By Shola Akingboye- 20th November 2020
“My daughter was on her way from school when the police bullet hit her,
She was 9 years old at the time, and has since stop going to school”
Above is the testimony of a widow, Patience Ajibo at the ongoing Independent Investigations Panel probing into various human rights abuses by the defunct State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force and other human rights violations by the Police.
In the ‘Threat to Life’ petition filed on behalf of her daughter, the young lady in her thirties told the National Human Rights Commission’s constituted IIP panel, how Favour Ajibo, her 9 years old daughter, got hit by Police stray bullet around Wuse area of Abuja while on her way from school.
According to the Complainant, the FCT police Command did not denied the fact that the incidence occurred from the carelessness of one of their men whose identity was undisclosed.
She told the panel that all the FCT police Command could muster for the damage inflicted on her child was the sum of N 140,000, nothwithstanding the total of N170, 000 bill tendered by the hospital for the treatment of the poor girl, which she said excludes other outstanding debts obtained from friends as the maintenance expenses for the quick recovery of the young girl.
Asked what the Complainant want the Panel to do for her, Patience told the panel she is an unemployed widow that hawks foods on the street for survival and want justice beyond the admittance to the crime by the Police authority.
She speaks: “My child was coming back from school when the police bullet hit her”
“ She was 9 years old at the time, but now about 13 and has since stop going to school”
“I was called on phone that my daughter fell and in her pool of blood following a Police shoot-out that occurred in Wuse”
When I got to the Wuse General Hospital, I saw her with a bandage on her back, still bleading. From there, I took her to the National Hospital where doctor treated her and people started coming to see us there”
To confirm the authenticity of her story as requested by the panel, Patience made available all evidence of the hospital investigations vis-a-vis treatments administered on the little girl that confirms the bullet wound on the 9 years old school girl, according to the hospital documents tendered from the Abuja National Hospital.
Her prayers before the panel:
I want the Panel to help my little daughter for justice, I am a widow, my daughter is missing a lot from school die to this incidence, she cannot attend to her exams
I received the sum of N140,000 from the FCT Police command, meanwhile she has spend 170,000 that she borrowed for the treatment while still paying unending bills for the treatments.
“As it is, my daughter has stopped going to school; she is in JSS 2 and could not complete the ongoing examination at the time of her predicament.”
“The school refuses to allow her to seat for the exam she missed at the time of the incidence and she has stopped going to school since then”
“She still suffer pains from the bullet wounds in her back and complain to me of pains time to time.
Meanwhile, the panel commends the effort of the Police with the little compensation of N140,000 offered by the Police, says if Police has been this benevolent in their response to victims, most matters would have been address outside courts.
In her reccomendation however, Justice Suleiman Galadima led panel recommends that the panel will assist the victim administratively, more importantly in the area of her lost business having lost the little cash she uses in running her petty business.
The panel further assured the Complainant that it would help her I’m how to recover the balance of N30, 000 she incured from the FCT Police Command and do better than what they have done.
It also assured the victim of the National Human Rights Commission’s further assistance to get the child back to school.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had inaugurated the Independent Investigative Panel (IIP) on the allegations of human rights violations by the defunct SARS, to complement the work of the State Judicial Panels, and reccomendations of which shall be made available to the federal government by the Commission at the climax of the nationwide investigation panels on SARS and related Police rights abuses.