From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A victim of police brutality has told the Ogun State Judicial Panel of Investigation on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Extra-Judicial Killings, how a bullet fired by a police officer crippled him and rendered him impotent.
Olasunkanmi Fagbemi, 45, narrated his ordeal when he appeared before the panel on Monday.
He said the incident has dashed his hopes of becoming a father.
He explained before the panel that he was travelling to Ibadan, the Oyo capital, on the 18th of August, 2010, in a public transport bus at about 7pm, when policemen at a checkpoint between Fidiwo and Alapako area of Ogun State on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway stopped the bus, collected N100 from the driver and asked him to pull over in order to collect his balance of N80.
‘After parking, the driver got down for his balance. While we waited, a police officer at the other side of the road just fired at our bus, the bullet hit me on the neck and turned down to lodge into my spinal cord. When the police officers realised the devastating effect of their action, they fled the scene in their vehicle.
‘I became unconscious and was rushed to University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, by the driver and other passengers in the bus where I was admitted for surgery and the bullet was extracted from my spinal cord after four days,’ Fagbemi stated.
The petitioner added that he had written severally to different authorities, including the office of the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State Command, after which two police officers were sent to investigate the matter but no action had been taken.
Fagbemi said that since the incident happened, which confined him to the wheelchair, it has become difficult to feed and cater for his family.
He disclosed that he has spent millions of naira on medical care both in Nigeria and India, while his property and other personal belongings have been sold in order to get proper treatment.
The petitioner, who further disclosed that he was preparing for his marriage when the incident occurred, said he had been told by medical experts that he would not be able to father any child, except through in-vitro fertilisation.
Responding, Panel Chairman Justice Solomon Olugbemi said a letter would be written to the Ogun State Commissioner of Police to release officers in charge of Legal and X-Squad departments to appear before the panel with all necessary documents to give evidence.
The petition was thereafter adjourned to April 1 for further hearing.