By Chux Odoh
Miss Linda Nkechi Igwetu was supposed to wear her National Youth Service uniform for the last time tomorrow, June 5. She was supposed to begin a journey of survival in Nigeria’s highly unfavourable labour market, and perhaps, to make her parents reap the rewards of sponsoring her through school.
Little would she have known that such dream would not come to fruition, because a reckless, irresponsible police officer had other ideas.
Linda, a Lagos resident serving in Abuja, was shot around 3 am on Wednesday, June 4 – just a day before she would have had her Passing Out Parade (POP) from NYSC in Nigeria’s capital.
Newsroom reliably gathers that a police officer shot at their car while she returning from her primary assignment positing at Outsource Global Company Mabushi, and she bled to death.
Linda had left work late, at about 11 pm, and decided to hang out with a few friends, before their POP scheduled for the next day (tomorrow).
They left for home at about 3am, and shortly after the checkpoint immediately after Ceddi Plaza, Linda was shot. A police officer identified as Benjamin Peters pulled the trigger.
The bullet hit her on her side, by the midriff, and she began losing blood in the open roof vehicle. The rush to save her life began.
Quite absurdly, the doctors at the Garki hospital where she was rushed to wouldn’t treat her. They requested for a police report, despite the fact that the police officers were present. Linda bled to death while doctors and policemen were negotiating her life.
The case, we gather, has been taken to Federal Secretariat Police Station.
When Newsroom reached out to Linda’s sister, Chinenye, her voice had grown weary from tears, as she could only muster in confirmation to our correspondent what had happened.
She told us that the police were in their “usual” process of treating the case.
This ugly incident has happened just as Nigerians continue to clamour for a badly needed reform of the police force, despite the Head of Police Complaints Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU), Abayomi Shogunle’s vain attempts at downplaying citizens’ experiences at the hands of overzealous officers.
Also, the doctors at the Garki hospital may have breached the law and culpable of crime, as the Nigerian Senate and Police had expressly said that hospitals which reject gunshot victims violate the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims Of Gunshot Act, 2017.
“Every hospital in Nigeria whether public or private shall accept or receive for immediate and adequate treatment with or without police clearance any person with gunshot wounds,” Lagos police commissioner, Edgal Imohimi had said, only two months ago.
As Chinenye has appealed, the whole of Nigeria demands justice for Linda.
This post first appeared on www.newsroom.ng
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