OGUN, Nigeria – One Mr. Kamol Ganiu, who was a victim of police brutality, has narrated his ordeals before the judicial panel set up by Governor Dapo Abiodun to investigate such complaints in Ogun State.
OgeneAfrican learnt the judicial panel, set up as part of the requests of the End SARS protesters, began its sittings on Thursday at the Magistrates Court 1 in Isabo, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
In his petition, Ganiu explained how he almost lost his right leg to a bullet fired by a yet-to-be-identified policeman in July 17, 2018 at around 3 am.
The incident, according to him, happened around Ibara Bridge when he was driving a car to pick his mother’s driver, who deals in buying and reselling of palm oil.
“I drove out that morning to pick our driver because his vehicle had a fault. When I was turning under Ibara Bridge, I saw some policemen beside an eatery in that area.
“As I was turning to face Oke-Sokori, I heard a sound. Before I could know what happened, the bullet had ‘shattered’ the bones in my right leg. It entered the right leg and came out to hit the second leg,” it was said.
Ganiu said he managed to drive home the car with the left leg which he said was not badly affected.
He recounted that he later lost consciousness and woke up at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Abeokuta.
In their attempt to get him treated, the doctors in FMC were said to have asked for a police report.
This, he disclosed, was why his mother went to Ibara divisional police headquarters to report the issue.
“When my mother got to Ibara Police Station, the DPO that was there that time, CSP Bolaji Oluwasegun, detained my mother for alleging that his officers shot her son. He also seized the car I drove that day, a Toyota Camry.
“Later, the DPO drove my mother to the scene of the incident. When they got there, he alighted from the car to speak with the officers, but he kept my mum and her driver in the police vehicle with some of his men,” the victim narrated.
After hearing from his men, Ganiu informed that the former DPO issued a report, which he said was taken to the hospital by one Inspector Olaropo Olusanya, saying “When we discovered that we may not get justice at Ibara police station, we sought that the case be transferred to the Ogun State Police Headquarters, Eleweran, with the car.”
Ganiu, who said he spent more than one year in the hospital, told the panel that a total sum of N50,000 was paid to the police for the release of his vehicle at Eleweran.
The man, who now has a deformed leg, spoke further that in the first quarter of 2019, some policemen from the state CIID invited him to their office for what he called ‘settlement’.
“When we go to Eleweran, one Inspector Akeem, one Ms Lola and the said Ibara former DPO told me to collect a sum of N250,000, asking me to sign an undertaking that I won’t go to court.
“But, I didn’t accept their offer. I asked them to produce the person who fired the shot. They said no. They told me the money was contributed by his colleagues at the scene of the incident. But, I rejected the N250,000 bribe,” he narrated.
Speaking about the pains he has been enduring since 2018, the victim said that he had spent N1million on fixing the leg.
“I have spent over N1million on this leg, yet it is not worth to be called a leg again. The doctor who treated me had to remove some flesh from my lap to cover the broken bones in my ankle.
“I just started using this walking stick. My wife and I have lost all sources of income. Feeding has been a problem. I didn’t do anything to deserve this. It was not that I was stopped and I didn’t stop. They just shot me for nothing.
“I want justice. I still need money for another surgery to fix this leg. I need another source of income and I want the police to produce the officer who put me in this condition,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the panel, Hon. Justice Solomon Olugbemi (Rtd), has adjourned the petition till Monday, November 9.
He told the police to come with all officers involved in the petition, so the panel can hear their side of the allegations against them.