Miracle Ailenokhuoria, a fashion designer, who was allegedly deliberately shot by the police in Ekpoma during the EndSARS protest has appealed to the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for victims of SARS and related abuses to grant his N100m compensation request to take care of his medical needs.
The victim has been reportedly bed-ridden at the Irrua Specialists Teaching Hospital in Irrua, Edo State since October 9, 2020, when the incident happened.
Presenting petition number JPI/086/Edo/2020 before the 22-member panel on Thursday in Benin City, Counsel to the victim, Dennis Osaretin, Esq., said the police deliberately shot his client without any form of provocation in the presence of some witnesses in Ekpoma.
“On October 9, 2020, at about 5pm after the close of the day’s business, we were reliably informed that our client walked towards the market square to take a commercial motorcycle home.
“Suddenly, one police officer who was later identified as Sergeant Ade and another police officer whose name is unknown from the Area Command Police Division in Ekpoma pounced on him, gave him the beating of his life, and shot him on his thigh.
“They left him in a pool of his blood, but for bystanders who rushed him to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital where he has been on emergency treatment ever since,” the lawyer said
Mr Osaretin said efforts to get the police in Edo to investigate the matter had proved abortive as there had been deliberate attempts to sweep the issue under the carpet.
“All attempts to make entry both at the Divisional Police Station and the Area Commander at Ekpoma by the mother of the victim where the said officers were believed to still be serving has been frustrated that is why this petition,” Mr Osaretin stressed.
He told the panel that he volunteered to take up the matter on a pro bono legal service basis when he discovered that a lot of victims that suffered police brutality during the EndSARS protests were helpless.
The lawyer said the bed-ridden victim suffered a severe fracture on his thigh and expended pellet from a police gun, adding that the medical bills have been solely bored by the family since the unfortunate incident.
“The victim had a severe fracture on his thigh and the expended pellet from the police gun is still lodged in his thigh. The medical bills have been solely bored by our client’s family who has remained distraught and traumatized by the incident,” he lamented.
Mr Osaretin told the panel that the injury inflicted on his client amounted to gross violation of his right to dignity, liberty and freedom of movement, and right to life.
“We shall be demanding for the sum of N100m only as compensation for the gunshot injuries sustained by Mr Ailenokhuoria,” he added.
Counsel to the Police, Polycarp Odion, told the panel that the police had no case to answer since the matter was not recorded.
The police have no case to answer in this matter,” he said after making some telephone inquiries.
The 22-man panel headed by Ada Ehigiamusoe, a retired judge, accepted the petition and adjourned to Friday for continuation of sitting.