The Nigeria Police Force, Bayelsa State command, has been accused of knocking down a pedestrian with their patrol van, and abandoning him at the hospital in the state capital – Yenagoa.
According to reports, the incident happened in the Ekeki area of Yenagoa when the victim, Shadrack Ogbonna, was crossing the road on May 6, 2019. He was allegedly hit by a police being driven against traffic.
The officers in the van reportedly rushed Ogbonna to the hospital. It was disclosed by the doctor that he had sustained brain injuries, and needed to undergo a medical procedure abroad which would cost ₦5 million.
It's not the first time police drive against traffic and cause accident
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Wife of the victim, Asu Ogbonna, revealed that the police had initially agreed to offset his hospital bills, but changed their mind after the doctors said 5 million was needed for a procedure overseas. According to her, the police stated that they would not offset the bills because the officer who knocked down her husband was on a state assignment when it happened.
“That morning, I left him in the house to Swali market where I trade. Before I left, we talked about plans to raise money for our rent that was to expire in June. So, I was in the market when I got a call that my husband was involved in car accident.
““When I got to the hospital, I found my husband in a bad condition. I thought he was dead. I was told that he was hit by a police van driving against traffic. The police promised to take care of his medical bills, but they later said they would not give us a dime because it was the state government that sent them on an errand when the incident occurred.”
Corroborating the story, the victim’s brother in law, Joseph Ngene, said the situation was pathetic. He disclosed that the police showed interest to assist initially, but took their hands off when they heard that ₦5 million was needed for a medical procedure abroad.
“As it is now, it is clear that my brother would never live a normal life again, yet the police are asking us to go to court because they know that we don’t have the power and finance to challenge them on the matter. I want to plead with well-meaning Bayelsans and Nigerians to come to our aide.”
Asinim Butswat, Bayelsa State Command Police Public Relations Officer, acknowledged that the accident occurred. According to him, the police was offering assistance to the victim.
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