Kehinde Lasisi is the elder brother of Yakubu allegedly killed in a motor accident involving an officer of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, in Akure Ondo State. He talks about the incident with PETER DADA
What is your relationship with the deceased?
He was my younger brother from the same parents
How old was he?
He was 23 years old
Was he married?
No, he was not married.
What was his occupation?
He was a bricklayer.
But it was reported that he was a commercial motorcycle rider.
No, he was not a commercial bike rider. He was a bricklayer but he and his co-worker were going to work on a bike when the accident occurred.
What exactly happened on that day?
In the morning at about 8, I received a call that my brother was involved in an accident at the Ondo Road area. They said he had been taken to the Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Akure. I immediately went there. When I got there, I saw some people crying that his case was the worst among the three people that were involved in the accident. The people kept quiet when they saw me and I asked them where he was.
They told me that he was still receiving treatment in the ward. When I entered the ward, I saw him on the bed with bandage on his arms, legs and on the head. He could not talk. I later went to the scene of the accident. I saw some policemen there who told me that they wanted to tow the car that hit him to the premises of the ministry of works.
They also told me that they had arrested the NSCDC man that hit him. I went back to the hospital. They told us at the hospital that they could no longer handle the case in Akure that we should take him to the Trauma Centre, Ondo, at about 3pm. There was no vehicle to take him and we didn’t have the money to hire ambulance because the hospital demanded N17,000.
What did you do next?
We went to get one rickety vehicle outside the hospital, which took us to the Trauma Centre, Ondo town. They also told us that they too didn’t have equipment to treat his head, so they referred us to the UCH Ibadan, Oyo State. On our way to Ibadan, the vehicle broke down. After we repaired it, we continued the journey in the evening but later he stopped breathing and we had to return to Akure at midnight.
What caused the protest that led to the killing of another person?
No, there was no protest initially. When we were going for the burial of my brother in company with some government officials and policemen, some of his (Yakubu) friends followed us to the cemetery.
Some were on motorcycles while others trekked chanting various songs. We passed through the command headquarters of the NSCDC. There was traffic and our vehicle was not moving fast. Suddenly, I heard gunshots. A policewoman with us said nobody should shout. About 10 minutes after, I saw a team of armed NSCDC officers coming out of their premises.
One of them gave an order that they should fire and that was how they started shooting. They pointed the guns us. A woman, who was in a vehicle with the corpse in front of us wanted to get down from the vehicle and she was hit by stray bullets in the head. That was when all of us alighted and ran away. I returned home and it was later I heard that there was a protest and the corpses of my brother and the second woman were taken to the governor’s office.
Was the woman who was allegedly shot to death a member of your family?
No, she was our neighbour. She worked with my brother at the site. You remember that I said my brother was a bricklayer.
Where is your mother?
She is at home.
How did she receive the news of your brother’s death?
It was shocking to all of us in the family. As I speak, she is still unconscious. She is old and hypertensive but we are trying to calm her down.
Was it true that the NSCDC official that hit your brother paid his hospital bill?
He sent only N10, 000 to us when we were at the Ondo Trauma Centre.
What does the family want to do now?
We want justice. We want the government and other stakeholders to come to our aid. We don’t want the matter to be swept under the carpet. We want the perpetrators to be brought to book. Our mother is an old woman with health challenges. The family should be compensated.
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