A 62-year-old lecturer of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Dr. William Okotie, Monday, November 30, told the Edo State Judicial Panel of enquiry for victims of SARS and related abuses that life has been so difficult for him and his family since he lost his wife, Dr. Mrs. Stella Okotie, due to recklessness of the men of the Nigerian police at the gate of the university.
Dr. Okotie who appeared before the Panel alongside his son, Ogheneochuko, told the Panel that his wife was killed while standing at the front of the school gate.
He told the Panel that the death could have been avoided if the police officers were not struggling the steering with the minibus driver.
“We don’t know what happened between the driver and the policemen.
“We only saw the officers of the police dragging the steering with the driver until they hit my wife.
“My son and I were standing alongside my wife, (now deceased)when it happened”, he said.
Okotie who is a lecturer in the Department of Institute of Public Administration, UNIBEN, told the Panel also that the family was done with the burial but needed compensation from the government to be able to take care of the family and settle debt incurred during her burial.
When asked how he has been coping since he lost his wife, the university lecturer said it has been hell trying to take care of the family as he has to battle with how to cook and dress up the children for school
“Since it happened, it hasn’t been easy with us. It is not something one should experience; I have been doing the cooking, school run”, he said.
Okotie said that it was a pity that his wife who is also a lecturer in the Department of Institute of Education, UNIBEN, died very closely to her place of work.
“My wife was a lecturer in the institute of education. She was fond of where she worked, and she died in front of her workplace.
“This was caused by the unprofessional conduct of the police. Two police officers were dragging the steering with the driver of the minibus which led to her death”, he said almost in tears.