By Uju Mbanusi
THE father of nine-year-old, Oluwatimilehin Ebun, a Basic 3 student of Royal Scholars International school, Ikorodu, Lagos, who was allegedly killed by stray Police bullet has given reasons why he dumped the body of his son at Ketu Police station.
Recounting the moments he shared last with his son before his untimely demise, Mr. Olusegun Ebun, Managing Director of a Finance firm in Lagos lamented that the incident which occured June 13, 2013 at about 9pm around Ketu/Mile 12 area of Lagos, will remain indelible in his mind.
The bereaved 48-year-old father of three could not hold back tears as he narrated how the incident happened. “it was on Thursday, the 13th of June 2013, I went with my wife, Olufunke Ebun, my son Timilehin, and his sister to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja in our Parthfinder SUV to pick up my eldest son, Jide who arrived from Canada where he is studying, for a vacation here with the family.
“My wife was seated with me at the front, on the passenger’s seat, my son whom we went to pick was seated right behind me at the back, my daughter Damilola, who is my second child was seated at the back behind my wife, and my last son Timilehin Ebun, was seated at the middle; that is usually the family’s seating position when ever we go out in the SUV.
It was a smooth ride on our way back until we got to Ketu/Mile 12 area at about 9pm, when we encountered a little hold-up due to the heavy traffic. I noticed a police patrol van at the other side (coming from Ikorodu) of the road, it was as if there was a little unrest, but I felt it was nothing much to worry about.
“The next thing I heard was a gun shot, the bullet went right through my wind screen, pierced through my wife’s arm pit and hit my last son, Timilehin seated in the middle of the back seat in his right eye.
Middle of the back seat
Because everywhere was dark, I couldn’t see what had happened until I asked my elder son to turn on the inner light, that was when I saw my son in a pool of blood. I was totally confused, We were on the expressway, but I managed to get out of the car, opened the passenger door, carried out the body of my son, screaming ‘the police has killed my son, somebody help me’…
I noticed that immediately
the shot was fired, the police van took off. Some hoodlums in the area who were attracted to the scene by my shouts quickly organized them selves and tried to stop the van but they managed to escape and drove away, straight to their office at Ketu police division. As soon as they entered the compound, they locked the gate. The crowd pursued the van to the gate, but they were not allowed inside.
“As all these were going on, I begged one of the sympathizers to help convey my wife and other two children to the station in the SUV, while I carried the body of my son to a nearby clinic. I knew he died on the spot, but I carried him to the hospital with the hope that somehow, something could be done to bring him back. Unfortunately, on getting to the clinic, he was confirmed dead on arrival. I then took him to the police station. The whole police station was deserted, not a single police man was at the station, hence I laid the boy on the counter.
“For hours, no officer came out to ascertain what the matter was. We wanted to document the whole thing but they did not allow us. I was shouting in anger while my wife was crying bitterly, rolling on the floor. This went on until some one from the crowd that followed us into the station made a call.
Consequently, an officer in mufti reluctantly came out, armed with a sophisticated gun and accompanied by two military men as guards. He did not appear sober at all. He told me if I was sure it was his men that killed my son, that there was an armed robbery incident earlier that evening at Iyana-Ipaja, and two police men were killed; that perhaps, the robbers must have made away with the police van and it might be the robbers that actually shot my son; otherwise can I identify the men that shot my son?
I asked him, if he meant to tell us that robbers now patrol around in police van? After all, the van entered the police premises and is currently parked in the compound. My request to write a statement was rebuffed, but my wife was eventually made to write one.
“In anger, especially owing to the ‘I don’t care manner’ the case was handled, I left my son’s body there at the counter, I told them, since they had killed him, they can as well keep his body. I took what was left of my family and went home in another car. In the process, I lost my phone and some money I left in the SUV.
“When they saw I was serious about leaving my son’s corpse with them at the station, the police later organized and took his remains to the Ikeja general hospital mortuary. One of my brothers who came to meet us at the station went with them. I also left the SUV there, even though it was a car I cherished so much, I cannot bring myself to drive it again, not after what happened. The SUV should still be parked at the station.
“My eldest son who arrived the country after much persuasion, to spend some quality time with his family has not been himself since that incident. He has been in his room, refusing to come out. I pray this event does not make him want to leave the country for good. Also my wife was hospitalized that Thursday, due to the trauma, she was discharged on Saturday the 15th of June 2013.”
When asked what kind of child his son was, the Ososa, Ogun state born Finance and Investment specialist exclaimed, “Haa! Timilehin, even though he was nine years old, had the brain of a 17-year- old. In this house, I don’t know how to operate any of the electronic gadgets we have, he handled everything. He was a very promising child who showed great interest in engineering.
He read a lot, he cleaned the house and played the piano very well. Earlier that evening, he had washed the Honda car parked outside, thinking we were going to the Airport in it, it was when I got back that I told him we will go in the SUV instead, because the Honda will be too small for the whole family.”
In pain the bereaved father added “I was told by an eye witness there at Ketu, where my son was killed, that the cause of the mis- fire was that the police wanted to extort N200 from a danfo driver who tried to run away from them. How can a trained police man use live bullets in handling cases like that?
The way they handle gun is very crude. These senseless killings by the police must stop. I think the reason this has been going on is because each time the police killed some one, nothing comes out of it. This has given them the courage to continue killing.
No police man has ever been executed publicly for killing an innocent citizen. All these cannot bring back my son, but I want justice done in this particular case, I want the police man who fired the shot that killed my son brought to book, he has caused me so much pain.”
Crime Alert gathered that the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the CID, with the Area Commander Ogudu Police station,the DPO of Ketu Police station and the Lagos state Police PRO Ngozi Braide payed a condolence visit to the Ikorodu home of the Ebuns on Monday, June 17, 2013. “they came to console us and assured us that justice will be done concerning this case” Mr Olusegun Ebun said.