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Police killed my only remaining son, threatened to shoot me, too – Agony of a visually impaired woman

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•Loses two sons in one year

Appeals to LASG for help

“What have I done to deserve such  cruel  fate? Who did I offend? Ah! I am doomed”.

This was the lamentation  of Mrs. Abidemi Sanyaolu, a visually impaired woman, when this reporter visited her in her ramshackle store in Meiran area of Lagos. The place served as home for her, her husband and  two children, until disaster erupted.

She stood up from an old chair that made squeaky sound each time she attempted to recline and sat on the bare floor, to prevent the disturbing noise.

She reached for her stick which fell in the process, placed her palms on the top , rested her chin on them before narrating her tales of woe.

Her only surviving son, 14- year-old Mubarak Sanyaolu, was killed by a stray bullet from a team of policemen , last month.

This was the second time in one year that the family would be thrown into grief. First, was the death of its first son, last year.

His death saddled  Mubarak, a Senior Secondary School 1 student of District Secondary School,  with the responsibility of moving his mother around and helping with the house chores.

In his determination to complement the  efforts of his father who is a commercial motorcyclist, he  began  apprenticeship as a vulcanizer ,not too far from his parents’  abode.

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Tragedy

He resumed at the workshop after school , everyday, until fate decided otherwise, on November 3, 2021.

Penultimate day, commercial motorcyclists were protesting the death of one of their own by a policeman , who allegedly  shot the deceased, for refusing to part with N100.

When the protest assumed a violent dimension, late Mubarak’s  boss, hurriedly closed for the day and directed Mubarak  and his colleagues to go home in order  to avoid being caught in the web of the protest.

His adherence to that  directive turned out to be his greatest undoing.

Narrating how her only surviving son died, the distraught mother said, “Policemen  deployed to quell the  protest that day,  started shooting indiscriminately. A bullet hit Mubarak who was trying to cross the road to come home.  He died on the spot.

 ” Some  people brought  his corpse home  and laid it at our doorstep . He was just 14 years old!

Mubarak had been my only guide since  I lost my sight 11 years ago.

“My husband works as a commercial tricycle operator. He leaves home every morning to look for a tricycle to use for commercial purpose before we would eat.

“It was Mubarak who  assisted  me if I wanted to have my bath, use the toilet or feed.

He would attend to me before going to school, after school and   before he left for his place of  apprenticeship.

Since his death, I have been bumping into objects whenever I’m going to the bathroom or toilet. I can’t force my husband  to stay at home and take care of me.  That would worsen the already sorry situation.   Besides, I don’t want to go plate in hand begging at bus -stops and streets junctions “.

Seeks justice

The distraught  woman said with the help of sympathisers, she visited  Meiran Police Station on the day of the incident  but was prevented from seeing the Divisional Police Officer.

She alleged that “  policemen at the station threatened to shoot us.  Those who took me to the station ran away because of the threat.  They waited outside and took me back home.

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Last year, I lost my  first child  after a brief illness. Now, the Police have killed my  remaining child. I’m left with nothing! I have no hope again because Mubarak was my only hope. What am I living for?

All I demand is for the policemen that killed my son to be brought to book”.

Silence from Police

Abidemi lamented that since the death of Mubarak, no government official or the Police had deemed it wise to pay her family a condolence visit, let alone to check on how she and her husband were coping”.

At this point, her husband, Olamilekan Sanyanolu walked in sweating.  He sat close to his wife, held her hand and explained that he had to leave the garage immediately he heard there was a visitor at home..

Mubarak’s father

 Olamilekan  said the bullet from the  police gun hit the deceased in the stomach.

He recalled: “I was relaxing in a compound nearby when some residents rushed in and asked me to follow them, that they wanted to show me something; they didn’t tell me what it was.

I was led to  where Mubarak laid stone dead in the pool of his blood. The sight was too much for me to bear, I passed out.  I was later revived.

The  Police refused to allow me to take his corpse. They took it into a van and drove off.  As I speak, it is yet to be  released for burial.

The burden is too much for me. I am faced with the challenge of my visually impaired wife. There is nobody to take care of her while I am out of the house. I didn’t have cause to worry when Mubarak was alive.

 The Lagos State Government should come to my aid and assist me financially so that I can take care of my wife. Government should not allow Mubarak to die in vain

Late Mubarak’s boss, Mr. Taofeek Qudri, who also spoke to Crime Guard, recalled with pain the tragic event of that fateful day.

 He said,  ”I had barely left the place when gunshots started coming from different directions. When  I was told that Mubarak had been killed by a stray bullet, I rushed to the spot, shook him , in an attempt to wake him up. But he didn’t. I tried to carry him  but the policemen fired teargas canisters which forced me to  leave the scene”.

