My late son was my hope after my husband’s death—distraught Mother
Who will be father to my unborn child? – deceased’s Fiancée cries
My NYSC son didn’t die while studying abroad——Mother laments
By Evelyn Usman
No one has any right to snuff life out of any individual because human life is intrinsically valuable and sacrosanct. But with the prevailing tragedies orchestrated by security officials, many Nigerians have been sent to the great beyond. In Lagos for instance, four persons were allegedly killed by some policemen in one week without any justification.
One of the victims, Daudu Waliu, was a stalwart of All Progressives Congress, APC. He was killed last Sunday by a stray bullet from a Mobile policeman in Ladipo area of Oshodi, Lagos.
The father of four who was into rental services, had gone to retrieve some chairs he rented out to the Celestial Church of Christ, Oshodi Parish, on Olatunji Street at about 8p.m, when the church celebrated its annual harvest and extended its tents beyond the church’s premises, owing to the crowd that graced the occasion.
As one of the invited dignitaries, who came with police escort was leaving the venue, he was reportedly accosted by some social miscreants (agbero). In the policeman’s bid to disperse the miscreants, eyewitnesses said he fired some shots, one of which hit Waliu in the head, killing him on the spot. But the distance between where the shot was fired and where it hit the victim, was still being investigated by the police.
The consequence of that singular act has saddled the victim’s widow with the responsibility of taking care of their four children alone, a task they were both managing to carry out.
Two days after the incident in Oshodi, another 21-year-old man, Kenneth Ogbonna, was allegedly sent to an early grave by a team of policemen whose identities were yet to be ascertained. In this case, the policemen were said to have raided Pathfinder bar around Marina, at about 8pm. Crime Guard was informed that the police team had gone to effect the arrest of some suspected criminals.
On sighting the policemen, some pleasure seekers, especially those by the sea side took to their heels. Ogbonna, was one of them. In his confused state, he ran into the sea but unfortunately he could not swim.
An eye witness said, “Kenneth fell inside the sea in confusion but could not swim. Some divers who attempted to go for his rescue were prevented by the policemen. That was how he drowned. “Residents have been protesting the action of the policemen from Badagry division asking why would anyone be that callous to allow a human being to die like that”.
One of the most notorious incidents was that of the open execution of two youths: Ogheneovo Ebobo, 36, and Ayodele Solaja, 29, by some policemen attached to Iba division, last Monday.
The killing of the duo alleged to be members of a robbery gang that had been terrorizing Ipaye area of the state was recorded in a video that went viral on social media. In the video, the policemen were seen conveying the suspects to the station, in a Lagos State painted commercial bus, but stopped half way.
The video, revealed how the suspects were ordered to come out of the vehicle and when they hesitated, one of the policemen was seen dragging them out. Thereafter, another policeman ordered his colleague inside the commercial bus to leave there, before he fired some shots at the suspects, killing them on the spot.
A visibly angry Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Zubairu Muazu immediately the arrest of the police team, when the video reached the command. Four of them; Inspector Fabiyi Omomuyiwa; Sergeant Olaniyi Solomon, Sergeant Solomon Sunday and Corporal Aliyu Mukaila, were subsequently arrested , with two others still at large.
The command had alleged that the deceased suspects were members of a four-man robbery gang who operated on two motorcycles and attacked a man identified as Anugu Valentine, dispossessing him of one iPhone max, valued at N450,000.The command’s spokesman, DSP Elkana Bala, said, “When report on the attack reached the Iba division, the Divisional Police Officer assigned a team of policemen to the victim’s rescue. On arriving the scene, two members of the gang managed to escape while the rest were arrested. Two locally made pistols with six live cartridges were recovered from the suspects.
“It was a well-celebrated operation by the team as the suspects were gallantly arrested. The team, however went to the extreme by killing the suspects who were already in their custody instead of taking them to the Police Station and allowing the normal process of investigation and prosecution to be initiated as stipulated under procedural laws. That act of extrajudicial killing falls short of police professional standards and cannot be condoned by the Command”.
My late son was my hope after my husband’s death—Mother
But parents of the victims have denied police claim that their children were robbers.
Distraught widowed mother of the late 36-year-old Ogheneovo Ebobo, Mrs Roselyn Ebobo, revealed during an encounter with Crime Guard that one of the policemen invited her son, on the day he was killed.
