I Need Justice for My Slain Husband, Says Widow

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Segun James

Following the killing of her husband during the EndSARS protest, a widow, Mrs. Olamide Erinfolami, has pleaded for justice over her husband’s killing.

Mrs. Erinfolami who said that her husband, Inspector Ayodeji Erinfolami, was shot on the stomach on October 12 in the Surulere area of Lagos during the #EndSARS protest, told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing allegations of rights abuses by the police, that she believed that her husband was shot by one of his fellow policemen.

Led in evidence by her lawyer, Mr. Gbemiga Ogunleye, Olamide told the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel that though the Lagos State Government gave the family N10m compensation, “money cannot buy our joy.”

She narrated that on the morning of October 12, her husband had called on the phone that he was going to work and she told him to call her once he got to the office, but said she waited in vain for his phone call until someone from Maiduguri called and asked her if she had heard that her husband has been shot during the protest.
She said that twice she called his number and it rang out but “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.”

She expressed disappointment that the police did not officially call her to inform her about the incident.

She 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.

At the instance of the petitioner’s counsel, the panel watched a video clip of the scene where the deceased was shot.

She said on getting to the mortuary where the remains of the late Inspector was deposited, she could not look at the remains.

The footage as well as two photographs of the deceased were admitted as exhibits by the panel.

“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,” the widow said amid sobs

The petitioner’s counsel, Ogunleye, prayed 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 the matter till January 15, 2021.