnap and armed robbery suspects.
He had said it was wicked to link his client to such crimes.
He urged the court to hold that “The shooting, torture and abandonment of the applicant by the officers of the respondents constitute a gruesome violation of the applicant’s right to personal dignity.”
Mr Temokun sought among other prayers, an order directing the Ondo State government and the other defendants to pay him N50 million “as general damages” and another N50 million as “exemplary damages,” making a total of N10 million “for the violation of the applicant’s right to personal dignity.”
Mr Temokun maintained that Mr Oluwasegun deserved “compensatory damages for breach of his fundamental right to personal dignity.”
The Okada rider, as commercial motorcyclists are popularly called, sued for N100 million compensation at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.
How Oluwasegun was shot
Mr Oluwasegun, a father of two boys, nine-year-old Samuel and six-year-old Oluwadarasimi, said the attack on him by the Amotekun operatives occurred between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on 9 August 2021 of in Akure.
In court filings, he narrated that a passenger had just alighted from his motorcycle at a neighbourhood in Araromi, Akure when an Amotekun’s van suddenly swerved towards him by the roadside and the occupants began to shoot into the air as the vehicle came to a stop.
He said people around, scared by the gunshots, fled, but he stood back.
“I did not run because I presumed the officers were carrying out their lawful duties, and, more so, when I did not do anything incriminating that might warrant me to flee at the sight of Amotekun officers,” he wrote in his supporting affidavit.
Surprised that he did not flee like others, four Amotekun men, Mr Oluwasegun said, “alighted from the van, accosted me, and to my surprise, they started to harass and beat me.”
He said he was still struggling to make a sense of the situation when one of the Amotekun officers “fired a shot on my leg with the rifle he had tied to his neck.”
The men then dragged him into the back of their van and drove him to the Amotekun Headquarters at Alagbaka, where he was later abandoned, Mr Oluwasegun said.
At their office, according to the claimant, he was abandoned outside uncared for, until a senior officer came out and directed that he be taken to the outfit’s medical unit.
At the Amotekun’s medical unit, he said, nurses only bandaged the gunshot injury and referred him to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo, “for immediate treatment of the leg.”
The Okada rider recounted how the Amotekun men drove him roughly down to Owo, with his fractured thigh “barely hanging to the flesh” for 45 minutes that seemed to him “like 45 years” of pain.
READ ALSO: How Amotekun shot student in Ondo Corps Commander
He said he was treated for barely 24 hours when he learnt on Tuesday, 10 August 2021, the day after the incident, that the medical staff of the hospital went on strike.
“This was the end of any meaningful medical attention that the leg got at FMC Owo,” he said.
With no further care, the condition of the wound worsened and the leg became smelly as it began to decay, which led to the amputation.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.Donate
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999