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Boat accident: Divers rescue 38, recover 12 bodies

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Boat accident: Divers rescue 38, recover 12 bodies

A combined team of marine police and local divers has rescued 38 passengers out of the 60 on board the boat which capsized on Sunday.

The boat carrying about 60 people, five cows, six sheep, eight bags of maize, four bags of rice and some other food items capsized after it broke into two, 30 minutes into the two hours journey to Zumba market.

It was learnt 12 bodies were recovered in the accident, which occurred on River Shiroro in Munya Local Government Area of Niger State.

Among the dead were 10 females and an eight-year-old boy. All the recovered bodies have been buried by the river bank in Kuduru amidst wailing by the relatives of the victims. While the nine Christians among the dead were buried separately beside one another, the three Muslims were also buried separately.

The 38 passengers who were rescued overnight by marine police and local divers as they followed the tide of the water and saw persons holding on to trees. One of the survivors, Ibrahim Allawa, said the accident was caused by the rain and that it was God who saved them.

He said: “I tried to save many people but the more I try to assist them they were struggling and trying to also get me drowned. I did my best and luckily the divers came but then some people have died.”

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, who was represented at burial by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Mikhail Bmitoshi, described the accident as unfortunate and urged the people to see it as an act of God.

The government team visited the scene of the accident after travelling on boat for over two and half hours for an on-the-spot-assessment of the accident.

The government delegation arrived when villagers were burying the dead. Bmitoshi said government would set up what he called waterways transport agency with a view to regulating the activities of boat operators.

According to him, government has discovered that all the boat operators in the state have no protective jackets for their passengers.

He said: “Government will make sure that no boat operator carries passengers without protective jackets when agency becomes operational.

“The state has witnessed too many boat mishaps. Government will soon come up with an agency that will regulate and monitor their activities so as to avoid some of these avoidable incidents on our waterways.”

Bmitoshi disclosed that government would buy protective jackets and give to the operators at subsidised rates. “When that is done, no operator will be allowed to carry passengers without protective jackets,” he added.

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Metro and Crime

Man butchers lover, sells parts to herbalists, clerics for N1000 each

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Man butchers lover, sells parts to herbalists, clerics for N1000 each

Operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested an herbalist, who allegedly killed his lover and sold her body parts to different herbalists, Muslim clerics and pastors for ritual at the rate of N1000 per part.

IRT Operatives, led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Abba Kyari, have arrested 13 herbalists so far involved the butchering and selling of the victim’s body parts, while many others are still at large.

Our reporter learnt that the tracking and eventual arrest of the suspects in different parts of Ogun State would not have been possible, if not for the active participation of the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson and his men in the investigation, which stretched into weeks.

The prime suspect, Segun Olaniyi, claimed that the victim, Abosede Iyada, was his lover. He also admitted orchestrating her murder for money making ritual.

Operatives launched investigation into the case on November 15 following a letter of complaint from Abosede’s parents, Mr and Mrs Segun Adeyemi, residing at Plot ‘2’ Adio Idris Close, Oke Oko in Ifo Local Government Area. The complaint was lodged at the IRT office, Ogun State Annex.

According to the distraught parents, Abosede, married and mother of a child left her husband’s house in the morning of  that fateful day to visit Olaniyi popularly known as “Agba Isegun,”a native doctor at Ifo area.

Since then Abosede appeared to have disappeared into thin air. Attempts to call her phone were abortive as it remained permanently switched off.

After the operatives launched investigation into the disappearance of the woman, they started tracking her phone and that of Olaniyi.

Olaniyi was tracked and arrested in Abeokuta area of Ogun State. During interrogation, he claimed that he and Abosede were lovers, that she came to visit him on November 15, but that on arrival at his place, he and his friends, Fagbon and AY, who were desperately in need of money, abducted and took her to a secluded area, where they butchered her and sold her body parts to interested buyers within Ogun and Lagos states.

It was gathered that following Olaniyi’s confessions, the operatives moved to Abeokuta and different villages like Ifo,  Itori Papalanto and Adigbe area where 11 suspects  were arrested.

Among those arrested, eight confessed to kidnapping and killing and buying of the body parts of the victim. The number of those arrested soon swelled to 13.

