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#EndSARS Protest: ‘Police killed my husband’ ― Widow tells panel

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By Onozure Dania, Lagos

A widow, of a slain policeman, Mrs Olamide Erinfolami Bankole, yesterday accused the police of killing for her husband, late Inspector Ayodeji Erinfolami Bankole, during the #EndSARS protest.

She said that her husband was murdered by the police while trying to quell the #EndSARS protest.

Bankole who was led in evidence in chief by her counsel Gbemiga Ogunleye, told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) related abuses and other matters, that she spoke with her husband on phone, on the day of the incident before he left for work.

She said her late husband served at Area C, Police Station at Surulere, before he was shot dead on October 12.

” On October 12, before the incident, he called me, because I don’t leave with him, I leave in Ado-Ekiti, and I told me that he was going to the office, I also informed him too that I was going to the market later i didn’t hear from him until at night when somebody called me from Maiduguri, to ask if I heard what has happened,

“The boy that called is also my town boy, he said aunty Ola, did you hear what happened? I said what happened, he said that my husband has been shot during the #ENDSARS Protest, that he saw it on social media”

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“I then called my husband’s phone number, he didn’t pick, then I waited and called again, a Policewoman now picked the call and said that my husband has been shot that I should call a pastor to pray for him”, She said.

The petitioner also stated that she called her husband’s relation, simply identified as Wale, who lives with him, to endure from him, what had happened to her husband and he said nothing.

She said up till now, the police have not called her and the aged parents of her late husband to inform them what has happened.

The petitioner said she watched the video of her husband on social media that trended of how he was shot with his intestine coming out.

” Bankole said, when I came to Lagos, that was when the Inspector General of Police (IG), said he wanted to see all the widows, they said they want to perform an autopsy on my husband to find out the cause of his death, but they have not done anything,

I have visited the mortuary and asked them to release the corpse to us so that he can be buried, but they have not released the corpse to us”.

The petitioner, also told the panel that she wants justice for her husband and that the death of her husband should be investigated.

The widow who appreciated the governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for giving her and other widows money, said the money can not bring back her joy, that she wants justice.

” I really appreciate the governor of Lagos state, who called those of us that are widows and gave us a cheque, but money can not bring back my joy, I want justice”, she said.

Bankole through her counsel, Ogunleye, tendered the video clip of her husband and photograph and it was admitted in evidence by the chairman of the panel Judge emeritus Doris Okuwobi.

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However, Ogunleye, asked the panel for an order, to perform the autopsy on the deceased so that he can be released to his family for burial.

He said, ” We are seeking for an order to do an autopsy so that we can have a closure in this matter”.

During cross-examination, by the police counsel Cyril Ejiofor, the widow insisted that it was the police that killed her husband.

Bankole who said she has been married to her late husband for 15 years, said her husband served the Nigerian Police, for 18 years.

She also said that it was on Monday, after three weeks of the incident that told her that they were the ones that rushed him to the hospital.

” Yes Sergeant Monday told me that as at the time he was taken to the hospital, he was still alive, I heard only about Eko hospital, I didn’t hear any other one,” She said.

” My husband has not told me anything that he is having any problem with his colleagues, I did not form any opinion that the Police killed him, the video is there to show where he was shot, If it was protesters that killed my husband, they ought to have arrested at least one person, if you know that it is not the police that killed my husband, then bring the person that killed him”, Bankole stated.

When probed on how much was given to her by the governor, she said N10million.

The case was adjourned till January 15, 2021, for further hearing.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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