By Cometeyin Emmanuel
KITCOCO Anyanwu suffered a traumatic experience when her 20-year-old son, Chino was killed at the Lekki toll gate, Lagos State, last year. According to her, she was denied an opportunity to see her son’s corpse.
She said, “His last minutes were horrible and torturous. It is the real soul eating experience you cannot describe. He was stolen from me and everybody.”
Her husband, Chidi has lived with the guilt since the death of his son. Speaking to reporters, he said, “I thought that my son was going to return any day. His line never dropped. When it did drop, I knew it was not good and started calling. I called and called until I got through. And that’s when I was told that my son was in a deadlock and not moving.
How they came about the girl
“The traffic came by vehicles at Lekki Dam. She was crushed in a ‘low level’ lane. Our daughter was speeding in her white Civic Ind. when the traffic came. Her car was crushed when it was moving into a queue. It is a miracle, it was through the grace of God that we were able to cope. I tried my best. My wife even did all she could. I cannot imagine the terror and sorrow that we felt, we don’t know how we survived all that. I still felt that my son was going to return. If I had found out that my son was gone, I would have feared for the family. The grief I suffered was devastating.”
Mrs. Anyanwu, a Senior Nursing Assistant at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, (LUTH), Idi Araba, was conveyed to the hospital around midnight after her son was crushed to death at the toll gate. She said she was driven about two hours by Lekki toll gate security and she felt as if she were going through hell. “That journey was almost beyond my capacity. By the time we arrived, we started trying to find out what happened. We were given crutches and so on. Lekki toll gate security came to tell us that we must go to Igbobi. They told us that they did not release our son to them.”
‘He died in my arms’
“We drove back and took a taxi. I asked what was going on and they said that we were suffering from some kind of a poison overdose. I was confused about what was going on because I did not have very good time to recover from the trauma of the death of my son. As we neared Igbobi, we learnt that they did not release our son to Lekki toll gates. I told the security personnel that they should let us go to Igbobi, and that if they wanted to put us into a serious and ugly situation, they should take me to the hospital, because I was not in a fit state.
“I said that, since my son was dead, I would not mind going to the hospital. I was taken inside the hospital for about one hour and on getting out I was told that my son was dead. The lady who was holding the body said, “they don’t want to send it to my place of work.” That was how they took the body back to Lekki toll gate where my son was crushed to death.
Chidi said, “she said that they were using a card to identify the dead man and the DNA for the corpse would not be done there since we took to the hospital. That was how we came about the dead girl (on the phone). We took the dead body to the coroner. He was forced to sign the form but I contested it. I told him that I did not find it easy. I told him that he was not happy with me and he started sleeping with me to make me sleep. That is how the girl got to us.
‘There is no doubt in my mind that this is a punishment from God. But he made us to die. His colleagues used him and took advantage of him. I don’t blame them. We were so much in agony.”