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How I Was Shot, Got My Leg Amputated, Petitioner Tells Judicial Panel

Nnaemeka Nwangoro  
Updated January 7, 2021
In this photo taken on January 6, 2021, Mr Suleiman Ibrahim gives his testimony before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry in Taraba State.

 

A 25-year-old carpenter, Suleiman Ibrahim, has told the judicial panel in Taraba State how his right leg was amputated.

Ibrahim informed the Justice Christopher Awubra panel which sat in Jalingo on Wednesday that his leg was amputated after he was shot at a close range by officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

He is also seeking N100 million as compensation for the damage done to his leg to help cater for the needs of his family.

The petitioner narrated that the shooting took place in March 2019, a few meters away from his residence in Jalingo metropolis.

He identified the alleged trigger-happy NSCDC official as one Sylvester Yunusa with service number 37938.

Ibrahim said,

On the 12th day of March 2019, at about 10am when I was at home with my two friends, suddenly my mum sort to know if my younger brother was at home because everyone was scampering for safety in the streets.

She asked me to go check him out with my friends and on our way, we heard gunshots and I told my friends to return home.

In the process, a civil defence vehicle double-crossed us, and one Sylvester Yunusa alighted from the vehicle and shot me on my right leg. Thereafter, two officers of the NSCDC came close to me with rifles and threatened to shoot me again.

When they left, I managed to knock on a nearby gate for safety. They opened the gate, pulled me in, and called my father to tell him.

My parents took me to the hospital, got me treated, and, thereafter, the doctors told my parents that the muscles holding the leg are no more, hence amputation will take place. My father insisted that my leg will not be cut off and sort for a referral to Kano where they said the same and my leg was amputated.

After the amputation, I was treated and returned to Jalingo. Officials of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) came around, got my submissions, and attached same with a petition to the commandant of Taraba NSCDC.

I was also taken to the NSCDC office where I was asked to get my witnesses and I did. My three witnesses were asked not to leave the premises of the NSCDC until the human rights commission intervened.

Justice Christopher Awubra and other members of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry at a sitting in Taraba State on January 6, 2021.

 

As Ibrahim shed tears while giving his testimony, Justice Awubra pleaded with him to compose himself and present his case, saying the damage had been done.

He also urged the counsel to the petitioner, Dalhatu Hamman, to plead with him to calm his nerves for the panel to get the true picture of what transpired.

The 25-year-old who said he is the eldest in the family of 18 and the breadwinner, lamented that his family, including his aged parents, have become mendicants due to his inability to attend to his profession.

After Ibrahim narrated his ordeal to the panel, Hamman pleaded for an adjournment in order to present more witnesses.

He told the panel that the amount being requested as compensation if granted would go a long way in putting smiles on the faces of his client’s family members.

In his remarks, Justice Awubra granted the lawyer’s request and adjourned the case until January 27.