A woman whose Police Inspector husband, Ayodeji Erinfolam, died after being shot on the stomach on October 12 in the Surulere area of Lagos during the #EndSARS protest, Friday narrated her pain at the incident.
Mrs. Olamide Erinfolam told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS related abuses and other matters that she waited for her husband to call her once he got to the office, as he promised, but he was killed before he could do so.
She said she believed that her husband was shot by one of his fellow policemen and pleaded with the tribunal to help avenge his death.
Led in evidence by her lawyer, Mr. Gbemiga Ogunleye, Olamide said although the Lagos State Government gave the family N10m compensation, “money cannot buy our joy.”
The widow stated that on the morning of October 12, her late husband phoned her that he was going to work. She told him to call her once he got to the office.
She, however, waited in vain for her husband’s phone call. Later that day, someone called her from Maiduguri and asked her if she had heard that her husband was shot during the protest.
The widow said she called each of her husband’s two phone lines twice and the lines rang out.
“About 45 minutes later, I called again and a girl picked and said my husband was shot. I asked her how, the lady said I should be praying, I should call a pastor,” Olamide said.
She expressed disappointment that the police did not officially call her to inform her about the incident.
The widow also noted that in the video footage of the incident that she saw, none of her husband’s colleague was seen rallying round to save his life after he was shot.
She said on getting to the mortuary where the remains of the late Inspector was deposited, she could not look at his corpse.
When asked if the remains had been buried, the widow answered in the negative.
Sobbing, she said: “They said they wanted to conduct an autopsy. I have been to the mortuary to tell them to release the corpse for burial because he has aged parents.”
At the instance of the petitioner’s counsel, the panel watched a video clip of the scene where the deceased was shot.
The footage as well as two photographs of the deceased were admitted as exhibits by the panel.
The petitioner’s counsel, Jonathan Ogunleye, prayed with the panel to order the police to immediately conduct an autopsy and release the remains of the deceased for burial so that the family could get a closure.
Asked what she wanted the panel to do for her, the widow said, “I need justice; I want justice to prevail. I want them to investigate what killed my husband.”
Under cross-examination, counsel for the police, Cyril Ejiafor, who said the late Inspector Erinfolami worked under him, challenged the widow’s claim that the deceased’s killing was premeditated.
Ejiafor told the panel the police would call at least one witness.
The panel adjourned further hearing till January 15, 2021.