A source said: “Abosede and the prime suspect were secondary school lovers. They later parted ways and married other spouses. We understand that Abosede had been having series of problems with her husband, who is a commercial motorcycle rider. Somehow, she reconnected with Olaniyi, who is now an herbalist. This reconnection with Olaniyi came after 15 years apart. Olaniy, the herbalist was perceived as being rich. He used to give the deceased N2000 every day. She soon started going to visit him and soon, both of them started sleeping together. She would tell her husband that she was going to work, she would go to the suspect’s place.

“She had earlier told the suspect to help her to become wealthy. So on that fateful day she came, Olaniyi told her to go to the stream with his two friends to strip and bath her hair. She went with them; they held her down inside the stream and stabbed her to death. They then brought her out and deboned her before selling her flesh for N1000. One of the herbalists arrested told us that Olaniyi uses charm placed on his tongue to speak to the victim, which made her to obey and do whatever he asked her to do.”

Those arrested in connection with the killing and buying of Abosede’s body parts are; Segun Olaniyi (42), Ayodemeji Adileye (25) aka AY, also known as the  human being butcher, Babalola Akanbi (48), Adeifa Sogbeyinde (37), Rasaq Arabs (27), Sunday Akinyemi (41), Adewole Olwafemi (38) aka Pastor, Mustapha Ajibola (31) aka Alfa, Mustapha Iliya (30), Shilola  Amodu (38) aka Alfa, Jamiu Abass (25) , Smooth  Kazeem (37)  aka Alfa and Adesola  Oduyemi (56).

The IRT Operatives recovered substances confessed by the suspects to be burnt human parts of Abosede. Some of the substances were in powdery and liquid forms.

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Scores cheat death as tanker falls on Victoria Island

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Scores cheat death as tanker falls on Victoria Island

*Workers, residents panic, motorists groan in gridlock

 

There was confusion early this morning on Victoria Island, Lagos when a 33,000-litre fuel laden taker lost control and fell on the road at the ever-busy Ozumba Mbadiwe Road spilling its contents on the road.

For hours, residents, workers in various offices, motorists and other road users scampered for safety and in fear of the possible explosion that could rock the commercial centre.

But a swift intervention of the emergency responders, law enforcement officers and traffic management agencies saved the day as the scene was quickly condoned off.

Vehicular movement was diverted metres away from the scene to prevent explosion, a development that resulted in a very serious gridlock that backed up to the Third Mainland Bridge.

It was also learnt that the 32-year-old driver of the tanker has been taken to hospital by the emergency responders.

It was learnt that the unbranded tanker with registration number KRD-280XN was conveying AGO (diesel) to a destination yet to be ascertained as at the filing this report at about 5am when the accident occurred.

The combined efforts of the LASEMA response unit, otherwise known as Sharks (Lekki) Response Squad, alongside the Bravo Team (Paramedics), another unit of LASEMA, LASTMA, LASG FIRE, FED FIRE, LCC and Nigeria Police had a hectic time in the management of the accident scene.

Speaking on the cause of the accident, the Director-General of LASEMA, Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu said that one of the tyres of the tanker burst while in motion, causing the tanker running over the highway median while it compartment detached and flipped over, before it finally upturned spilling its contents onto the road.

Oke-Osanyintolu said: “On getting to the scene of the incident, a white coloured unbranded tanker with registration number KRD-280XN laden with 33,000 litres of AGO (diesel) was found to have fallen on Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue. Further investigation revealed that one of its tyres burst while in motion. This resulted in the vehicle running over the highway median while the tanker compartment detached and flipped over, finally resting on its head.”

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Three soldiers arrested for robbery

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Three soldiers arrested for robbery

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested three soldiers at the Obanikoro area of the metropolis for armed robbery.

The three suspects, who  were alleged to have been arrested in full military uniform and were armed with a dagger. The three men, who were arrested on 3rd of December, were further alleged to specialise in targeting and robbing drivers with broken trucks and containers.

A source said: “They were arrested as early as 5:a.m. by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Somolu Police Station. Before the arrest of the soldiers, the DPO had been receiving a series of complaints from commuters and motorists that military men used to rob them. There had also been complaints of passers -bye being attacked and robbed and owners of broken down vehicles robbed at night, also by military men.”

On the fateful day of the suspects’ arrest, a distressed woman was said to have dashed into the office of the DPO, screaming that robbers in uniform were operating at Obanikoro.

The woman insisted that she was robbed and that she saw the soldiers robbing a driver. The DPO quickly gathered his men and they raced to the scene.

