The Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry was on Friday told how police officers attached to the Lekki Concession Company allegedly killed a barely one-year-old baby.
Chimbusomma Uligwe, the bereaved mother, appeared before the panel to seek compensation and justice over the incident, which happened on July 9, 2019.
Married in 2010, Mrs Uligwe said she waited for eight years before she could have her baby, who has now been ‘killed’ due to the sad incident.
“On July 9, 2019, at about 4:30, I was coming from the bank where I went to pay money, when I came out of the bank, I was at the bus stop carrying my baby, only for us to see a bus chased by LCC police van.
Mrs Uligwe said she and other commuters were at the lay-by at the road waiting for a bus.
She said in the van was a police officer and two men wearing LCC apron.
“The next thing was the bus hit me and my daughter, took us to the road before the driver could stop, the conductor ran away. My baby landed on the floor.
“I was already on the floor too. For me to carry my baby, my baby’s head was broken.”
Mrs Uligwe told the panel that her baby died on the spot, a day before her first birthday.
She said unaware of what had happened, the LCC van blocked the bus and the police officer at the back jumped down. Upon seeing the baby’s head broken, he tried to run and was caught by people nearby.
“The policeman said he doesn’t know anything about it, and I said but you jumped out of this LCC bus, he was just saying different things,” she said.
Mrs Uligwe said the police officer tried to run but the angry mob chased him and held him down close to Zenith Bank within the vicinity.
She identified the police officer as Jonah Jatto, an inspector of police
Mrs Uligwe said that her husband came around and they were taken to Maroko Police Station, where she saw the suspects and wrote a statement.
She further said when the incident happened, one Bayo Philips, a lawyer , wrote the LCC, and the Nigerian Police Force over the matter but nothing was done.
The bereaved mother tendered photographs of her child with a broken head, photographs of a white Hilux, with registration number A 333584 XX, certificates of birth and death of her daughter and other documents to the panel.
The documents tendered were admitted as exhibits by Doris Okuwobi, a retired judge, heading the panel.
During cross-examination, Joseph Eboseremen, the counsel to the police, asked whether the police officer was at the steering of the bus that
hit her and the baby.
Mrs Uligwe replied that the driver of the bus fled the scene immediately the incident happened, but the police officer alighted from the van chasing the bus.
Rotimi Seriki, counsel to LCC, who also cross-examined the petitioner, asked whether she has any documents to prove that the police officer was attached to the LCC.
Mr Seriki, while asking whether any legal action had been taken against the company, said Mrs Uligwe’s lawyer, who wrote to them, demanded N200 million as compensation within five days, else, they would go to court.
He added that the driver of the bus was apprehended and charged to court for reckless driving.
Mrs Okuwobi, chairperson of the panel, adjourned the matter till March 5.
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