More names same old story – Recklessness and neglect by the Nigerian Police

FEMI ENYI (August 2008)

On 6 August 2008, Femi Enyi (not his real name), a commercial driver, was shot without prior warning by a police officer working as a security guard at a branch of UBA Bank in Lagos. Femi Enyi was shot while he was arguing with another driver. Both drivers were unarmed. Femi Enyi’s wife and brother arrived at the scene and saw he was losing blood and was in pain. They told Amnesty International that the police did not allow them to come near the wounded man and refused to allow him to be taken to hospital. He later died.

SAMSON ADEKOYA (February 2008)

Samson Adekoya was also denied medical care. He was arrested for robbery on 6 February 2008 and detained at the SARS office in Lagos State. His family was allowed to see him during the first few days after his arrest. On 26 February 2008, the police informed the family that Samson Adekoya had fallen ill and died in hospital on 11 February 2008.

On 30 April 2008, the NGO Access to Justice petitioned the Commissioner of Police and Chief Judge of Lagos State and requested an inquiry into the death of Samson Adekoya. A coroner’s inquest revealed that he had died while in police custody and that he was dead by the time he arrived at the Ikorodu General Hospital on 12 February 2008. As the Police failed to inform a coroner, no autopsy was carried out and the cause of death remained unclarified. His body was not released to the family – Samson Adekoya was buried in a mass grave.

CHRISTIAN ONUIGBO, 28 (March 2009)

Christian Onuigbo, aged 28 and a father of one, died on 21 March 2009. Two days earlier, on 19 March, he was shot by the police while parking his car in Jiwa, Federal Capital Territory. He spent the night at Jiwa Police Station and was taken to hospital the next morning. Staff at the hospital refused to treat him without a police report, which was finally submitted at 4 pm. Christian Onuigbo died the following day.

Although his body was still in the hospital’s mortuary by December 2009, the authorities had not carried out an autopsy. In July 2009, the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions ordered an investigative hearing into the circumstances of his death. Further details are a bit sketchy and difficult to come by.

There are many more stories and pictures too painful to share or even talk about. You can download the full report from the Amnesty International website