“On getting to the scene, the DPO and his men saw three men in full military uniform. They were actually robbing a driver of a broken down truck. The truck had developed fault, thus the driver had to park at Obanikoro to seek solution. The DPO and his men tried to arrest the soldiers, but they put up a struggle until they were overpowered by the policemen,” said the source.

The three suspects were taken to the station and a dagger was recovered from them. The driver told police that the soldiers took N40, 000 from a woman that was passing by and were forcing him to submit N100, 000 before the arrival of the DPO and his men.

The source said: “They asked the driver to give them N100,000, he said he didn’t have such an amount of money with him. They were searching him when the DPO and his men got there. The soldiers operate using a motorcycle. Police have recovered the motorcycle from them. Police also recovered their identity cards from them.”

Preliminary investigation showed that one of the suspects, Corporal Kaduru Sani, is attached to Air force Base in Lagos State, while his colleagues are from military base in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The two suspects from Ilorin said that they came to visit Sani. They denied being robbers, insisting that they were just looking for means to raise money to feed.

“They further explained that they only used the dagger to threaten people, not that they wanted to hurt anyone,” said the source.

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Woman killed during robbers’ confrontation with police

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Woman killed during robbers’ confrontation with police

The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ene Okon, yesterday, debunked allegation that his officer killed a woman trader while attempting to extort commercial cyclists in the state.

The victim, identified as Kasarachi, was a fruit seller at the Apumiri Market. Okon, while narrating how the incident happened, said that he got the information through a phone call moments after he returned from Abuja.

He had immediately called the Officer in Charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), in Ubakala.

Okon said: “I received the brief to the effect that there was a distress call at the dustbin area of Ubakala and then SARS operatives attached to Ubakala, responded to the distress call and discovered that robbers, numbering about five, using a Toyota RAV4 and in army camouflage, were operating. On sighting the SARS men, the gang opened fire and the SARS operatives retaliated. During the exchange of gunfire, a stray bullet hit the victim, who was rushed to the hospital and was confirmed dead.”

Okon said the Toyota Sienna van used by the SARS operatives was riddled with bullets.  According to him: “There was nothing like an accidental discharge or direct firing at the victim.”

The CP disclosed that he has constituted a panel to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of the victim. This was even as he disclosed that the matter happened the previous night.

However, an eyewitness alleged that the deceased was killed by SARS men, who were attempting to extort cyclists. The eyewitness explained that some of the cyclists would be arrested and detained, then asked by the SARS men to bail themselves  with N30,000 or N50,000.

The eyewitness noted that it was in the process of extorting the commercial motorcycle operators that one of the policemen fired the bullet that killed Kasarachi.

The eyewitness noted: “She was returning from a nearby filling station where she had gone to pack her wares at the end of the day’s business when she was hit by the bullet. There was no robbery at all. We saw what happened and we can identify the policeman that pulled the trigger.”

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Osun Govt rescues destitute couple, four children

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Osun Govt rescues destitute couple, four children

The State Government, yesterday, vowed to do everything possible to see to the welfare of women, children and the vulnerable in the state.

The Commissioner for Women, Children and Social Affairs, Barrister Olubukola Olaboopo, stated this while assisting a family of six wandering around Aregbe bus stop in Osogbo, the state capital.

She explained that the family consists of a father, his pregnant wife and four children, out of which one is a disabled.

Olaboopo said that the people residing in the area informed the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Affairs of the destitute family, after which she swung into action and took necessary steps to rescue them.

According to the Commissioner, the state government would do everything within her reach to ensure that the state alleviates the hardships of the vulnerable.

She urged members of the public to always be their brother’s keeper.

In another development, the Deputy President of Osun Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OSUCCIMA), Mr Bisi Makanjuola, has declared that the gains of the recent economic summit in Osun was so robust that the government of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola could leverage on it for a resounding success.                     

Makanjuola stated this during the December meeting of the association held in Osogbo. Describing the summit as peculiar and not just a talk shop, Makanjuola noted that the resource persons engaged were highly knowledgeable in local and international experiences.                  

He explained that the Summit had showcased the potentials of Osun in critical areas which could encourage local investors as well as attract foreign ones, emphasising that Osun was not a poor state.                     

