The family of Blessing Isabor, who was shot by a police corporal identified as Okujo Emmanuel, has called on the Federal Government and the acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to come to their rescue in footing the medical bill. The victim’s mother, Doris Isabor, a widow, is also appealing to the IGP to track down Emmanuel, who also kidnapped her 17-year-old daughter, Patience, after he shot Blessing for trying to stop the kidnap.
Blessing is undergoing series of surgery at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, following the gunshot wound she sustained from Emmanuel’s rifle, which shattered her cheek bones and fingers. The incident happened at Sawmill area, Ifako, Bariga on February 10, 2012.
According to Mrs. Isabor, Emmanuel, who is attached to the Ifako Police Station, attacked her two daughters about 7pm in her apartment. She said: “I am a nanny in a private crèche and I have been taking care of my two girls since their father died in 2001. My children and I are struggling to survive and we have lived peacefully with our neigbours all these years. I started noticing Corporal Emmanuel coming to our compound last year and he will greet me like every other person in our compound. But since I do not stay at home all the time, I will not know much about his visit.
“From what I heard, Emmanuel barged into my room, he ordered Patience, the younger one, whi is 17 years old, to follow him. But she refused. Blessing stood up to him that he cannot take Patience anywhere without my consent. That was how he brought out his gun and told Blessing to close her eyes and say her last prayers. That was how he shot her four times on the cheek and on her fingers. The blood stain is everywhere in my room. It was a neigbour who called to inform me about what happened and that corporal Emmanuel took Patience away.”
A case of kidnap.
Mrs. Isabor rejected police claims that Patience eloped with Corporal Emmanuel. She said: “It is not true that Patience eloped with Corporal Emmanuel because a neighbour who witnessed the whole incident said after Emmanuel shot Blessing, he pointed a gun on Patience’s head and forced her to scale through the fence. He also scaled the fence but Patience ran into a nearby shop and was trying to hide but he ran after her and threatened to shoot the man that was trying to help her. So that was how he kidnapped her and fled on a motorcycle.”
The Isabors are accusing the police of playing games with the lives of their daughter. Kevin, the girls’ uncle, said the family will petition the IGP and the Presidency over the case. He said: “It is unfortunate that the police are saying that Patience eloped with the corporal. How can a minor give her consent? A corporal had just shot her sister in her presence and is pointing a gun at her. Even if it is the DPO, he will succumb and do what the person holding the gun wants. The police is not ready to find the erring officer and Patience’s life is at risk. Also, the DPO has to explain why he did not default Emmanuel and collect his rifle from him after he closed from work that day. The family, with the help of the community, has been footing Blessing’s medical bills. The DPO gave me N63,000 but we have spent more than N200,000 and the hospital is saying Blessing needs to undergo plastic surgery as her cheek bones have been shattered. Her fingers are also shattered by the gunshots. I have written to human rights organisations and we are also writing petitions to the Presidency and the IGP on this injustice.
It was also gathered that Patience has called some of her friends and family members that Corporal Emmanuel locked her up in an undisclosed apartment at Ikorodu. Mrs. Isabor said: “Patience called and said she is at Ikorodu. That Emmanuel locked her inside. She said she was calling with his phone but the number was hidden.”
The Lagos State Police Command spokesperson, Jayieoba Joseph, has assured the Isabors that the police is on the trail of the erring policeman. Joseph said: “We have began a manhunt for him and he will be arrested soon and be made to face the full wrath of the law.”