Judiciary

SARS stray bullet shattered my leg, hairstylist tells judicial panel

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By Moji Eniola

A 35-year-old hairstylist, Mrs Hannah Olugbodi, has narrated before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the activities of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), how her left leg was allegedly shattered by a SARS stray bullet.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while being led in evidence by her counsel, Mr Hakeem Fadun, she told the panel that her left leg was hit by the stray bullet on June 6, 2018, at a market near her home in Ijesha, Lagos.

She said that the stray bullet was from some SARS officers attempting to arrest a suspected internet fraudster allegedly  resisting arrest at the nearby Oguncity Hotel.

She said that due to the alleged resistance, members of the disbanded police unit fired weapons at the hotel which was close to the market.

The mother of two said that at  8.00p.m., she had come back from work and gone to the market to buy some food stuffs.

“My house is close to Ijesha Market, I was hit where I stood, by a stray bullet.

“In the commotion, some market people asked where I lived and my husband’s name. I told them and they went to get him; then I fainted,” she testified.

The witness said that when she opened her eyes, she was in a car being rushed by her husband, Oluwaseun, and some family members to the Lagos  University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

She said that there was no bed space at LUTH and she was treated inside a bus.

She told the panel that she was later taken into a ward.

“The doctor asked if I had money. He said the chances of saving my leg was 50 per cent.

“He said if my husband had money, it could be managed but if not, it would be amputated and that he would need to perform four surgeries.

“The first surgery involved the use of iron on the leg. The bullet affected my bone, the doctor said the second surgery would involve  cutting off  my bone because the bone did not survive.

“The leg did not heal because we did not have money and my doctor, Dr Alabi, said we needed skin graft.

“After getting money, we did the third surgery and they cut my thigh open; since then I have not been able to work,” she said.

The alleged victim said that since the incident, life had been difficult for her and her family, adding that she had been rendered jobless.

“Sometimes, the leg will be paining me and I will be crying. The doctor said the after two years, I should come back for a plastic surgery.

“For two years, I have been unable to work.

“We wrote to the Lagos State Government and the Ministry of Justice but got no response,” she said.

She said that her husband made some enquiries about the SARS officers from the divisional police officer in Ijesha, who informed him that the SARS officers came from Gbagada.

While being cross-examined by police counsel, Mr Joseph Eboseremem, she insisted that though she did not have a ballistics report, the stray bullet that hit her was from SARS.

Her husband, Oluwaseun, a taxi driver, who was also cross-examined by Eboseremem, was told by the police counsel that contrary to the claims of his wife, there was no SARS Unit at Gbagada, Lagos.

“Do you have anything to show this panel that there was a shooting? I put it to you that you came to this panel to speculate,” the police counsel said.

Responding, Oluwaseun said, ” I know them, they are SARS, they usually come regularly to our area.

“They were the ones who were shooting.” (NAN)

Emmanuel Afonne

Emmanuel Afonne: NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

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