TICKER: Mother of murdered ‘okada’ rider: “Police, please release my other son”

Taiwo Atilola, mother of the 27-year-old commercial motorcycle rider, Adigun, who was allegedly shot by a policeman in Lagos on Tuesday said Adigun’s brother, Sikiru, was also arrested after the incident.

She therefore appealed to the Lagos State Police Command to release her son so as to lessen her trauma.

Taiwo said, “We have been to the police station, but they have refused to grant his release. I was left in the dark as regards his arrest until last night (Tuesday) because they didn’t want me to fall into a coma. He would have been the one doing the running around now that his brother is down.

“He must have been mistaken for one of the protesters who went on the rampage. The police succeeded in injuring my son who is the one solely taking care of me. They should not add to my sorrow, they should please release him so that I won’t develop sudden hypertension.”

It was learnt that Sikiru, who is also an okada rider, was arrested at the scene of the incident on Tuesday when he rushed to see his shot brother.

Speaking to PUNCH Metro on Wednesday, Taiwo said appeals by her and other relations for Sikiru’s release had fallen on deaf ears.

Adigun, who was said to have attempted to evade arrest, was allegedly shot by a policeman identified simply as Yemi while trying to enforce the Lagos State traffic law on Ilupeju bypass.

Our correspondent who visited the Intensive Care Unit of the Lagos State Teaching Hospital on Wednesday, learnt that the okada rider was receiving post-surgery treatment and would not be allowed to see visitors.

However, a source at the hospital told our correspondent that Adigun underwent a successful surgical operation, adding that he was still under medical observation.

“You can’t be allowed to speak with him. The doctors are presently attending to him and he is under close medical observation,” she said.

Meanwhile, Adigun’s wife, Tawa, said her husband could only speak in hush tones.

“I fear for the health of my husband. I met him in a very pathetic state. When I was opportune to see him in the early hours of today (Wednesday), he only managed to speak to me when he asked for the welfare of our six-week old child. He said ‘how is my baby doing?’” she said.

However, Tawa, accused the police of abandoning her husband.

She added that medical officers at the hospital had asked her to look for how to get blood donation for him since the policemen who hitherto stood to foot the bills were not forthcoming.

She said, “The senior police officers who were with us last night promised us heaven and earth as regards his medical care before they left. Surprisingly, I have not set my eyes on any of them as I speak to you. Is it that the police were only showing eye service to us when they all wore sombre looks yesterday?

“I and other relations have started running helter skelter to get blood so that we can at least save his life.  I know God will surely judge them according to their deeds.”

Adigun’s friend, Rotimi Adejare, urged the police not to sweep the matter under the carpet, adding that the trigger-happy cop should be charged for attempted murder.

However, the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, said she was not aware of Sikiru’s arrest.

She said, “I have not been briefed on that and I don’t have such information on his arrest. Meanwhile, it is not true that the police have abandoned the okada rider. In fact, I think the Area Commander slept in that police station overnight.

“The policeman who was accused of shooting the okada rider also sustained injuries in the scuffle that ensued and he is also responding to treatment in hospital. The Commissioner of Police is concerned about the incident and he has ordered an investigation into the incident.”

Punch Newspapers

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