—– How our husbands were killed
By Dayo Johnson Akure
Three widows whose husbands were killed during last year’s ENDSARS protest in Ondo state have cried out that life has been unbearable since they lost their bread winners.
The widows, Mrs Rachael Apuwabi, Mrs Deborah Ogunsakin and Mrs Modupe Oluwadare narrated how their husbands were killed in different parts of the State.
They spoke at the Judicial Panel of Enquiry on Police Brutality and other matters in Ondo State.
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Two of the widows said they had babies shortly after their husbands were killed.
They demanded compensation to enable them cater for their children.
Mrs Apuwabi said her husband died few days after she gave birth to their last child.
Speaking through her legal representative, Yusuf Adebayo, Mrs. Apuwabi said her husband was one of the policemen killed during the protest.
“On October 23, he was returning from Igbokoda to see his wife, who just gave birth to their last child on October 18, 2020.
” On getting to Ondo town, he ran into a mob of irate youth. On identifying that he was a police officer, he was lynched and his car was burnt into ashes.
Adebayo appealed to the panel to recommend adequate compensation for his client, in order to secure the future of the children and his aged mother, whose welfare was on him.
Mrs Ogunsakin’s husband, a commercial tricyclist, was however killed by the police.
Her counsel, Adeolu Ajayi, said late Ogunsakin was hit by a stray bullet while taking passenger to Yaba in Ondo town.
Late Ogunsakin last child was delivered after his death.
Ajayi also appealed to the panel to recommend adequate compensation to the widow and her children as respite for their loss.
Mrs Oluwadare husband, an artisan, was killed by civilians.
She said her job as a hairdresser was not enough to cater for her three children.
“If the EndSARS protest had not happened, my husband would have been alive by now.
“My husband was killed in front of the Ondo State Government House during the EndSARS protest.
“He was on a bike. A vehicle was in front of the ‘Okada’. The protesters asked the driver to stop and they were molesting him.
In an attempt for the driver to escape, it ran into him. He was taken to the hospital, where he was confirmed dead”.
She appealed for proper compensation.
Meanwhile, the Ondo Panel has concluded hearing of all the 77 petitions it received
Chairman of the panel, Justice Adesola Sidiq (Rtd) said compilation of its report would begin immediately and be submitted to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for further actions as it was not within the jurisdiction of the panel to make public their recommendations.
“In the legal circle, there is what we call case management. So, to me, the terms of reference stated that receive, make report and submit report.
“There is nowhere in our terms of reference that says that we should release report to the members of the public.
“Today is our last sitting. After an effort to close sitting last week failed. In all, 77 petitions were presented and few were struck out while all the rest went through trial.
“It is a very tedious job, particularly for some of us, who are to do the other aspect.
He said that ” We are nine panel members. In writing our report, we take largely into consideration the legal aspect before the inputs of others because it is not a one man show.