A human right activist,identified simply as Skido, who spoke with Crime Guard, said  attempts by a soldier to rush Mubarak for medical aid was rebuffed.

According to Skido, “The bullet hit Mubarak in  front of Command Secondary School.  One of the soldiers guarding the school tried to save him but the policemen threatened to shoot him if he did.   The gunshot tore  Mubarak’s stomach open while  other people sustained varying degrees of  injuries.

I heard that the Divisional Police Officer  in charge of Meiran Police Station, called Mubarak’s father and told him to go to the mortuary to collect the remains of his son for burial. He told him that after the burial , he (bereaved father) should come for negotiations. When the grieving father refused to go, the DPO started threatening him and his wife.

All the family wants is for  the policeman that killed its son  to be punished. We have also sent a petition to the Lagos State Police Command on our demand for  justice for late  Mubarak.”

He also called on the  State government to come to the aid of the bereaved couple by ensuring they got justice.

When contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer Mr. Adekunle Ajisebutu, a Chief Superintendent of Police  said the matter had been transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department SCIID, Yaba, Lagos.

He assured that the command would make a public statement at the end of its investigation into the tragic end of Mubarak.

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Father, daughters, relation die after ‘amala’ meal in Kogi

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Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command, CP Edward Egbuk

The people of Mopa town in the Mopa-Muro Local Government Area of Kogi State have been thrown into mourning following the mysterious death of four members of a family after reportedly eating a cassava flour meal known as ‘Amala.’

The deceased died in quick succession between Friday, September 30 and Sunday, October 2.

Those who died included the family head, Pa. Motilewa, two daughters and a girl who is said to be their relation.

One of the deceased daughters identified as Motun was a National Certificate of Education holder and teacher in the town. The mother, however, miraculously survived.

The event has left residents of the town and the entire neighbourhood in mourning, fear and confusion, with many calling for an investigation into the death of the family members.

It was gathered that the family prepared the ‘Amala’ meal from the left over of cassava flour from which they had previously made and eaten ‘Fufu’. They were said to have spread the processed shafts in the sun to dry for some days.

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The dried flakes were subsequently ground into soft powder which was used for ‘Amala’ which they ate on Thursday evening, before retiring to bed.

An eyewitness reported that the victims became sick overnight and efforts were made to stabilise them. Unfortunately, the youngest member of the family passed away on Friday, quickly followed on Saturday by the relation living with the family.

With the sudden passage, the others were moved to the highly rated ECWA Hospital, Egbe, for better medical attention.

Sadly, the eldest of the daughters, Motun, gave up the ghost at about 3:00am Sunday. The father also died later the same Sunday.

At the time of filing this report, the mother, identified as Molomo, was still alive in the hospital and under a close observation.

Members of the community are said to be suspecting foul play in the sudden death and have, therefore, suspended the burial for proper investigations to unravel the cause of their deaths.

“We are shocked. I have never seen a thing like this. We suspect that someone may have poisoned the food. For what? We cannot tell. I’m confused and in pains. This is too much to bear,” a member of the family lamented.

Earlier in August this year, five persons lost their lives after eating a cassava flour meal prepared at their family house in Usugnwe-Okaito, Okehi local government area of Kogi State.

Eagle

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Building collapse claims one as flood displaces 651,053 in Anambra communities

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Flood in Anambra

One person died in Enugu-Otu, Aguleri in Anambra State, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed.

The Acting State Coordinator, Mr. Thickman Tanimu who disclosed this to reporters on Monday, said the deceased, identified as Ginikanwa Izuoba passed on following sudden collapse of his apartment occasioned by impact of the flood.

He further hinted that no fewer than 651,053 persons were rendered homeless by the disaster in six local government areas of the state.

He added that Ogbaru Local Government Area recorded highest number of victims followed by Anambra East and West Local Government Areas.

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“NEMA, accompanied by officials of Anambra State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, visited Umueze-Anam, Mkpunando, Igbedo, Inoma and Ifite-Ogwari all in Anambra East and Anyamelum Council Areas,” he said.

Appreciating Anambra SEMA for taking certain proactive measures to mitigate impact of the disaster, Tanimu identified such measures to include identification of 13 Internally Displaced Persons’ camps, recruitment of camp managers, support staff and activation of health workers to work with people in the camps.

“The camps so far activated include the Ifite-Ogwari and Igbakwu Health Centres,” he added.

The Nation

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Father Mbaka Removed From Adoration Ministry As Worshippers Attack Priest Brought As Replacement

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Ejike Mbaka

… Fr Amadi replaces Mbaka

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