“Corporal Emmanuel Okujo shot to kill me, even though my sister is pregnant for him and will have children for him, the law should run its full course.” With those words, Blessing Isanbor, 19, who is still writhing in pains at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja painted the picture of the kind of relationship that will exist between her and police corporal Emmanuel Okujo, who shot her on the cheek and hand on February 10, and eloped with her 17 year old younger sister, Patience, now pregnant for him.
Blessing has spent about three months in the hospital, with her cheekbones and some of her left fingers damaged after she was shot in her parents house in Bariga area of Lagos by Corporal Okujo. She would undergo plastic surgery to fix the bone and to give her a passable-looking-face, the cost of which her mother, a widow, Mrs. Ikuje Isanbor cannot afford.
Just recently, Okujo, who has been in hiding with Patience for over three months resurfaced with the teenage girl heavily pregnant and was promptly arrested by the police. From police sources at Ifako police station, Corporal Okujo was dating both Blessing and Patience at the same time and later decided to settle for Patience. One thing led to another and the ensuing face-off resulted in Okujo shooting Blessing right in her house before he fled with Patience.
Speaking from her hospital bed, Blessing said, in the evening of February 10, she cooked Moin-moin and was in front of their house, at 3 Ogbere Street, Bariga with her sister savouring the delicious meal when Okujo came with a gun and ordered the two sisters into their room.
“ While in the room, he threatened to shoot two of us and himself. It was at that point that he asked me to say my last prayer. He aimed the nozzle of the gun on my head, but as God will have it, instinctively, I tried to shield my head with my hand when he pulled the trigger and the bullets hit my cheek and hands. He closed the door and stayed outside.
“ My sister ran out from the room to a neighbours’s shop, he pursued her and threatened to shoot the man shop-owner if he doesn’t bring out my sister. He dragged my sister to the house and quickly picked some clothes and locked the door against me in the pool of my blood and abducted her at gun point”, she explained.
When reporters confronted Blessing with the issue of the two sisters dating Okujo at the same time, she couldn’t give a definite answer but said that “ we were casual friends” and went on to ask if that could be a justifiable reason for the policeman to shoot her. She accused the police at Ifako of coming up with that story to divert attention from the main issue.
reporters findings reveal that when Okujo showed interest to marry Patience, her mother objected to it, raising the suspicion that that may be due to Okujo’s earlier relationship with Blessing. It was also gathered that Okujo struck at the time he did based on his knowledge of Mrs. Isabor itinerary, which indicates that she wouldn’t be at home that fateful evening.
Before Okujo came out from hiding, the family had through a Non- Governmental Organisation, Crime Victims Foundation (CRIVFON) Nigeria, petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State over police lukewarm response in finding Patience, arresting and prosecuting Okujo. The NGO had noted that the mother of Patience as well as Blessing are, “undergoing serious psychological torment because of double tragedy that has befallen the family because of the nefarious act of Cpl. Emmanuel Okujo” and appealed to the police boss, “ to use your good office to assist these two victims from the pang of abuse of power so that justice will be seen to have been done speedily, to save Blessing from untimely death by taking responsibility of her medical bills and to ascertain Patience and the culprit whereabout.”
The body also asked that “No stone should be left unturned to fish out the uncouth police officer who had caused this kind of heinous act and be brought to face the full wrath of the law.” When he eventually came out from hiding, Okujo was arrested and paraded before newsmen. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPR0) Lagos command, Jaiyejobe Joseph said after the orderly room trial,the suspect would be prosecuted in regular court.