By Abolaji Adebayo
Two victims of police brutality, Kudirat Obayomi and Hannah Olugbodi, were on Friday awarded N10 million each by the Lagos State Judicial Panel set up to investigate cases of police brutality especially involving officers of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The victims had written petitions to the panel about what they suffered from the SARS operatives.
Olugbodi, a 35-year-old hairdresser, had in November 2020, narrated how she ended up using a crutch after her left leg was shattered by a stray bullet fired by some men of the disbanded police Special Anti-Robbery Squad who were attempting to arrest a young man with tattoos in June 2018 at the Ijeshatedo area of Lagos.
She said the SARS operatives were at Ogun City Hotel, to demand money to buy fuel for their vehicle when they saw the young man with tattoos among a group of persons watching a football match at the hotel.
According to the petitioner, the owner of the hotel, one Abu, who usually gave the SARS operatives money, was not around to attend to them.
She said the SARS operatives labelled the young man with tattoos a fraudsters.
She said an attempt by the SARS operatives to arrest and take the boy with tattoos away, was resisted by the other boys, making the SARS operatives resort to firing gunshots.
Olugbodi said she was at Ijesha market trying to buy pepper to prepare food for her children to take to school the following day when she was hit by a stray bullet.
She said the market women rushed towards her and asked her for her address and the name of her husband, which she managed to give.
She said she was eventually taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital where they said there was no bed space and she was given four bags of intravenous fluid right in the bus.