Widow of LASTMA official ‘shot dead by a policeman’ testifies before judicial panel

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Eniola, wife of Adeyemo Rotimi, an official of the Lagos state traffic management authority (LASTMA), has narrated how her husband was allegedly shot dead by an officer of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) in 2018.

Eniola, who testified before the Lagos judicial panel set up to probe complaints on police brutality, lamented the challenges encountered by her family since the demise of her husband.

Rotimi was said to have been shot dead by a police officer while at his duty post at Iyana-Ipaja roundabout, Lagos state, around 6pm in November 2018.

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Residents at the scene of the incident were said to have descended on the policeman who allegedly shot Rotimi, leading to the officer’s death.

Akinwunmi Ambode, the immediate past governor of Lagos, had commiserated with the family and approved N10 million as compensation.

Speaking before the panel on Saturday, the widow of the late LASTMA official said her husband left behind three children, including a set of twins, adding that it has not been easy to cater for them, since her husband was the breadwinner of the house.

“My husband died and left me with three kids. He was the breadwinner of the family. Whenever I pass through Iyana-Ipaja, which is my route to work, I will remember the death of my husband, since it was the place he was shot dead,” she said.

“I have not been psychologically and emotionally stable since then. I’m always thinking about the death of my husband. Help me financially. It has not been easy with three kids.”

She informed the panel that she was compensated by the Lagos state government and that the burial ceremony was jointly sponsored by the family of her husband and the management of LASTMA.

She also tendered documents showing printed materials used for the burial arrangement of her husband, and the panel accepted them as exhibits.

During cross-examination, Joseph Eboseremen, the police counsel, asked Eniola if she was aware that the policeman that allegedly shot dead her husband was also lynched.

“I wouldn’t know about that,” she responded.

The police counsel again asked: “Were you not compensated by the Lagos state government? Because I was equally aware that you were given N10 million by the government.”

The widow responded: “Yes, N10 miilion.”

“Were you not compensated?” the police counsel again asked.

“Yes, I was, but not from the police,” she said.

She added that the compensation given by the state government had been used on expenses for her children over the past two years.

When asked by Adewale Sanni, a representative of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) who offered free legal representation to the widow, what the panel should do for her and her children, Adeyemo burst into tears.

“Give them a good education till they get to the university, full scholarship, and a good house,” she said.

Meanwhile, the police counsel told the panel that he would produce mortuary documents showing that the policeman who allegedly shot the LASTMA officer was lynched.

Doris Okuwobi, chairperson of the panel, adjourned the matter till December 11, 2020.

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