A policeman, for no purpose, opened hearth on Godwin Udoh´s harmless household, altering their lives eternally
My household and I have been returning house from church, once we encountered some policemen. It was nighttime, and the headlights of our Keke (tricycle motor) illuminated the officers, making them seen. They appeared to be discussing one thing.
As we drove nearer, one in all them introduced out a gun and tried to hit me with it. Alarmed, I parked the Keke and went over to satisfy them, simply to ensure every little thing was okay. My spouse adopted. Neither I nor any member of my household have ever had issues with the police, so we didn’t have something to worry or cover.
The police males began to ask us questions. Then, one in all them demanded a 2000 naira bribe. I informed them I didn’t have 2000 naira on me. I used to be on my means house from church – not work. And I used to be with my household – as they may see by the presence of my spouse by me and my kids within the Keke.
One of many officers, upon recognizing that my story checked out – that I used to be certainly innocently within the firm of my household – requested me to go.
Within the means of getting again into the Keke, nevertheless, I immediately heard gunshots. It got here from behind me, the place we had met the officers.
In that break up second, I found my jaw had burst open. I had been shot.
Confused and in extreme ache, I instinctively held my jaw and mouth collectively to stop the lack of my blood, which was by that point gushing out like a pipe faucet compelled open.
Then, I heard shouts of ´Mummy is dying! Mummy is dying!´
My spouse had been shot too, and she or he was bleeding much more severely than I used to be, particularly from her head.
She had sat again into our Keke and had been holding our child when a bullet ripped by the again of the car, ramming into her head and inflicting her to stoop over the crying child, who my daughter later picked up.
I later discovered that the policeman who opened hearth on us, unprovoked, was the identical one who had earlier tried to hit me with a gun. I’ve nonetheless not understood why he fired so heartlessly at an unarmed household, when his colleague had requested us to drive on.
With my spouse in a pool of blood, and my kids wailing, I swallowed my very own ache and tried to avoid wasting my household by calling out for assist. Not one of the vehicles passing by stopped to return to our help, as they claimed they did not need to be concerned with something regarding the infamously brutal police.
One good and courageous samaritan nevertheless, finally stopped and had mercy on us. He was a bus driver, and with the assistance of one other form woman who was round, they helped carry us to the hospital.
We have been unsuccessful with getting therapy at two hospitals, earlier than lastly ending up at Ikorodu Basic Hospital. There, we have been requested to submit a police report earlier than receiving medical consideration.
We went to the Idimu Space Command to get a report, however we have been informed to return to the hospital as a result of our case was an emergency which didn’t require a report.
We informed the police that we had already informed the hospital employees – and certainly they (the hospital employees) themselves might see that we have been an emergency case – but they nonetheless insisted on us producing a report earlier than they’d deal with us.
We went again to Ikorodu Basic Hospital with the directions the Idimu Space M Command had given us, however the hospital employees have been nonetheless adamant: no police report, no therapy.
The driving force of the bus had to return to the Space Command to attempt once more for a police report. Thankfully, and at last, he was in a position to receive one. The employees of Ikorodu Hospital had begun first help therapy on us by the point the motive force returned with the report.
We have been later referred to the Lagos College Instructing Hospital (LUTH), however simply once we have been about to set off, extra issues arose: Our good samaritan discovered that his bus had run out of gas. We determined to return to the Space Command so they may assist us with a car to move us to LUTH.
After we acquired to the Space Command, we met some prime police officers who had simply arrived there. They informed us that they have been coming from the Isheri Police Station, the place the officers who had attacked us earlier have been based mostly. The police chiefs assured us that the officers had been arrested, and that the matter could be dealt with with the justice it deserved.
They then launched a car to convey us to LUTH. With the assistance of the officers, and CSO there, we got pressing consideration, with the police paying the payments our therapy.
Whereas my jaw and proper hand sustained harm that also provides me points as we speak, my spouse nevertheless could not reside to inform her story.
I actually want she had sustained solely accidents like I had, but it surely wasn to be. This harmless, loving girl was a mom to my kids and I, and now she isn’t any extra – for causes nobody can nonetheless clarify.
Shedding the spouse of my youth has been akin to shedding my very life. I really feel misplaced. I’m not okay. I’m in ache, bodily and emotionally, and my kids are out of college too.
My life has been turned the wrong way up, and I’ve barely had assist coming by for me. I’m calling on all Nigerians, particularly our President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, to return to my help.
I pray individuals have compassion on my household, no less than for the sake of my kids, as a result of I are not looking for this merciless tragedy to rob them of an excellent schooling. I are not looking for their future ruined due to this.
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Collectively, we are going to finish police brutality.
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) April 20, 2021
This story is a part of a multimedia challenge by Tiger Eye Basis and media companions throughout Nigeria, documenting police brutality in Nigeria, and advocating for police reform.
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