Olamide Erinfolami, the widow of a police inspector who was shot dead during the #EndSARS protest, has accused her late husband’s colleagues of killing him.
When she appeared before the Lagos state judicial panel on Friday, the widow said Ayodeji Erinfolami, a police inspector, was shot dead while trying to quell the #EndSARS protest at Surelere, Lagos, on October 12.
In a petition before the panel on Friday, Gbemiga Ogunleye, counsel to the widow, told the court that Erinfolami, a police inspector attached to anti-cultism and kidnapping unit, Area C, Surulere, was shot by police officers who “forcibly broke the peaceful protesters”.
She said the police abandoned his corpse at the hospital without contacting his family.
Ogunleye presented a flash drive containing a video showing a police officer with his intestine open as he laid on the ground crying for help. He said the police officer is the husband of the petitioner.
Narrating her testimony before the panel, the widow said she lives in Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti, with her children and was informed about the death of her husband by someone in Maiduguri, Borno capital.
“On October 12 2020, I was in Ado-Ekiti because I don’t stay with him in Lagos. He called me in the morning that he was going to the office and I told him that whenever he gets to work he should call me. I went to the market and I came back in the evening, I did not hear from him,” she said.
“Around 5 pm, I had a call from someone from Maiduguri and she said ‘Aunty Ola, did you hear what happened?’ And I said what? She said my husband was shot during #EndSARS protests at Surelere and I asked her: ‘How did it happen?’ Then she said she did not know that she saw it on social media.
“I called his phone number, he has two phone numbers, nobody was picking. After about 45 minutes, I now called his number, a girl picked the call. I now asked her what happened, she said my husband was shot during #EndSARS protest.”
The widow also accused the police of abandoning her family, adding that they have refused to release his corpse for burial.
The hearing became heated during the cross examination by Cyril Ejiofor, police counsel, who argued that the police did not neglect the family of the deceased and that the widow had been compensated.
“In the petition, you claimed that police killed your husband,” the police counsel queried.
“Yes, I said my husband was shot dead by police during the #EndSARS protest in Surelere,” the widow responded.
Ejiofor argued that the petitioner cannot conclude that her husband was shot dead by police officer because she was not at the scene of the incident.
Ejiofor said the widow wouldn’t have known if the police authorities visited the three-bedroom flat rented by her husband in Lagos, since she is staying in Ado-Ekiti.
“They have not visited us, nobody from the police contacted his family,” the petitioner responded.
“Were you told that your husband was taken to the hospital,” the police counsel asked.
“After three weeks, Sergeant Monday told me that they were the one who told him to hospital,” she responded.
“Were you told that as at the time he was taken to the hospital, he was also alive?” police counsel asked.
“Yes, Monday told me,” the petitioner responded.
“Your husband visited two hospitals before he gave the ghost. True or false,” police counsel asked.
“Yes, I heard Eko Hospital and one other,” she responded.
On the compensation given by the Lagos state government, the police counsel asked the widow about the value of the cheque given to her by the government.
“I was given N10 million,” the widow said.
The petitioner is among the six widows of police officers that the Lagos state government compensated with N10 million each over the death of their husbands during the #EndSARS protest.
Ejiofor asked the panel for an adjournment for the petition to allow the police bring a witness.
Dorris Okuwobi (retired), chairperson of the panel, adjourned the case till January 15, 2021.