When Nonso Ozoemena, a 28-year-old man, arrived in Lagos, his plan was to set up a business so that he would be able to support his widowed mother and his seven siblings in Anambra State.
Soon after, he was able to open a restaurant in Trade Fair Complex, FESTAC, and it seemed his dream was coming true.
His expectation was however eroded after a drunken police corporal, Mohammed Abubakar, shot him in the eye.
Ozoemena said he was shot in the eye in the FESTAC area on August 5, 2013.
Narrating what transpired on the fateful day, he said, “I had just returned from work and I was about entering my house at Amuwo Odofin when I heard the policeman arguing with someone in the next house. The policeman then called his colleagues for help.
“When his colleagues arrived, they persuaded him to leave the place because he was drunk. After much pleading, the policeman left. A few minutes later, the policeman returned with a gun and started shooting sporadically.
“One of the bullets hit me in the right eye. A barber, Bright John, was killed.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that during the shooting, a pregnant woman was hit while another man, Tayo Ajasa, was also shot in the thigh.
It was learnt that the policeman, who is attached to a security company in the area, fled the scene after realising the havoc he had wreaked.
Ozoemena and the other victims were later taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba.
It was learnt that while other victims were treated and discharged, Ozoemena, was taken to the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital, where the eye was operated.
The company was also said to have contributed N146, 000 to pay the medical bill.
The victim, who had been discharged, told PUNCH Metro that he had not been able to go to work since the incident occurred.
He said he had been in constant pains and had found it difficult to sleep.
Our correspondent observed that pus was coming from Ozoemena eye. But the victim said the pus was the least of his problems.
He said, “I am in so much pain. The unfortunate thing is that I have not been able to tell my mother about the incident because I don’t want her to worry.
“I don’t have perfect vision anymore. In fact, a few days ago, I was knocked down by a vehicle coming from the right side while I was attempting to cross the road.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Umar Manko, had declared the policeman wanted.
Manko said the wanted policeman was attached to Police Mobile Force 17, Akure, Ondo State, and wondered what he was doing in Lagos.
However, Ozoemena’s lawyer, Mr. George Nwahajioke, said the police must compensate his client. The lawyer said declaring the policeman wanted was not enough, adding that the victim’s expectations had been eroded by the loss of his eye.
Nwahajioke, who lamented the increase in police brutality, said, “Nigerians are living in fear of arrogant culture of impunity within the Nigeria Police. Nonso Ozoemena is just one of the few lucky Nigerians to survive as our police, who are supposed to protect us, now turn the barrel of their guns at us.
“We are demanding N100m as compensation from the police and the company jointly and severally to help our client get the urgent medical attention he needs.”
All efforts to contact the company proved abortive as an email sent to it was not replied, while a text message sent to it was not responded to.