By Ozioruva Aliu, Benin
Following a request by the Edo State Association of the Deaf to the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for victims of SARS and related abuses to the State government, the governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki has promised to offset the hospital bills of two of its members who were allegedly shot by members of the Nigerian Police and the Nigerian Army during the #EndSARS protest in Benin City.
A petition signed by the chairman of the association, Kingsley Eromosele identified the two victims as Bright Osarobo and Osazee Festus where he stated that the two unarmed innocent deaf men were victims of the excessive use of force to quell a peaceful protest by citizens adding that they were shot on the 20 October 2020 at Oguola junction in Siluko road and Upper Sokponba road, respectively.
He said Osarobo was shot few metres away from his house by the police, hospitalised and operated on at the right hip and abdomen at Time Hospital and later transferred to Accident and Emergency Unit, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, (UBTH) while Festus was shot by the Nigerian Army at the back of his neck while waiting to be hired as an artisan on Upper Sokponba road and was rushed to Omosu Hospital for stabilization before being transferred to Accident and Emergency Unit, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, (UBTH).
Eromosele said both men are deaf young men who work as artisans to earn a living, adding that due to their conditions, both victims were not aware of the declaration of curfew by the state government.
Eromosele, while stating their demands, listed offsetting the medical bills incurred by the duo as one of their demands through the panel to the state governor.
During the sitting yesterday, the panel headed by Justice Adah Ehigiamosoe announced that the state government has offered to take up the medical bills of the victims, which is running into several hundreds of thousands of naira.