A petitioner at the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Friday narrated the “horror” he suffered after being shot by officers of the Nigerian Police Force on October 20 last year.
Chukwudera Uba, a resident of Odutuga Street, llasamaja, Oshodi-Isolo, in an affidavit deposed to the panel, said he was hit by bullets shot by the police, on the chest, abdomen, buttocks, and his right hand, and spent days at the intensive care unit due to the shooting
“I worked as a Chief Security Officer at St. Abigail International School, Isolo. On 20th October 2020, there was a meeting of the staff of the school at llasamaja which I attended. After the meeting, while I was on my way home, I decided to check on a friend who lives in Ilasamaja.
“At about 6:30 p.m., I left my friend’s place and continued on my journey home. Having decided to walk on foot because I did not have enough funds, I followed a shortcut through lyana Itire.
“At about 7 p.m., I received a call from my mother advising me to come home quickly as there was fighting going on in the neighborhood to which I responded that I was already on my way home,” he said.
Mr Uba said when he got close to the llasa Police Station area, he noticed a crowd clamouring for the “abolition of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).”
He said he did not join the crowd but continued on his way home.
“However, suddenly, policemen from Ilasa Police Station started shooting sporadically at the peaceful protesters which made everybody to run for safety. I had to run too to hide from the shooting and while trying to find a safe place to hide, I suddenly noticed I was bleeding profusely from the abdomen and my chest.
“That was when I realized I had been shot: I was hit on the chest, abdomen, buttocks, and my right hand and passed out due to loss of so much blood,” he said.
The petitioner said he is alive because of the timely intervention of his friend, Imoh Nse, who with the help of some good samaritans rushed him to General Hospital at Isolo that night.
He said he was transferred to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) at past midnight on October 21, 2020, where he underwent surgery and was hospitalised for about two months before he was discharged.
“While hospitalised at LUTH, my family had to sell our only family property in the village to sustain the medical bills. I was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for about 2 weeks after the surgery.
“I consumed, among other things, about 12 oxygen cylinders (at N12,000.00 each) and 18 pints of blood (at N10,000.00 per pint). Even after discharge. I was required to return for periodic checkups and dressing of the wound which resulted in more medical cost on me and my family, ” Mr Uba said.
Mr Uba said as a result of the “threatening injuries” sustained from the shooting, his life has never been the same as he was laid off from work and subjected to severe trauma and depression.
“I have been solely dependent on family members and friends for my livelihood and sustenance. I am unable to take care of my family and meet up with my obligations as the breadwinner of the family,” he said.
He submitted photographs of him at LUTH, a patient referral form for the X-rays and scans, and other medical documents.
Stating his demands from the panel, Mr Uba said he seeks “justice for the unlawful, reckless and irresponsible action” of police officers from Ilasa Police Station.
“I also pray the Honourable Panel to help bring the culprits to book. I also ask for monetary compensation to enable me get back on my feet again as I have become incapable of functioning optimally,” he said.
Mr Uba said the Nigeria Police Force has not taken any responsibility for the unlawful action of the police officers, neither has he received any form of compensation from the police.
A retired judge heading the panel, Doris Okuwobi, issued a summons for the doctors that treated the petitioner at LUTH, at the instance of the police counsel.
She adjourned the matter till September 17 for further hearing and cross-examination.
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