***demands for N1 billion compensation.
By Gabriel Enogholase – Benin
A former Commissioner under the late Navy Captain Anthony Onyearegbulem’s administration in Edo State, Dr Johnson Erimafa, on Tuesday, told the State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for victims of SARS and related abuses how his only son was murdered in cold blood by a trigger happy police officer in 2003.
Dr Erimafa, a retired Mathematics lecturer at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, told the panel that his late son, Paul Erimafa, 18, was brutally murdered by a happy-trigger police officer, Sergeant Kalijaye when he was on his way to watch the Big Brother Africa in a cyber cafe close to his house.
The former University don who chronicled the incident said the pathetic aspect of it was that the killing took place right at the front of the Chief Justice’s House, GRA Benin.
He said, “The police abducted him and took him round, they wanted to smuggle him into the State House, of course, I don’t know for whatever reason they wanted to smuggle him into State House but the police at the State House did not allow them entry.
“So, they started carrying him about. You can imagine, from about 8:30 pm that they abducted him until 3 am, they shot him dead in the front of the Chief Justice’s House, just opposite the Deputy Governor’s house.
“You can imagine, it is supposed to be a safe area where you don’t expect anybody to harass a child or any person but unfortunately, right in the front of Chief Judge’s House, the then Justice Constance Momoh, he was killed.
“He was accused of nothing. Rather they said he was being suspected. What do you expect them to say?
“He was alone, he has no knife and gun but right there, they fired five shots, two into the air, three others on him but the first two, because they came out and in the front of the CJ’s house and you have the CJ’s security details, about eight of them, four police and four civil security details and these people were looking at them, the way the whole things were going.
“The police offiicer told the boy, I will shoot you and the boy asked why will he shoot him?
“Then, when he wanted to shoot him, the boy struggled with him and the boy forced him to throw away the gun and the boy raised alarm which drew the attention of the security details who were at the CJ’s house who asked what was the matter? So, my son started telling them the story.
“The police now took his gun, and fired him on his two legs and the boy fell immediately and he was crying.
“The policeman abandoned him and ran to the State CID to invite his patrol team.
“As at then, the boy was already groaning in pains. So, the policeman said so you are still alive? He fired him in his abdomen.
“You can see that the man really wanted the boy to be dead”. He said that his late son who was about gaining admission into the university to study political science had it in mind to be the president of the nation when he grows up but his dream was truncated by the trigger happy police officer for no reason.
“He said though no amount of money can compensate for the loss of his son, which eventually led to his wife divorcing him, he appealed to the panel to prevail on the government to pay him the sum of N1 billion to help assuage his pains.”