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‘How stray bullet from SARS operatives shattered my leg,’ Hairdresser tells Lagos panel

A hairdresser, Mrs. Hannah Olugbodi, on Saturday, narrated to the Lagos State judicial panel of inquiry probing allegations of police brutality, how she ended up on a crutch.

Olugbodi, 35, said her left leg was shattered by a stray bullet fired by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who came to arrest a young man with tattoos in the Ijeshatedo area of the state in June 2018.

According to her, the policemen were at one Ogun City Hotel to demand money to fuel their vehicle when they saw the young man with tattoos among soccer fans at the hotel.

She said the owner of the hotel, who usually give the SARS operatives money, was not around at the time of the incident.

Olugbodi told the panel that the SARS operatives labelled the young man with tattoos a “Yahoo Yahoo boy” and moved to arrest him.

The petitioner said: “Attempts by the SARS operatives to arrest and take the boy with tattoos away were resisted by the other boys and the SARS operatives started firing gunshots.

“I was at Ijesha market trying to buy pepper to prepare food for the children to take to school the following day when I was hit by a stray bullet.”

She said the market women rushed towards her and asked for her address and the name of her husband.

Olugbodi added: “I was eventually taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) where the hospital officials said there was no bed space.

READ ALSO: Wife of LASTMA officer killed by policeman demands scholarship for children

“They doctor said they needed to do four surgeries. The bullet affected my bone. The doctor said the second surgery would involve cutting my bone because the bone did not survive.

“I spent six months in LUTH and the doctor asked me to return two years later for a follow-up surgery.

“I can’t walk properly; I feel pain every five minutes. When I sat there (in the hall), I felt the AC (air conditioner) inside my bone; I had to go out for a while.

“I can’t walk properly, I stagger now. At the midnight, I can’t sleep. I can’t do my work. For two years, I have been at home, doing nothing.

“The panel should compensate me and my two kids. It is only my husband that is doing everything.”

The petitioner’s husband, Oluwaseun Olugbodi, who also testified before the panel, said the Divisional Police Officer in the area told him that the stray bullet was fired by SARS operatives from Gbagada.

The panel adjourned the matter till December 8 for further hearing.

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