A 61-year-old woman, Stella Omoigui, on Monday told the Edo State Panel of Inquiry how her 11-year-old son, Osasu, suffered genital damages from a stray bullet from a police officer who was trying to disperse protesters during the EndSARS protest in Benin City.
The petty trader told the 22-man panel the incident happened sometime in October 2020, along Sapele Road, Benin City, when her son was taking food to his father.
She said the boy, who is a pupil in primary four, was immediately rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital for treatment.
She said she has been spending all her savings on her son’s medical needs.
Mrs Omoigui requested for N50 million compensation to enable her son undergo corrective surgery.
According to her, the son can only pass out urine through a fixed pipe on his abdomen, adding that the situation has compelled him to always wear wrappers instead of trousers.
The boy has stopped going to school because of his condition, she said.
“We are pleading with the panel to grant my son the sum of N50 million as compensation for the pains he has been suffering and also take care of his medical bills. We beg the panel to do all in its power to see that he gets his life back,” the distraught mother pleaded.
The 11-year-old boy also told the panel he wishes to continue his education and become a medical doctor in the future.
“I want to be a medical doctor by the time I grow up and finish my education, please, the government and every spirited individual should help me,” he said.
Touched by his condition, the Chairman of the panel, Ada Ehigiamusoe, said the boy’s case needed prompt attention.
“I have a medical doctor in my team and looking at the young boy, it is obvious he is unable to dress properly like a normal human being. We found him to be wrapped in wrappers and the medical doctor in my team examined him and found that he is badly damaged in his genital region and we have reviewed that this calls for an emergency intervention.
“We will do the necessary things that will be required of us just like the state government has always done. Matters of this nature will be treated promptly. If you recall, we have similar matters of about two of them, deaf and dumb, and promptly, the state government intervened.
“They did not even wait for us to make our final recommendations. So, I am sure with this, look at the condition of the boy, so pathetic, and it is not the police, it is a stray bullet.
“It is one of those things, the consequences of that protest, we cannot lay our hands on anybody but we will try our best to make adequate recommendations.
“So, we have the combined view that it is meritorious, deserving compensation. He needs urgent medical attention. So, that is our stance,” Mrs Ehigiamusoe, a retired judge, said.