November 28, 2020

Widow of LASTMA officer allegedly killed by SARS seeks scholarship for children

Mrs Silifat Adeyemo at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on SARS on Saturday

Mrs Silifat Adeyemo, widow of Mr Rotimi Adeyemo, an officer of  Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) allegedly killed by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), on Saturday  pleaded for scholarship for her children.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Silifat made the request to the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters.

The late grade level eight officer was allegedly shot and killed on Nov. 28, 2018, at his duty post at the Iyana-Ipaja Roundabout, Lagos, by Olukunle Olonode, a SARS officer, who is now deceased.

Silifat, who was in tears, was led in evidence by Mr M.M. Sanni.

She said that since the demise of Rotimi, she had been catering  for their three children –  a son aged eight and three-year-old female twins.

“I want the panel to help me financially because it has not been easy for me.

“I do not have any amount of money in mind but the future of my children is important to me  – how they will live a comfortable life.

“I want them to get  scholarship,  good education up to university level.

“He was the breadwinner of the family, and left behind aged parents,” she said.

Silifat said that an autopsy conducted on Rotimi’s body confirmed that he died from a gunshot injury.

She told the panel that her husband was buried on Dec. 14, 2018.

“His family and LASTMA staff members contributed money for his funeral;  the boss of SARS, CSP Gana, came to pay the family a condolence visit.

“I never met the person who fired the shot, he was not taken to court. My husband was very popular and hardworking.

“When the shooting happened, hoodlums gathered to beat Olonode and the police at Mosalashi Police Station came to rescue him.

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“After the incident, we were not compensated by the police,” she said.

During cross-examination by Mr Joseph Eboseremem, counsel for the police, she said she was not aware that Olonode had died.

“Would you be surprised that your brother-in-law and LASTMA officials lynched that man to death?” Eboseremem asked.

“I do not know if he died,” she said.

The police counsel also asked her if she was aware that the Lagos State Government intervened in the matter and paid both her family and Olonode’s family compensation.

“The Lagos State Government gave you N10 million and LASTMA paid condolence visit to the family of Olonode,” he said.

Eboseremem told the panel that the Lagos State Government intervened because it was of the view that though the SARS officer killed Rotimi, he should have faced the law and not be lynched.

He sought an adjournment to enable him to present to the panel some documents that proved that the government  intervened in the case.

The Chairman of the panel, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, adjourned the case until Dec. 11 for continuation of hearing.


Vanguard News Nigeria