A mother of two, Fati Ali, who was shot in the head by a policeman, is still grappling with the bullet that lodged in her brain. Ali was in a car along with a family friend on March 31, 2012, when a bullet fired by a policeman at a checkpoint at Niteco area, Minna, Niger State, pierced the rear window, hit the back of her head and lodged in her brain. She was immediately rushed to the General Hospital, Minna, but the hospital referred her to the National Hospital some day.
Ali, who was admitted to the National Hospital, Abuja, about three months ago, has undergone several surgeries but doctors have been unable to remove the bullet from her brain. A medical report signed by Dr. Enemosah Ibrahim dated June 15, 2012, states, “CT brain scan revealed fracture of right temporoparietal bone, cerebral edema, intracerebral right temporal lobe bleeding and bullet tract from the posterior right parietal to the front lobe.”
Ali’s brother, Adamu, said the only option was for her to be taken abroad for brain surgery. He said the family had spent over N1m and a bill of about N1.5m was still outstanding.He said, “The pharmacy has stopped giving her drugs, because we have not settled the outstanding bill and the police have not assisted us in any way. “We spoke to the Police Public Relations Officer, Niger State Police Command, Richard Oguche, who said that the policeman that fired the shot had been dismissed from service and that he doesn’t have money to assist us.” He explained that the Niger State Government which directed the state’s Hospital Management Board to foot Ali’s medical bills had also reneged on its promise.
Adamu said the Permanent Secretary in charge of the board, Dr. Ibrahim Tiffin, had not given the family any money and had stopped answering their calls. He said, “Our discussions with Niger State Police Public Relation Officer was fruitless, not even a police representative came to the hospital to sympathise with the family or even to see the extent of damages done to her brain.“Worse still, the police and Niger State Government through the Permanent Secretary, state Hospital Management Board, Dr. Ibrahim Tiffin, have failed to live up to their financial obligation towards the victim and her family.” On his next line of action, Adamu said he would seek the assistance of the Legal Aid Council to get the police to help the family.
When contacted, Oguche said he was no longer the Public Relations Officer of the command and would not comment on the matter. Also, Tiffin could not be reached on Sunday as several calls placed to his two phone lines failed to connect.The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, however promised to get across to the Commissioner of Police, Niger State Command, to find about the case.