By Gabriel Enogholase
A man who lost his truck to #EndSARS protest in Benin, Mr. Pius Ebhodaghe has approached the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry to seek financial compensation worth N10m from the state government.
Speaking with Journalists Wednesday in Benin through his counsel, Chief Matthew Ukpebor after addressing the panellists, said that his truck was mistaken by suspected hoodlums for government property who descend on it until it was burnt down completely.
He said, “They mistook it for government property even when they were prevented by third parties not to burn it, they said that it is Edo State government name that is inscribed on its body and such, it belongs to the Edo State government whereas it was a directive given to all the environmental managers like Mr. Pius Ebhodaghe who is assigned to zone 58, around Ikpoba Hill to inscribe the name of the government on it”.
He said his vehicle would not have been burnt if it were not bearing the name of the state government. Now that it has been destroyed, the bank is on his neck, asking him to pay up the borrowed loan.
“That is what informed their decision to set it on fire and watched it burn to ashes.
“He is, therefore, a victim of the #EndSARS protest because if not for that, he has been operating for well over four years and parking his vehicle at the strategic location where he worked and suddenly because of this protest and the anger they have against the government and the police, they set it on fire.
“That is why we have come here to ask the Panel to graciously look into it, recommend adequate compensation to him because he is the one that is in pain financially at the account of it.
“He got the money from the bank with which he procured the vehicle and the vehicle is now burnt to ashes on the account of this and the bank is on his neck.
When asked how much compensation was he asking for, he said, the exact money he borrowed for the purchase of the burnt vehicle.
“We are seeking compensation of N10m, that is the value of the vehicle”, he said.
Chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe, however, adjourned the hearing on the petition to November 17.
She said justice would be delivered to all aggrieved parties just as she added that the panel can only recommend to the government and cannot sanction anyone.