Mrs Olamide Erinfolami, widow of the late Inspector Ayodeji Erinfolami, who was shot on the stomach on October 12 in the Surulere area of Lagos during the #EndSARS protest, has pleaded for justice over her husband’s killing.
The widow, who appeared on Friday before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing allegations of rights abuses by the police, said she believed that her husband was shot by one of his fellow policemen.
Led in evidence by her lawyer, Mr Gbemiga Ogunleye, Olamide told the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel that the Lagos State Government gave the family N10m compensation.
She, however, said, “Money cannot buy our joy.” The widow narrated that on the morning of October 12, her late husband had called her on the phone that he was going to work and she told him to call her once he got to the office.
She, nevertheless, said she waited in vain for her husband’s phone call. And then someone from Maiduguri called and asked her if she had heard that her husband was shot during the protest.
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The widow said she called each of her husband’s two phone lines twice and the lines rang out.
“About 45 minutes later, I called again and a girl picked and said my husband was shot. I asked her how, the lady said I should be praying, I should call a pastor,” the widow said.
She expressed disappointment that the police did not officially call her to inform her about the incident.
She also noted that in the video footage of the incident that she saw, none of her husband’s colleagues was seen rallying round to save his life after he was shot.
She said on getting to the mortuary where the remains of the late Inspector was deposited, she could not look at the remains.
When asked if the remains had been buried, the widow answered in the negative.
“They said they wanted to conduct an autopsy. I have been to the mortuary to tell them to release the corpse for burial because he has aged parents,” the widow said amid sobs.
At the instance of the petitioner’s counsel, the panel watched a video clip of the scene where the deceased was shot.
The footage as well as two photographs of the deceased were admitted as exhibits by the panel.
The petitioner’s counsel, Ogunleye, prayed with the panel to order the police to immediately conduct an autopsy and release the remains of the deceased for burial so that the family could get a closure.
Asked what she wanted the panel to do for her, the widow said, “I need justice; I want justice to prevail. I want them to investigate what killed my husband.”
Under cross-examination, counsel for the police, Cyril Ejiafor, who said the late Inspector Erinfolami worked under him, challenged the widow’s claim that the deceased’s killing was premeditated.
Ejiafor told the panel the police would call at least one witness.
The panel adjourned the matter till January 15, 2021.
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