A commercial motorcyclist who lost his left leg to a gunshot by Amotekun security network in Akure, Ondo State, has appealed to the state governor to pay him the N30 million compensation awarded to him by a court on Wednesday.
Oluwarotimi Oluwasegun appealed in a letter his lawyer sent to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Thursday.
A copy of the letter shared with PREMIUM TIMES shows the acknowledgement stamp of the governor’s office dated 30 March.
On Wednesday, the Ondo State High Court in Akure ordered the state government to pay N30 million in compensation to Mr Oluwasegun as compensation for the disability caused by a gunshot by the state’s security network agency code-named Amotekun in August 2021.
The judge, Omolara Adejumo, awarded the sum after she found the action of the Amotekun operatives was in gross violation of Mr Oluwasegun’s fundamental human rights.
Narrating the incident in court filings, the motorcyclist, said 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.
Due to his predicament, Mr Oluwasegun, a father of two, lost his only source of livelihood – commercial motorcycling.
Why compensation urgently needed
In a letter addressed to the Ondo State governor, Mr Oluwasegun’s lawyer, Tope Temokun, said the amputation of one of his client’s has thrown his dependents into penury.
“The amputation of the leg of Our Client, his livelihood, his ability to provide for his family and to send his children to school have all been permanently clogged by reason of his inability to walk on two legs, alongside the necessary debts he and his family members have incurred in order to settle his medical bills.”
Mr Temokun who filed the case and secured victory for Mr Oluwasegun, lamented that feeding and medication for his client had been imperilled by the tragedy of losing a limb.
The lawyer reminded the governor of an earlier letter dated 24 October, 2022, where they sought “justice and reparation for Oluwasegun Oluwarotimi.”
In another letter to the Commandant of Amotekun Corps in Ondo State, Mr Oluwasegun desperately sought an urgent intervention to ameliorate his declining health.
But there was no positive response, prompting the filing of the suit, Mr Temokun explained.
“When it became apparent that there was no more hope for Our Client as a result of the amputation of one of his legs…Oluwasegun Oluwarotimi had to proceed before the Ondo State High Court to seek redress in this matter.”
While acknowledging state government’s statutory right to appeal the trial court decision, Mr Temokun urged the government to fulfill its “welfare” responsibility to the amputee motorcyclist whose family members have been deprived of decent living.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how Mr Oluwasegun was shot by the Amotekun officers.
Mr Oluwasegun had said the attack on him by the Amotekun operatives occurred between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on 9 August 2021 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 struggled to understand 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.
He said he was treated for barely 24 hours when he learnt on Tuesday, 10 August 2021, the day after the incident, that the hospital’s medical staff 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.
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