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Metro and Crime

Rights group charges IGP to end sexual violence

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Rights group charges IGP to end sexual violence

The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to take appropriate steps to curb acts of sexual violence allegedly being perpetrated by his men.

This was stated by the National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Mr Emmanuel Ikule in Lagos recently, at this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism, which has as its theme, “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape.”

Ikule, who said that the law enforcement officers were not above the law, added: “They are supposed to protect, not abuse women and girls. Thus, if they commit acts of sexual abuse, they should be dismissed from the force and made to face the civil court on criminal charges.”

Ikule also bemoaned the fact that those acts of sexual violence were either ignored or allowed to continue with impunity. “It happens every day. It has come to the level whereby people that are supposed to be defending us are the ones defiling us,” said Ikule.

He cited the case of Akungba Akoko in Ondo State, where some policemen at a checkpoint close to the state university were harassing two female students of the school.

He said: “I think it is high time we made that change and ensure that change is affected! And it has to start with us. It is not only acts of sexual violence perpetrated by law enforcement agents that are not reported by the media.The media should assist us in the dissemination of information about the scourged.”

The Programme Officer, Project Alert. Mrs Nsini Udonta, also raised the alarm on the rising spate of sexual violence against women and children. She stated categorically that “No day passes without a reported case of sexual violence against women and children.”

She added: “It was for this reason that the 16 Days of Activism has come to stay as a global activism, whereby individuals, governments and non-governmental organisations are expected to engage in various advocacies, including against sexual abuse.”

Udonta, however, drew attention to the fact that a research carried out by her organisation some time ago, and published, showed that 77 per cent of victims of sexual violence in Nigeria were children.

Explaining the reality of sexual violence against children in Nigeria, Udonta said: “You’ll agree with me that there is no day that cases of sexual violence against children are not reported in the media. We have a case whereby a two year old child was defiled. We also have a case whereby a six months old baby was defiled. We have recorded several cases which we need to draw the world’s attention to.”

Representing the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Mrs Philomena Nneji, said her organisation was passionate about women and children, particularly with respect to the prevalence of sexual violence in Nigeria.

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Man to die by hanging for killing father

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Man to die by hanging for killing father

The Bauchi State High Court 5, Presided over by Justice Aliyu Baba Usman, has sentenced Umaru Muhammadu Jauro Ori, to death by hanging for killing his father inside a mosque in Mai’aduwa Village of Misau Local Government Area.

Delivering judgement yesterday, Usman said he had listened to the prosecutor, Hussein Ishaq Magaji and the defense counsel led by Barrister Chukwumeka Ikwazu carefully.

He said: “The death of the victim was as a result of the act of the accused and the prosecution counsels has proved their case beyond reasonable doubt. I found the accused culpable of homicide punishable with death under Section 221 of the Bauchi State Laws. I hereby sentenced him to die by hanging.”

Magaji told the court that the covict went into a mosque in Mai’aduwa Village and stabbed his father on the head with a machete. The man sustained severe injuries. He was rushed to the Misau General Hospital, where he died the following day.

The convit pleaded not guilty to the offence during trial. The prosecution counsel brought 10 witnesses in separate statements recorded by the Police during investigation.

Before the court, younger brother of the deceased, Umar Mohammed Jatau, 70, and Junior brother of the Ibrahim Muhammadu Jauro Ori, 26, stated that the convict had problem with their father and siblings.

The witnesses said the deceased gave each of them farm and after that, Umaru left the village for over 10 months. Nobody knew his whereabouts until the day he returned, stormed the mosque during prayers and stabbed his father on the head with a machete.

It was further gathered that youths in the community chased and caught him. He was taken to the nearest police station, while his father was taken to the nearest hospital, where he died. The old man was later buried according to Islamic rites.

The convict in his statement said he had a wife and three children. He said that he killed his father for separating him and his wife. He said that he stayed in the city for so long, that his father divorced his wife on his behalf. He said that right now, he had no wife.  He further stated that his father also separated him from his two brothers.

Umaru admitted that when he returned, he took a machete and entered the mosque and stabbed his father on the head. He said that when his father fell, he ran away and was pursued and caught by youths in the community.

He said: “The youths beat me mercilessly and injured my right fingers. We took our father to hospital and he died while receiving treatment. I have never killed a human being before. I’m not an armed robber. This is my first time of killing a human being. I ask for pardon.”

