Friday, 19 July 2013

Woman and baby critically injured as policeman drives against traffic and knocks them down

Taskirat, Ammarah and The vehicle

A police corporal, identified simply as Friday, has been accused of knocking down a teacher, Mrs. Taskirat Anjolaiya, and her baby, Ammarah.

It was learnt that as a result of the incident, the mother and daughter sustained pelvic fracture, brain injury and a broken jaw among others.

According to eyewitness, the policeman, who is attached to FESTAC Police Division, was driving against traffic on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway when he knocked down the victims.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the graduate of Mathematics Education was alighting from a commercial bus with her child and had not noticed the police patrol van coming from the wrong direction.

The victim’s husband, Sulaiman, said the policeman claimed he was running an errand for the Divisional Police Officer, Ibrahim Zango.

The policeman was said to have told them that he was instructed by the DPO to drop off a woman at the airport in Ikeja and he drove against traffic to avoid traffic congestion on the appropriate route so that she would not miss her flight.

He said, “The accident occurred on June 23, 2013. My wife was on her way to a religious progamme when a police driver drove recklessly on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway. He was driving against traffic and shouting at drivers on the right side of the road to clear out.

“He eventually knocked down my wife and baby while they were alighting from a bus.

“The policeman’s first concern at the scene of the accident was to immediately get a cab to convey the woman in his vehicle to her destination.”

PUNCH Metro learnt that the policeman rushed the victims to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, and deposited N70,000 for their treatment.

At LUTH however, doctors at the emergency ward discovered that the mother of three had sustained a pelvic fracture, facial bruises, and brain injury while the baby, Ammarah, also suffered deep facial cuts and a broken jaw.

Sulaiman lamented that since the incident, over N500, 000 had been spent on treatment.

He said the policeman had abandoned the victims at the hospital since depositing the N70, 000.

He expressed disappointment over how the DPO handled the matter when they went to report the matter at the station.

“A few days after the accident, when I could no longer bear the pressure alone, I went to see the DPO and I told him what happened. Zango lambasted me before offering us additional N10, 000,” he said.

Sulaiman lamented that this was too little given the fact that he was unemployed and had spent all his savings.

He expressed disappointment that the police, who had been charged with the duty of protecting lives, were the ones inflicting hardship on the family.

Our correspondent, who visited the victim at Ward E3 on Thursday, observed that she was recuperating.

However, some nurses, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the head trauma she sustained was still affecting her.

One of them said, “She gets up from her bed and roams the hospital. Most of the time we have to strap her back to the bed to prevent her from going astray and I cannot say when she will be discharged,” she said.

Sulaiman said his wife was a teacher and he feared if she would recover completely.

Sulaiman said, “I have been unemployed for several months. My wife is a teacher at Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School and she was the one supporting us until these injuries due to the behaviour of this police corporal who has now abandoned us.

“The accident could have been avoided if the police man obeyed simple traffic regulation. Now, the action of the policeman has resulted in serious brain injury to my wife.”

The spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, confirmed the incident.

She said disciplinary action was being taken against the DPO, while the police driver had been detained.

“It is really a pathetic case and no one is happy about it. You were the one that just informed us of the incident. We have started taking disciplinary action against the DPO and the corporal. We will hold a meeting on the issue on Friday,” she said.

Braide however said she could not say if financial support would be given to the family until after the meeting.

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