…says, I can’t father a child again
A 45-year-old man, Olasunkanmi Fagbemi, yesterday told the Ogun State Judicial Panel of Enquiry on Police Brutality how he was shot by some policemen demanding N20 bribe from a commercial bus driver. Fagbemi said the bullet which hit him in the neck, damaged his spinal cord. He said the incident occurred on August 18, 2010 at Alapako axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway while he was travelling to Ibadan, Oyo State, in a commercial bus. Fagbemi explained that the policemen had stopped the bus driver, collected N100 and asked him to park properly for his N80 balance. In the process, the victim explained that one of the policemen fired at the bus, with the bullet hitting him on the neck “and turned down to lodge into my spinal cord”.
The petitioner disclosed that he was rushed to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, where he underwent a surgery and the bullet was extracted from his spinal cord after four days. Fagbemi lamented that he was preparing for his marriage when the incident occurred and he had not been able to father a child as a result. He said that he had been confined to the wheelchair owing to the spinal cord injury. The petitioner added that he had spent millions of naira on medical care, flown to India for treatment, sold properties and belongings on the matter.
He said: “I was travelling to Ibadan on the 18th August, 2010 in a public transport bus about 7pm. Policemen at the checkpoint between Fidiwo and Alapako area of Ogun State on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway stopped our bus, collected N100 from the driver and asked him to park properly for his N80 change. “After parking, the driver got down for his change.
While we waited, a police officer at the other side of the road just fired at our bus, the bullet hit me in the neck and turned down to lodge into my spinal cord. When the police officers realised the devastating effect of their action, they fled the scene with their vehicle. “I became unconscious and was rushed to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan by the driver and other passengers in the bus where I was admitted for surgery and the bullet was extracted from my spinal cord after four days.”
The petitioner added that he had written several times to different authorities concerned and even to the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, after which two police officers were sent to investigate the matter but ever since then, over 10 years ago, nothing was done. Responding, the Panel Chairman, Justice Solomon Olugbemi disclosed that a letter would be written to the Ogun State Commissioner of Police to release officers in Charge of Legal and X-Squad departments to appear before the panel with all necessary documents to give evidence. The matter was thereafter adjourned till April 1, 2021 for further hearing.