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Killers of DSS official still unknown as cultist murders another

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Killers of DSS official still unknown as cultist murders another

The Ebonyi State Police Command, yesterday, confirmed the murder of an official of the Department of State Security (DSS) in the state.

The DSS official was said to have been murdered by gunmen at Onwe road, Abakaliki.

Also, yesterday, a 30-year-old man, Boniface Nwogha, was murdered by suspected cultists in Abakaliki.

Nwogha was a plumber, living with his family at Michael Nwogha Onuba Street Amike- Aba in Ebonyi Local Government Area. He was killed at about 8:pm.

A source from the Neighborhood Watch, who did

not want his name mentioned, said there was a misunderstanding in the compound, which left someone with injury, leading to a reprisal in the night. The cultists were alleged to have stormed the plumber’s shooting sporadically, forcing everyone to scamper for safety.

The source further said: “We got the information that there was gunshot in the area and we immediately rushed to the place. When we got there, everybody has

ran for safety. We did not see anyone, but we saw a body in a pool of blood. It was then we started knocking on doors of the residents of the compound. On introducing ourselves, people came out of their houses, including the wife of the deceased. We then called the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), who also came with his men to the scene. The incident was suspected to be a cult attack according to the eldest brother of the deceased.”

There has been massive arrest around the area by the police following the killing of Nwogha.

The Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Loveth Odah, confirmed the murder of Nwhogha and that of the DSS official

Odah said: “The DPO said some people came to report in his office that the deceased was found in a pool of blood in Amike-Aba. He rushed him to the hospital where he was confirmed dead by doctors. Because the case is a murder case, it was transferred to the state

headquarters for onward investigation.”

She confirmed that there has been massive arrest of people in the area as a result of the incident.

Odah added: “We actually wanted to ensure that the perpetrators were arrested and the people of the area are not doing us any good. They are not coming up with any useful information that will help the police to arrest the perpetrators. You will recall that sometime before the end of last month, there was someone in Onwe road Abakaliki who was later identified as DSS officer because an ID card was found in him. He was found in a pool of his blood. At the end of the day, the DPO took him to

hospital where he was confirmed dead and till today, the killers have remained unknown.”

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Accident claims four in Asaba-Onitsha crash

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Accident claims four in Asaba-Onitsha crash

Four passengers were killed and several others injured in a multiple auto crash involving a truck and a luxury bus along the Agbor-Asaba-Onitsha Expressway.

The ill-fated bus was negotiating a U-turn at the popular Emuhu Junction in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, before it ram into the truck, which compressed a section of the bus, killing people.

The survivors were immediately rushed to the Emergency Unit of the Agbor Central Hospital where they were placed on life-support gadgets.

An eyewitness, who simply identified herself as Madam Chinwe, blamed the truck driver for not applying his brake immediately he sighted the bus from afar.

She said: “Truck drivers are too daring. They hardly step on their brakes for smaller vehicles. In this circumstance, lives would have been saved if the truck driver had applied caution. Two wrongs cannot make a right. He did not take to precautions.”

The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in the state, Mr Ahmad Ocheja, who confirmed the accident, said it was a multiple accident, involving a luxury bus, a truck and other vehicles. He added that the impact was much on the bus.

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Father of five dumped in hospital after being knocked down by police van

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Father of five dumped in hospital after being knocked down by police van

father of five, Mr Shedrack Ogbonna has been abandoned in a hospital by personnel of the Nigeria Police after they knocked him down.

Ogbonna, who is presently in a hospital battling to stay alive, was knocked down by policemen driving against traffic.

The accident left the victim brain damaged. He now needs N5million for surgery, which has to be done overseas, if he ever hopes to live a normal life again.

Ogbonna has spent at least seven months in the hospital, and still his wife and children continue to pray for a miracle.

Within those seven months, his wife and children had been kicked out of their apartment because of rent and are now living under the staircase of the hospital where Ogbonna is on admission. The rent was due in June 2019, a month after the accident.

Doctors, who are taking care of him at the Federal Medical Center in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, told family members that Ogbonna, who is currently on life support machine, suffered severe brain damage.

The predicament of Ogbonna, who hails from Okposi Community in Ebonyi State, began on 6th of May 2019, after he was knocked down by a policeman, in a police van, driving against traffic near Ekeki Motor Park, where Ogbonna repairs mobile phones to eke out a living.

