Wife of a 60-year-old deejay, Adamson Bello, who was killed last Sunday by a stray bullet fired by a policeman attached to the Okokomaiko Police Division, Lagos State, has called for justice.
Modinatu, 50, said the police did not only shoot her husband, they also frustrated efforts to get him medical treatment because the family could not obtain a police report demanded by the hospital.
Modinatu, who was married to the late deejay for 30 years before the relationship was terminated by the police bullet, explained to PUNCH Metro that Adamson was hit in the chest a few metres from their house.
Our correspondent learnt that the shot was fired by one of the policemen guarding a new hotel in the area, South Bound Hotel.
An eye witness told PUNCH Metro that nobody could explain why the shot was fired by the killer cop.
He said, “Baba Fasilat (Adamson) was sitting in front of a house a few meters away from the hotel which was being guarded by a team of policemen.”
“Suddenly, one of the policemen fired a shot, for reasons nobody could explain.
“Unfortunately, Baba Fasilat was hit in the chest. Immediately people saw what had happened, there was confusion.
“Other police officers started shooting into the air to scare people away and pave the way for their escape.”
Modinatu, however, said she knew about the calamity that befell her from her son.
She said, “I had just arrived from Ondo that Sunday. I prepared pounded yam for him and later, he said he wanted to stroll out to the other street where our son, Afeez, also a deejay, had a musical engagement.
“A few minutes later, Afeez rushed in and started screaming that his dad had been hit by a police stray bullet.
“I rushed to the scene. Everybody had fled. Even the police team that wreaked the havoc had deserted the area. It was only my husband on the ground in a pool of blood. Later, neighbours helped me and we took him to a hospital around here, but he was rejected because there was no police report to explain the gunshot wound.”
Modinatu said a neighbour advised her to get the police report, adding that when she got to the station with them (neighbours), policemen on duty locked the gate and trained their guns at them.
She said, “We told them we had not come to fight, but needed a police report. They asked me to come in and took my statements. But despite the statement, I was not given any police report. After pleading with them and getting no positive response, we decided to take our chances. My husband died when we got to the Badagry General Hospital.”
Modinatu said since the incident, nobody at the station had visited the family, despite the fact that the family had reported the case there.
She said, “The Divisional Police Officer is aware that the shot was fired by a policeman guarding South Bound Hotel. I plead with relevant authorities in the police to step into this matter. My husband must not die in vain. I want justice.”
Our correspondent learnt that immediately the news of Adamson death filtered into the area, some residents launched an attack against the hotel in retaliation.
Some of the hotel’s properties had been damaged by the angry residents before a fresh team of policemen were deployed in the area to disperse them.
When our correspondent visited the hotel, repairs were still going on.
The traditional ruler of the area, Chief Dele Makinde, described the late Adamson as a gentle and easygoing man. He urged the government to bring the suspect to justice.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, told our correspondent on the telephone that the killer cop had been arrested and was being interrogated at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.
“The suspect has been arrested and is currently in detention as we speak. The matter has also been transferred to the SCID, Yaba for investigation,” Braide said.
PUNCHman detained for six hours
Some employees of the South Bound Hotel abducted The PUNCH correspondent, Samson Folarin, while investigating the story.
Our correspondent who had interviewed the residents and the wife of the victim, decided to get the comment of the hotel. He was, however, grabbed by some employees of the hotel about 12.34pm on the street and taken inside the hotel, where they grilled him for a few minutes.
The employees had earlier noticed him talking to the residents and taking some pictures of the area. They accused him of not consulting them before talking to the residents. He was later taken to the Okokomaiko Police Division, where he was detained for over six hours.
At the station, the Divisional Crime Officer accused him of taking pictures of the area and the hotel without authorisation.
When our correspondent explained that since an incident of public interest had taken place, which also concerned the hotel, he was permitted by the law to take any picture, the DCO became angry and ordered that he delete the pictures, but our correspondent declined.
After a while, he was taken before the DPO, who told him to go into a room to make his statements.
Afterwards, our correspondent was told he had been arrested for violating the privacy of the hotel. His phones, camera and other materials were subsequently seized. He was taken to a dimly lit room where some other suspects were kept. Our correspondent asked to be allowed to speak with his editors, but he was denied.
Later, he was asked to disclose the source of his information, which he declined, saying it was against the ethics of his profession.
He was also asked to name people he had spoken with in the course of investigating the story, which he also refused.
Later, the DPO came in and asked our correspondent to speak with a senior police officer from the state command. It was later learnt that his editors had contacted the command. The police officer requested that our correspondent delete the pictures, which he did.
However, the DPO said his phones and camera should not be released until he had returned from a meeting. He did not return until some minutes before 7pm.