Widow seeks justice for daughter hit by police stray bullet

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A widow, Patience Ajibo, on Thursday, appealed before the National Human Rights Commission‘s Panel on the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), demanding justice for her 13-year-old daughter hit by police stray bullet in 2019.

Ajibo told the (Retired) Justice Suleiman Galadima -led panel that her daughter was hit by stray bullet on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 at Wuse 2 in Abuja on her way back from school.

According to her, a doctor from with the Wuse General Hospital, where her daughter was rushed to for treatment called her on phone to inform her of what happened.

“I wasn’t there when the thing happened. One of the doctors at the Wuse General Hospital called me up to break the news to me.

“When I went to the hospital, they had already performed operation (to remove the bullet) on her.

“I met my daughter lying down in the hospital. I saw her with bandage on her back and she was bleeding.

“A policeman I met informed me that it was a police bullet that hit my daughter during operation,’’ she told the panel.

She added that she took her daughter to the National Hospital in Abuja for further treatment in company with her brother, Ofoma Ajibo and friend, Nkechi.

“When we got to the National Hospital, she was given injection and the bleeding stopped. I paid for her treatment the following day, ‘she said.

According to her, her daughter was discharged the following day on her request, adding that they were going from home for further treatment after the discharge.

The petitioner stated that her daughter, who was 12-year-old as at the time of the incident, was in Junior Secondary School (JSS) 2 and writing her terminal examination when the incident happened.

She, however, stated that the victim had stopped going to school as she kept complaining of back pains, which she (petitioner) was not comfortable with.

Ajibo stated that she approached the school principal to give her daughter a make up examination for her to cover gaps, but the principal refused.

“When she went back to school, I asked the principal to set examination papers she missed but he bluntly refused.

“Please, I want my daughter to go back to school to become an educated lady in future and not a school drop out, ‘she pleaded with the panel.

The petitioner said that she borrowed N170, 000 to offset her daughter’s hospital bill, and that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command supported with N140, 000.

She, however, said she was still paying for her daughter’s treatment.

“My daughter is always complaining of back pain.

“I want further diagnosis for her who requires more money and I need help,” she pleaded.

The counsel for the NHRC, Kwadudi Okoh, told the panel that the police told the Commission that upon the payment of the N140, 000 to the petitioner, they had closed the case.

When asked what she wanted, Ajibo said she wanted the police to do more for her by supporting her to restart her food selling business and also give her daughter proper treatment.

The chairman of the panel commended the police for the prompt payment of the N140, 000 to the petitioner.

He, therefore, urged the NHRC to liaise with the police with a view to asking for further assist from the police for the widow and her daughter.