For Inspector Jamiu Adekoya, 44, attached to the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad, RRS, he will ever be grateful to God that he is still alive.
Adekoya was shot by armed robbers 20 times on 9 September 2012 when men of the underworld embarked on serial attack on policemen.
Thousands of eminent Nigerians, journalists and others who thronged the 6th Annual Town Hall Meeting on Security held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday were stunned when Adekoya shared his testimony.
Adekoya was called to the podium where he was presented with an award for his courage and bravery by Governor Babatunde Fashola during the attack on policemen that left two of his colleagues and a civilian dead on that fateful day.
He told a bewildered audience that 16 bullets were removed from his stomach after he was shot by armed robbers at Oba Akran Avenue that day and he owed his life to the urgent intervention of the Governor Fashola and the RRS boss, Hakeem Odumosun.
“Sunday, 9 December, 2012, would have made it three months that I would have been in the grave, but I thank God that I am alive. Sixteen rounds of ammunition were removed from my body. Ten qualified doctors at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH battled to save my life,” he said.
Speaking with PM NEWS, Adekoya revealed that four more bullets were still inside his stomach.
Adekoya stated that he is still goes to LASUTH for clinical check-up and that the four bullets still in him would be removed later.
The Police Mobile Force officer who was drafted to the RRS said the attack on him and his colleagues took place at Guinness Bus Stop, on Oba Akran, adding that, “I am grateful to God that I am alive.”
However, two of Adekoya’s colleagues, Gift Obouwon and Ifonlaja Ayoola, both corporals, were not as lucky; they were shot dead by the robbers.
Fashola presented post-humous awards to the deceased policemen for sacrificing their lives for the nation. The awards were collected by members of their families.
Several other policemen were given awards for their bravery in foiling robbery cases.
Speaking on the 9 September attack on Lagos by robbers, Fashola said: “The criminals that unleashed terror on our dear state on that day came close to reminding us of the chaos that existed before the establishment of the Security Trust Fund.
“But unlike in the past, the police were able to confront them and tactically chase them out of the state in order to avoid the loss of innocent lives that is often the result of a full blown confrontation.
“The security agencies did not stop there, they traced them to their hideout, made arrests and recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition.”
He added: “Sadly, in the confrontation, we lost two of our gallant policemen–Gift Obouwon and Ifonlaja Ayoola–whose memory we have honoured today. Obouwon was a gallant policeman and Ayoola was one of the spy police drivers recruited by us. Their passion and dedication to duty is greatly admired and appreciated.
“These are just two of the several other policemen who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Their lost lives are some of the real costs of security. They also underscore the need for us to properly kit our security agents to ensure as far as possible, their safety and effectiveness.”