ByÂ Albert AKPOR
â€œTHIS is getting out of hand, believe me.Â Our men are becoming uncontrollably reckless with fire arms and this calls for great concern.Â We have to tell ourselves the truth.Â The other day,Â it was a violent protest in Ajegunle over the killing of a defenseless young boy by a police Corporal who was on illegal duty.Â
Three days later, another trigger-happy police man attached to MOPOL 49, LekkiÂ who was on a special duty at a bank on Marina , unwarrantedly shot dead a bureau dâ€™ change operator while he alleged attempted to defraud an old woman.
The matter is still on as I speak with you..Â Then just last Thursday,Â another one opened fire on another young boy at Lekki Phase 1;Â claiming that the victim was hysterically laughing at him.Â Can you imagine that?Â In those days, it used to be accidental discharge, but we are no longer confronting accidental discharge today.Â Â Â It is nowÂ willful shooting of innocent persons.â€ These were the words of aÂ senior police officer at â€˜Area Aâ€™, Lion Building Lagos.
Perhaps, the above reaction of a senior police officer who craved anonymity aptly summed the unprofessional and reckless attitude of some of our policemen, especially the rank and file on the street today. Their latest victim is 27-year-old Udeme Akwa-Jackobson, anÂ Akwa-Ibom state born construction worker.
It is only a medical miracle that would prevent the promising young man from being amputated as he has since been moved out of the private hospital he was being treated for lack of funds.Â Â He has resorted to traditional herbal treatment for now pending when police authorities or other kind-hearted Nigerians, might come to his aid.
How it all started.
Visibly writhing in pains at his Shell estate one-room apartment, in Lekki Phase1,Â Udeme whose bandaged but swollen left leg is already emitting offensive stench as a result of the gunshot wounds;Â was however,Â able to muster the strength to speak with Crime Guard.Â To him, the incident could not have been ordinary because, â€œI was not the only one there; so how come the police took on me?Â I believe there is spiritual undertone.â€Â Â He said, â€œthat day was on a
Thursday, April 15, 2010 and time was about 5.00pm. I was outside in front of my house chatting with some of my friends about sundry issues.Â We were talking about a maid who desperately needed another job and we mentioned one lady in the area that might help her.Â Just then, the lady we mentioned passed by and we all laughed at the coincidenceâ€.
Soon after, a bus painted in Lagos commercial colour popularly called Danfo pulled over and stopped beside us.Â Inside the bus were two mobile policemen.Â One of them alighted and came to me, held me by my shirt and asked why I was laughing at him.
I was confused and shocked altogether;Â to say the least.Â But he was serious about his allegation because he was violently pulling me towards the parked bus.Â All entreaties from my friends that we were not laughing at him fell on deaf ears.
We were shocked the more, when another mobile police man who had long parked his motorbike by the gutter where we were, came up to corroborate the allegation.Â Â As the argument raged, one of the mobile policemen that came with them tried to calm the situation by saying that we could not have been laughing at his colleague.
When the argument degenerated into slaps and blows, a Pastor who lives on my street came to the rescue and was able to free me from his grip.Â But just then, he grabbed a pistol from the waist belt of his colleague and tried to hit me on the head and I dodged it and jumped over the gutter.Â At that point, he pointed the gun at me and before I could turn to react to my friends shout of Udeme, Udeme, I heard a gun shot.
The police man had shot me on the leg and blood started gushing out.Â At the hospitalÂ after the shooting, the Mobile Policeman disappeared into thin air with his colleagues while my friends and neighbors rushed me to a nearby private hospital and later, Mainland General hospital.Â But after five days in the hospital, things did not improve and, of course,Â there was no money to procure some of the prescribed drugs.
So, my wife and some of my friends came and took me home where they contracted a traditional herbal healer for the purpose.Â Â As you can see for yourself, it is not improving. Matter not reported and police not aware
Perhaps for fear of the unknown, the unprofessional conduct of the mobile police man was not reported in any police station; and therefore, the Lagos police command which jurisdiction the offence was committed is not aware of it.
â€œThe matter was not reported because one, my friends are afraid that the police might turn the whole thing against them.Â Two, we did not know the identity of the policeman who shot me, but the one who was begging him to leave me alone is a known person.
Though I do not know his name, he is attached to the Shell estate,â€ Udeme said.
But the Commandâ€™s spokes person, Mr. Frank Mba said he was yet to be informed about the shooting incident.Â â€œI am not aware of it.Â A policeman shot somebody just because he claimed that person was laughing at him?Â I am not aware,â€ Mba maintained.