The family of seven-month-old Nadoo Ahaangba has accused the Benue State Police Command of neglecting them after some policemen attached to the command allegedly shot the child in the Makurdi area of the state.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the policemen, in an attempt to arrest some hoodlums around the Makurdi International Market on October 7, shot sporadically as a bullet hit Nadoo in her hand.
Her father, Tyokaa, said the police had refused to take responsibility for the incident, adding that his family had become impoverished due to payment of medical bills.
Narrating the incident, he said, “On October 7, my wife was selling food at the market junction when the policemen passed the area around 8pm. As they passed, they saw some boys bargaining over something on the road, so they reversed their vehicle. But as those boys saw them, they took to their heels and the police started shooting sporadically.
“As they were shooting, people started running and my wife ran too to avoid being caught up in what was happening, not knowing that a bullet had hit my baby in her right hand; the bullet shattered her finger.
“We took her to E Division and when the DPO saw what happened, he helped to bandage her hand and rushed her to a hospital. When we got to the hospital, the doctor said we needed to deposit N200,000 before they could do any surgery for her so my elder brother went to the state headquarters to see the Commissioner of Police and complain.
“The CP spoke with the doctor and the doctor told him that we would need a lot of money for the surgery but that they should deposit N200,000 for the surgery and the CP sent the money to the doctor. But since that day, we have not heard or seen anything from them; they abandoned us.
“Although the bullet affected all her fingers, one of the fingers has turned black; the finger is destroyed as it is. I have spent the little money with me and this incident has affected me a lot. I don’t feel comfortable at all because the entire burden is now on me and I am only an Okada rider. My wife that used to support with the food she was selling is the one staying with the baby in the hospital. I am choked up.”
He demanded that the police pick up the hospital bills and compensate the family for the permanent injury to the child.
According to the father, Nadoo has lost her sleep since the incident happened.
“We always carry her in our hands to pet her. My wife can’t eat because there’s no money,” he added.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene, denied that the command neglected the family, adding that the police were investigating the incident.
She said, “The police team has not been identified; the police have commenced investigation to find out which team went there.
“The CP came in to give some money to the hospital to save a life, to protect the child first, but to establish if it was the police that shot in the area has been an issue because the bullet that was shot was not retained in the hand.
“The command did not deploy any team at that time even though a police team can always patrol many areas, but the command is trying to establish which team went and if the incident was caused by a policeman.”