There is confusion over the alleged neglect and abandonment of a police officer in Delta State who was amputated in a hospital after gunmen attacked him alongside two other officers in the state.
The officer, Robinson Irobo, and his colleagues were attacked by the gunmen on 24 August in Isiokolo, a community in Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state.
The officers, from the Isiokolo Police Division, were conducting a routine stop-and-search operation in front of the police facility at about 8 p.m. when the gunmen attacked them.
While one of the officers escaped, Samuel Obasanya, an assistant superintendent of police, was killed during the attack, PREMIUM TIMES gathered.
Mr Irobo, also an assistant superintendent of police, was shot in his left arm during the attack.
“The officer who escaped was running towards my direction. Presumably, they (gunmen) shot at him, but missed the target and the bullet caught my arm,” the officer narrated to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.
His left arm, which was badly damaged by the bullet, was later amputated at the hospital.
He said the gunmen were apparently on a gun-snatching mission.
Neglect and abandonment
Meanwhile, there have been allegations that the police authorities abandoned the officer in the privately owned hospital where he was rushed after the attack.
Mr Irobo, who was in pain at the hospital, struggled to speak when this newspaper contacted him on Monday.
The officer said he was charged N1.2 million as a medical bill at the hospital, but he was unable to pay it because he had no money.
He said the incident happened days after he paid the accommodation fees of his two children who are in universities.
Asked if the police authorities have paid his medical bills, Mr Irobo said he only received promises from them.
He said he was told by the hospital authorities that the chairperson of Ethiope East Local Government Area paid a sum of money for his medical bills, although he was not told the exact amount.
“Maybe, the local government people paid half of the bill,” he said.
Moments later on Monday evening, the injured officer informed PREMIUM TIMES that he had just received the sum of N50,000 from an unidentified person.
He said, without evidence, that the police authorities might have sent the money because they had promised to send money for his upkeep and medical bills.
“I can’t tell if it is for upkeep or medical bills,” he said of the N50,000 sent to his bank account.
When contacted by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday evening, the police spokesperson in Delta State, Bright Edafe, refuted the allegation that the police authorities in the state abandoned the officer.
Mr Edafe, a deputy superintendent of police, claimed the allegation did not emanate from the officer because he had been “duly and properly taken care of.”
The police spokesperson said an unnamed family of the officer “who did not know what is happening” was behind the allegation, insisting that the officer’s medical bills had been paid by the police.
“As I am speaking with you now, his bills have been paid in full,” he said, adding that the officer was aware that the bills had been paid.
When a PREMIUM TIMES reporter informed Mr Edafe that the officer said the police authorities were yet to settle the medical bills, the police spokesperson retorted: “Call him and tell him that before he issues any information, he should seek an audience with the doctor.
“Money would not be paid to him. The money would be paid to the doctor,” Mr Edafe said, insisting that the bills had been settled.
The spokesperson declined to confirm the amount reportedly paid by police authorities for the officer’s medical bills.
“That’s not the business of the media, please,” he said.
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