Posted by By Blessing Balogun on
The ugly fate that befell Mrs. Iyabo Toyi, a Badagry-based businesswoman penultimate Wednesday is better imagined than experienced.
The ugly fate that befell Mrs. Iyabo Toyi, a Badagry-based businesswoman penultimate Wednesday is better imagined than experienced. The mother of two had gone to Trade Fair gate in Lagos to buy some goods on wholesale and on her way back, the devil struck.She was shot at with another man inside a commercial bus that was taking them home by trigger-happy men of the Nigeria Police Force who were on a check-point along Badagry Expressway.
The harrowing experience which left Mrs. Toyi with a gaping fresh wound on the right leg while another male passenger had his buttocks pieced by a bullet was reportedly caused by the refusal of the conductor of the bus to part with the usual stipends they normally give to the policemen at the checkpoint.
Narrating her ugly encounter with the mobile Policemen reportedly attached to Joint Border Patrol Unit at the border town of Seme on her hospital bed where she is writhing in great pains, Mrs. Toyi who lives in Depekoh compound, Ajara-Isalu, Badagry told City Scope, "That day was a very bad day for me which I will never forget in my life. I left my home on Wednesday morning to buy some provisions on wholesale at the Trade Fair Market and I bought my goods successfully, boarded a bus right from the Trade Fair gate back home.
"While approaching the check-point at Mowo junction, our bus was asked to stop and the driver stopped immediately. The conductor of the bus came and met the officer who stopped us. They were both behind the bus and all believed that the conductor has ‘settled’ the officer as they normally collect what they call ‘ officers- on-duty fees’ because immediately the conductor came back, the driver moved but just few seconds, we heard a gun shot. It was when I opened my eyes on the hospital bed that I knew something has happened to me."
City scope learnt that the male victim who was shot at the buttocks and the woman were hit by stray bullets targeted at the tires of the vehicle when the driver moved thinking that his conductor had ‘settled’ the mobile policemen. Eyewitness account said that the victims lost a lot of blood and the woman fainted thereafter. The driver reportedly reversed back to the checkpoint and all the passengers came down to report what one of them had just done. It was gathered that while they were arguing with the Policemen, a police patrol van came immediately and helped in taken the victims to the General Hospital.
The husband of the woman, Mr. Joseph Toyi who also spoke with City Scope lamented the pains his wife was been forced to go through as a result of police recklessness. In tears, the husband who was weeping profusely while expressing fears of amputating his wife’s leg told City scope, "I just got married not quite long but see how this Mobile Police officer want to deprive me of my happiness of marriage. What if this lady had died as a result of the shooting, what will I say. What would I have explained to her parents who have just given her hand to me in marriage?"
Mr. Toyi stated that "my wife told me that Wednesday morning to give her money so that she could add it to the one with her so that she can go to the market to buy provision since the ones in stock was getting exhausted. I told her to wait till the next day because I was not having any money on me, yet I left the home to visit a friend. When I came back, I learnt that my wife has already gone to the market, then I decided to rest a little.
"it was around 2.30 p.m. that my phone rang with a strange number and when I picked the call, I heard a male voice, Joshua is this Joshua, your wife has just been shot by a Mobile police officer, she is at the General Hospital, Badagry. Immediately, I jumped outside and took Okada to the hospital."
Joshua said that as soon as he got to the hospital, he saw police patrol van with some Mobile Police officers standing outside and also he saw blood inside and around the van. It was then that he believed the story. "I enquired about my wife?" Then I was taken to the ward where I met her crying in pains. She has already been cleaned up and given some injection but the bullets in her body were not removed yet. The Mobile man who shot her was right beside her in the hospital, sympathizing.
A cameraman was sent for but immediately the man came, the mobile policeman took his camera and destroyed it. As a scuffle ensued the DPO, Badagry Police Station came and took him away saying that he would be detained.
Mr. Joshua alleged that the DPO, Mr. Shehu Abdulahi pretended as if he was going to detain and punish the officer that shot the woman but we all knew that he was taking him away to avoid his being mobbed by the public.
When City Scope went to Badagry police station to investigate what happened, the DPO gave his own side of the story. He said he was in his office when information was brought to him and he had to go to the general hospital to find out what actually happened. He said on reaching there, the officer in charge was still at the duty post. " I had to take that officer from there to our station for safety first. I detained him in the cell and I informed our PPRO about the incident.
Later, the officer was taken to Seme border because he is not from our station"
Given his own account of what took place on the fateful day, the Commander in-charge of Joint Border patrol, Sunday Bada told City Scope that as soon as the information came to him, he investigated what happened and was told that while the officers were on patrol, they got information that a gang of robbers has just robbed a commercial bus.
"That made them to be at alert when they saw a bus similar in color with the earlier one described to them.. They stopped the bus so as to check and confirm if really some robbery operation was going on but the driver refused to stop and that was why the officer fired a shot at the bus"
Sunday Bada stated that they know the officer has gone wrong. " He is going through necessary discipline action .
This is part of the hazzards in the job. If the driver had stopped initially, the officer wouldn’t have resorted into shooting and it is unfortunate". He stated that since the day of the incident, they have been very supportive, taking necessary responsibility of the treatment and thanked God that no life was lost.