A Police officer who served in the Nigeria Police Force for about 30 years has been rendered blind by a naval rating. The plan of ASP Emmanuel Mbilla(before/after above)was to retire in 2018 after which he would set up his own private security firm.
However, Emmanuel’s dream was cut short on February 22, 2014 after a life-changing encounter with a naval rating, Warrant officer Unaji Enejor, in the Kirikiri area of Lagos State.
Punch reports that the 50-year-old victim was attacked in the eye by the naval rating, causing him to lose his sight completely.It was learnt that prior to the attack, Emmanuel’s left eye had already been damaged by Glaucoma.
The victim’s landlady, Mrs. Olasumbo Agunbiade, who witnessed the incident, told our correspondent that trouble started after Enejor drove recklessly and rammed into Emmanuel’s wife’s shop.
“I am the landlady of the property at 25, Agunbiade Street, Kirikiri Town, Apapa. Emmanuel’s wife, Caroline, sells drinks right in front of the house. Around 3.30pm on February 22, Emmanuel and his wife were seated in front of the shop when a man in a red Honda car rammed into their shop.When Emmanuel accosted the driver, the man alighted from the vehicle and identified himself as a navy man and Emmanuel in turn, identified himself as a police officer. The man wanted to leave but Emmanuel told him that he could not leave without at least apologising and the navy man just used his car key to poke Emmanuel in the eye.Emmanuel fell to the floor and started screaming, ‘I have lost my sight’. When the navy man saw the severity of the injury he had inflicted on Emmanuel, he jumped into his car and sped off. However, as residents were chasing him, he drove into a gutter and we arrested him.”
It was learnt that a few minutes later, the crowd was able to overwhelm the navy men and the suspect was taken to the Kirikiri Police Division but was later released.
However, there was no respite for Emmanuel who was taken to about four hospitals where he was told that he may never see again.
A medical report issued by the Eye Foundation Hospital and signed by Dr. Olufemi Oderinlo, the Consultant Opthalmic surgeon/Vitereoretinal specialist on March 3, stated that the victim would need to be flown abroad for treatment for any hope of regaining his sight.
The victim’s older wife, Patience, told Punch that life had been hard since her husband went blind.Patience said her husband, who is attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, required 24-hour monitoring and this had affected the family.She called on well-meaning Nigerians and the government to come to their aid.
“I am asking Nigerians, the government, and especially that of Abia State to come to our aid. We are asking Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who represents Abia-North, to help us. We have been seriously affected and we have spent so much on my husband’s treatment. Also, we are demanding for justice for my husband.The Commissioner of Police is aware of the matter. Nobody is above the law. My husband did not fight the navy man but is now completely blind as a result of a savage and brutal yet unprovoked attack. Unfortunately, he was released while my husband was still in the hospital.”