A petitioner, Ngozi Ezeh is at risk of her right leg being amputated for fears of it being highly cancerous, after a police officer, Inspector Ayeni, crushed her foot with a police van on June 23, 2006.
An Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, Chungjoe Choji, of the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos revealed this to the State’s Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses on Tuesday.
In his medical report which he backed up with picture evidence showing the extent of the injuries and viewed by the panel, he said that the petitioner who is his patient sustained a rollover injury on the foot, leading to a missing bone, which was due to an exposed bone that had to be removed as it had already been infected by the time she presented herself at the hospital on April 23, 2007.
“She (now) has a chronic foot ulcer which doesn’t heal even with antibiotics having been indolent for 15 years and it could be cancerous. She also has a limb shortness due to the bone loss and she has an uncontrolled infection. She needs a surgery to remove the infection and to reconstruct that limb and correct the deformities.
“Amputation is a possibility to save her life. She didn’t present her case early enough, she has been in crutches for 14 years now, the risk of cancer is high.”
“The urgent preliminary multiple evaluations and surgeries needed will cost between 5-7 million naira.”
Before the surgeon’s testimony, the petitioner told the panel that she spends at least N58,200 monthly for the drugs and dressing of the gaping wound, since an initial surgery. which has now taken a heavy toll on the family.
Mrs Ezeh, a trader that deals in cooking oil, said she left her shop in Ikorodu on June 23, 2006 to go and buy goods from her supplier at Okokomaiko. After loading a bus she chartered with the goods, they took off but the journey was further delayed after the long time it took to arrange the products in the vehicle.
“When we got to Mile 2, at about 9:50pm, we met some policemen in a police van who flagged off the driver. Inspector Ayeni demanded N100,000 from the driver. When we asked what our offence was, they asked for the particulars of the vehicle which were provided, but they still detained us till about 1am.”
“I gave the driver N5000 with me to give them, but they rejected the money and took the key of the bus, and drove it to Trinity Police Station, Apapa.
“We were there till 2:10am when Inspector Ayeni released us. We asked him to let us stay in the police station till daybreak since it was so late already. But, the officer threatened to shoot us if we remained there.
According to her, he entered the police van, and reversed at them. The driver was quick to jump behind a pavement but her right leg was crushed, she fainted and was revived in the hospital.
She says, the DPO, CSP Solo came to the hospital at Trinity, promising to offset the bills, to investigate and sanction the officer but didn’t do anything. Instead, the police impounded the vehicle and her goods worth more than N1.4 million. She adds that she was referred to Igbobi for further treatment where she spent three months.
Upon the close of her evidence, Police Counsel, Cyril Ejiofor declined to cross examine her, noting the gravity of her plight.
The panel adjourned the matter to May 28, for counsel to adopt their final addresses.