According to eyewitnesses, Ogbonna was crossing over to the other side of the road to buy items he needed to repair a mobile phone belonging to one of his clients, when the speeding police van knocked him down.

Preliminary assessment by doctors revealed that the accident fractured his skull and damaged his left leg and arm.

It was further learnt that the team of policemen in the van, rushed him to the emergency unit of the FMC where it was confirmed that he suffered severe brain damage. He was later transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, where he was then abandoned.

According to his wife, Asu Ogbonna, the Nigeria Police, Bayelsa State Command, initially agreed to take care of the medical bills of her husband but reneged after they learnt that the injured man needed N5million to travel oversea and for the brain surgery.

Asu said: “The Police withdrew their promise to support us on the grounds that the policemen in the van that knocked down my husband were carrying an assignment for the state government and therefore, should not be expected to pay the hospital bills. When we made further attempts to make the police reconsider their decision, we were asked to go to court. Police said they were ready for legal battle.”

Asu mournfully recollected the fateful day of the accident, which left their lives broken.

She said: “On that fateful morning, I left him in the house to Swali Market, where I trade. Before I left, we talked about plans to raise money for our rent, which would expired in June. I was in the market when I got a call that my husband was involved in a car accident. When I got to the hospital, I met him in a bad condition. I thought he was dead. I was told that he was hit by a police van driving against traffic. The police promised to take care of his medical bills but they later said they wouldn’t give us a dime because it was the state government that sent them on an errand when the incident occurred.

“Since then, they have abandoned my husband at the hospital. According to the doctors, my husband’s brain is so damaged that he needs to be flown abroad for surgery, which would cost N5million. How do I raise that kind of money? As I speak with you, I now sleep under a staircase in the hospital with my five children because our landlord drove us out when we could not pay rent. All along, it is only my brother that supported me with money to buy drugs to keep my husband alive. As we speak, my brother has also run out of money. It is not easy for me and my children. Paying for the life support machine and buying his drugs daily requires a lot of money.”

Asu said that she has prayed fervently to God, asking for his intervention, but their condition seems to be worsening. She recounted: “I have prayed fervently for God’s intervention but it appears my prayer does not get to heaven because our condition gets worse by the day. I don’t even have money to feed myself and my children, let alone to pay hospital bills. I have gone to the police several times to plead with them to help us, but they continued to turn us down. They keep telling me to take them to court. Where would I get money to pay lawyers if I go to court? Our bill at the hospital right now is about a million naira, and we are expected to raise another N5million for surgery. Meanwhile the hospital management is on our neck to either pay or move my husband away. I am confused.”

Asu’s brother, Joseph Ngene, said: “My sister’s husband condition is pathetic, that I am short of words to describe it. He was going about his business when a police van driving against traffic knocked him down. If it were a vehicle owned by a private individual, I am sure the police would have arrested the person. But in this case, they are the ones involved and they have refused to take responsibilities. According to the doctors, Ogbonna broke his left leg, left arm and his skull was fractured during the accident. When we contacted the police, they said the driver of the van, Mr. Ifeanyi Ikechukwu, was running errand for the state government when the accident occurred, and for that reason, we should approach the state government for financial support.

“Initially, they were concerned because they came to the hospital once or twice to pay for drugs doctors prescribed, but then they stopped visiting. I then called the leader of the team that was in the van when it knocked Ogbonna down, Oscar Jaja, he yelled at me, saying I had no right to contact him. He said that if we thought they did wrong, we should go to court. He said that they were ready for us. We have written a petition to the Commissioner of Police, and copy of that petition is before him.”

Ngene further narrated: “I have made efforts to meet with him one-on-one, and he said the police cannot help us. And because we could not buy drugs that would help keep him strong until we get money to fly him abroad for the surgery, my brother-in-law’s condition is worsening day by day. To feed him, doctors have to pass food through a pipe to feed him. He has not been able to move any part his body since they brought him to the hospital. As it is now, it is clear that my brother-in-law would never live a normal life again, yet the police are asking us to go to court because they know that we don’t have the power and finance to challenge them. I want to plead with well-meaning Bayelsans and Nigerians to come to our aide.”

The Bayelsa State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Asinim Butswat, while reacting to the incident, said that the police were doing their best to support the victim. He added: “The Command has assisted the victim with funds for treatment and it’s not relenting to ensure that the plight of the patient is ameliorated.”

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