She said: “I was not at home when the incident happened. A day before the incident, he (deceased) and his siblings visited my daughter’s place for her baby’s naming ceremony. I have been baby -sitting for my daughter since she put to bed. Next day, I got a call that he had been shot. One of the policemen called my son on the phone. My late son told his siblings he was going to see the policeman. The policeman in question is popularly called Omo. (Omomuyiwa). I don’t know what my son did to deserve this cruel treatment from the Police.
“We were preparing for his wedding this December. How could one pay me with such wickedness? This was a son that gave me hope for living after my husband’s demise. I called him my husband. Now, they have snatched my second husband from me. What else do you expect me to do?, she asked in tears.
Who will be father to my unborn child—late Ogheneovo’s fiancée
On her part, late Ogheneovo’s fiancée could not be consoled. She sat at a corner wiping the tears trickling down her cheeks with a white handkerchief and holding her protruding stomach.
She refused to speak initially, when approached. After summoning courage to do so, she said, “ the love of my life is gone! I had known Ogeneovo for three years and said yes to his marriage proposal. Little did I know he wouldn’t live to be the father of our unborn child.
“The impact of his death is too devastating. Who will see me through this period of pregnancy? Who will welcome our baby after delivery? Who will father the baby? Who… “. She paused and stared at everyone present, as if expecting response from them.
My NYSC son didn’t die while studying abroad——Mother laments
Surprisingly, the second victim, Oladele Solaja, was discovered to be a member of the National Youth Service Corps. Solaja, who was a graduate of International Relations from Estam Foundation University, Benin Republic, also had his Masters degree in International Relations in France, before coming to Nigeria to partake of the mandatory one year Youth Service
Late Solaja, was said to be the Community Liaison Officer, CLO, in Kogi state. He had visited his parents in Lagos and was to travel last Tuesday. But that was never to be as he was killed barely 18-hours before he embarked on the journey. His distraught mother said that he had gone to bid some of his friends farewell, unknown to him that it was a farewell from the surface of the earth. His mother who rolled on the floor said she was fond of the deceased, being the last child.
She said, “he did not die when he went to foreign countries to study. He was killed right in his father-land. Till date, I have not seen his corpse. Ah! Police have killed me”, she exclaimed in tears. At this point, her husband tried to console her. He said, “They should give us his corpse for burial. At least he deserves to be buried”.
Families petition Attorney General
In their drive to get justice, both families have petitioned the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Moyo Onagbanjo, (SAN). Briefing journalists Thursday, the bereaved families through their lawyer, Adeshina Ogunlana, said that “when mother of Ogheneovo Ebobo and sister of Ayodele Solaja, learnt of the execution of their son and brother respectfully, in the afternoon of August 19, 2019, they went to the Adoff police station to make enquiries, only for policemen there to inform them separately that the deceased were not with the police. The police told Ayodele Solaja’s sister that the deceased escaped from them with bullet wounds while being taken to the hospital for treatment. The police, meanwhile, told late Ogheneovo’s mother that Ogheneovo Ebobo’s corpse had been deposited at the Badagry mortuary. However, before the arrival of the two women, the police had placed two pistols and expended bullets beside the body of the deceased Ogheneovo Ebobo, a move with the clear intention to cover up the act of murder of Ogheneovo Ebobo and Ayodele Solaja.
“We express on behalf of our client, deep suspicion and reservation on this development. Given the antecedents of the Nigeria Police in matters of this nature, only the extremely naïve can ever trust the Nigeria Police to see things through. The tendency has always been to cover the gross unprofessionalism and heinous crimes of her officers and men.
The compelling and mind boggling question begging for answers and necessitating enquiry is: why did the Police summarily execute these two persons already arrested, restrained and in custody of the Police and who were neither aggressive or confrontational or making efforts to escape? We contend that the brazen termination of the lives of our clients’ children by the Police on August 19, 2019, was to achieve cover up”.
Killer cops remanded in prison
Meanwhile, the policemen fingered in the murder of the duo of Ogheneovo and Solaja, were arraigned on a four-counts charge of murder before the Ebute Meta Magistrate court, last Thursday. They were remanded in prison custody, with the case has been adjourned till September 23, 2019.