Mrs Victoria Agori, an evangelist, whose 21-year-old son was shot in her presence inside the IGP Monitoring Unit office in Rivers State by trigger-happy policemen, tells CHUKWUDI AKASIKE how getting justice has become an uphill task 17 months after the incident
Can you recall what led to the killing of your son by men of the IGP Monitoring Unit in Rivers State?
Last year, precisely May 10, I travelled and while on my way back, my first daughter, Felicia Agori, called and told me to buy fish for the family. When I came back, there was a quarrel on who would prepare the fish. I thought the quarrel among my children had ended; the next thing I saw early morning was men from the IGP Monitoring Unit in Aluu. They were in mufti and were armed. They came inside while I was sleeping and one of them hit my nose. That was around 8am on May 11. One of them called me a kidnapper and an armed robber, and said he would kill me and my children. I then told him that I am AIG Akpebi’s younger sister and an evangelist. He told me to shut up my mouth.
They asked me to move, but I pleaded with them to allow me to wear my clothes, because I was only tying a wrapper around my waist. They said they would not allow me to wear anything and boasted that they would treat me the way kidnappers were treated. My son, Daniel Agori, was in the parlour sleeping when the policemen came. Musa and some of his colleagues pushed me to the gate of our residence. There, they hit me and my son several times with a pestle, which they took from the kitchen. A pregnant lady, who visited us, was told to lie on the ground and the policemen marched on her. The fired several gunshots and people began to shout.
The N200,000 that I wanted to give to widows and buy some items for prison inmates was taken away by the policemen. Even the small amount of money that I kept under my pillow, some of my clothes and shoes were taken away. They destroyed things in the house. One of them, Bello Yusuf, collected the radio my daughter brought from Ghana and our phones. Bello Yusuf led the police squad to my house. The shoes I bought (wholesale for business) for N2.8m were all taken away.
The one that was shocking to me was that while they were taking us away in their vehicle, two of the policemen forced my legs open and began to thrust in and out the nozzle of one of their guns into my private parts. The pain was severe and there was blood everywhere from my private parts. When they noticed they had run out of fuel, one of them immediately dipped his hand into my son’s pocket and took money with which they bought fuel and seized the money that was left.
Immediately we got to the IGP Monitoring Unit’s office, the commander there then, Justin Adaka, came out. He gave orders that they should kill my two sons immediately. They used cloth to blindfold my sons. I shouted when I saw what was happening. While I was inside, blood was still coming out from my private parts and it was dropping on the floor where they kept us. Within a short time, they came to where we were, shot and killed my last born, Daniel Agori. They later came and cleaned the blood that splashed on the ground.
On the third day, I saw one of the policemen; he wore my late son’s shoes. When my lawyer came, the IGP Monitoring Unit intimidated us. They began to lie that they recovered a gun in my house, an allegation that is unfounded. They also accused my 21-year-old son of raping a 90-year-old woman.
What happened afterward?
When my husband, who is a retired naval officer, tried to intervene, they forced him to sit on the floor and told him that he was not at a naval base. They later allowed us to go. The pregnant lady stayed in their cell for over a week before they allowed her to go. On this matter, the women lawyers’ group has written to the state Commissioner of Police, but nothing has been done.