Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has promised to offset the hospital bills two members of the Edo State Association of the Deaf who were allegedly shot by members of the Nigerian Police and the Nigerian Army during the #EndSARS protest in Benin City.
This followed requests earlier made by the Association through the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for victims of SARS and related abuses to the State government.
The Governor’s willingness to meet the Association’s demands was disclosed during Monday’s sitting by members of the judicial panel, when it was announced that the state government has offered to take up the medical bills of the victims, which is running into several hundreds thousands of naira.
In the petition titled “EndSARS Tragedy: Shooting and Hospitalisation of Two Deaf Men: Mr. Bright Osarobo and Mr. Osazee Festus, call for Justice” which was earlier submitted to the panel and signed by its chairman, Kingsley Eromosele, and presented to the state judicial panel of inquiry, stated that it was disturbing that two unarmed innocent deaf men were victims of the excessive use of brute force to quell peaceful protest by citizens.
He said the unarmed and innocent deaf men, Mr. Bright Osarobo and Mr. Osazee Festus were shot on the 20 October, 2020 in Benin City by men of the Nigerian police and military men at Oguola junction, Siluko road and Upper Sokponba road, respectively.
Mr. Eromosele said Mr. Bright Osarobo was shot few metres away from his house by the police, hospitalised and operated on at the right hip and abdomen at Time Hospital and later transferred to Accident and Emergency Unit, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, (UBTH).
He further said Mr. Osazee Festus was shot by the Nigerian Army at the back of his neck while waiting to be hired as an artisan on Upper Sokponba road and was rushed to Omosu Hospital for stabilisation before being transferred to Accident and Emergency Unit, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, (UBTH).
Eromosele said Mr. Bright Osarobo whose right leg has been amputated owing to the gravity of the injury from the gun shot also suffered renal failure as a result of complications from the abdominal operation.
On the other hand, he said Mr. Osazee Festus run the risk of being bedridden as a result of spinal cord injury.
Eromosele said both Mr. Bright Osarobo and Mr Osazee Festus are deaf young men who work as artisans to earn a living, adding that due to their conditions, both victims were not aware of the declaration of curfew by the state government.
Eromosele, while stating their demands, listed offsetting the medical bills incurred by the duo as one of their demands through the panel to the state governor.