Appeal Fund Launched For Hero Cop
An appeal fund has been launched in honour of late Nigerian policeman, Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko, who has been described as a hero following the robbery incident earlier in the year at a Zenith Bank branch on Wetheral Road, Owerri, Imo State.
After confronting a four-man gang in a gun duel, which was captured on a CCTV camera, Sgt Iboko who is survived by his wife and eight children, lost his life, but Nigerians have started donating to raise funds for his family.
Recently, a viral short video clip emerged online which showed the hero cop firing at the robbers before running out of a security post. He was later reported to have been injured during the incident and was admitted to a hospital where he died the following day.
Sadly, reports reveal that Sgt Chukwudi Iboko’s widow, Mrs Rose Iboko and her eight children have allegedly been abandoned by police authorities and have been suffering since the death of their breadwinner. The PUNCH reports that one of his children, Chukwuebuka, slumped and died from shock during his father’s burial.
Following agitations from well-meaning Nigerians advocating for a charity to be set up, as well as calls for Zenith Bank to place Chukwudi Iboko’s widow on a life salary, The PUNCH Newspapers, in partnership with some social activists, led by Kayode Ogundamisi, have launched a GoFundMe account to help support the deceased’s family.
Already the account, with a target to raise $15,000 for the family, has so far realised $6,956 contributed by 132 people. The names of the donors published are; Idowu Lawanson ($100); Emmanuel Fabelurin($5); Anonymous ($25); O Adewusi ($100); Olumide Okegbenro ($20); Adekunle Ogunsade ($20); Anonymous ($30); Funso Oyelohunnu ($25); Abiola Olaifa ($10); Derick Agbontaen ($50); Johnson Akinsehinwa ($50).
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Social activist, Ogundamisi, who also supported with $150, and has been leading the appeal fund campaign to support the family, disclosed that N200,000 has been raised for the Iboko’s rent and is further campaigning vigorously on Twitter for Nigerians to join in the GoFundMe appeal. There are also reports that more donors have indicated interest to donate to the fund as well as help the family in any way possible.
“Hoping this little token will help in supporting the family of Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko and his brave colleagues. Hopefully, Zenith Bank and the Nigeria Police Force will do what is right and make sure the bravery of Chukwudi is recognised. We saw the bravery of our police officers on social media; we have criticised them a lot of time, but Chukwudi’s gallantry represents a number of unseen heroes in the police force,” Ogundamisi said.
Watch the viral video below;
Meanwhile, another victim and only survivor of the robbery incident, a policeman, Sergeant Otu Attang has cried out for help. According to Attang, who lost one of his eyes during the incident, N3m is needed for a corrective surgery.
Attang revealed that after the shootout, three policemen were hit by bullets, after which they were all taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, where Chukwudi Iboko died at the hospital.
Thereafter, the remaining two cops himself inclusive were transferred to a police clinic, where sadly, the second cop, Sergeant Sunday Agbo also died.
“Chukwudi died by 4 am on February 23, and we were transferred to the police clinic by Shell Camp, Owerri. Agbo died the same day at about 3 pm while we were at the police clinic,” Attang narrates.
During an interview over the weekend, the policeman disclosed that he was hit by a bullet in the eye during the encounter with the robbers, and was told by doctors that bullets were still lodged in his skull and jaw, requiring urgent surgeries to have them removed.
Attang, who revealed that he had already had a surgery to take out his eyes and install prosthesis, lamented that he had paid for his treatment all by himself, while he also cared for his family in his sick state.
“I underwent a lot of X-rays and surgeries, and it was discovered that I needed eye surgery.
“I had my eye surgery at Mercy Hospital, Orji, and I was on crutches for seven weeks as my left leg was shattered by bullets.
“I also went through a surgery to have my feet repaired at my own expense,” he said.
Attang revealed that he left the police clinic because he still had to fend for himself there and the cost was unbearable.
Although at some point, a former Commissioner of Police and now Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, intervened and accepted to pay the N20,000 daily charge for his ward, the policeman said he still had to pay for his medications and other expenses.
He said he also had to pay additional N20,000 after paying N40,000 initially when he was to undergo eye surgery, adding that the unbearable cost of treatment at the police clinic forced him to go to a more affordable hospital.
However, Attang acknowledged that Zenith Bank had provided N400,000, while the injured policemen were at the FMC Owerri, and also provided another N200,000 for their care while they were at the police clinic. But thereafter, he had been left to fend for himself. He said that further appeals to Zenith Bank’s management had yielded no result.
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Interestingly, Attang disclosed that when AIG Lakanu visited them at the FMC on the day of the incident, he told them that he (Lakanu) had spoken with the Inspector-General of Police, who had approved that they be recommended for promotion because of their gallantry. However, since then, no word about the promotion has been heard.