SaharaReporters has obtained evidence that a Nigerian police officer shot and wounded an unarmed civilian outside the gates of Chevy View Estate in Lekki area of Lagos on October 8.
In an interview, the wounded man detailed how the Nigerian police shot at him and violated his human rights.
Speaking to SaharaReporters the victim, John Membu, disclosed that he was driving towards the Chevy View Estate after attending a friend’s wedding. On arriving at the gates of the Chevy View Estate, he discovered that a truck carrying iron rods had blocked traffic.
The truck, which had two police escorts, had been denied entry into the estate due to curfew restrictions, said the victim, adding that the police escorts appeared irate at the estate residents’ refusal to open the gates.
According to the victim, some residents gathered and began to question the motives of the officers who refused to move the truck. Some of the residents asked whether it was part of the duty of police to escort trucks with iron rods.
He added that the police became even more infuriated when one angry resident warned them that their action was unacceptable, and threatened to “deal” with them. After a heated exchange, the younger officer cocked his gun.
“As soon as he drew his gun, I moved away from the truck and towards the gate of the estate. I heard a loud gunshot ring out, and ran toward the security post near the gate,” said the victim. He added: “I suddenly felt a numbness in my right leg, and was puzzled, because I did not recall running into a hard object.” A bullet had hit his right leg, said the victim, adding that residents of Chevy View Estate rushed him to the Udeco Medical Center where he was treated.
He told a correspondent of SaharaReporters that he was admitted at the hospital for two weeks, adding that the police visited him only three times. According to him, the police ignored his inquiries about paying his hospital bill of N347, 000, which he ended up settling himself.
“I am shocked, upset, and disappointed. I have never felt more acutely how meaningless my life is as a Nigerian citizen,” he told SaharaReporters. The victim stated that, despite his traumatic experience, he still recognized his relative good fortune. He described himself as “one of the lucky police shooting victims, because I am alive.”
SaharaReporters also obtained exclusive video and photos from those who witnessed the incident. The video shows two Nigerian police officers inside a truck carrying iron rods. In the course of the video, a loud gunshot is heard, indicating the moment when a bullet struck the victim. The photos also exclusively show the gunshot wound the victim received at the hands of the police.