Artist shot by police denied treatment in hospitals

An artist, Smart Owie, shot by police during the demolition of the Artistes Village at the National Theatre, Lagos, said he was being denied treatment by hospitals because he had no police report.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Owie was shot in his right leg on Jan. 23 during the demolition of some structures at the village believed to be illegal.

Artefacts worth over N40 million were also destroyed during the demolition of the village, within the premises of the National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC).

The demolition was on the order of the General Manager of the National Theatre, Kabiru Yusuf, who also supervised it.
Owie claimed that because of lack of police report, hospitals had denied him treatment, saying that he must produce police report to ascertain the source of his wound.
“I’m lucky that the bullet did not lock in my leg but just pierced it, but I need an x-ray to ascertain the extent of the damage to my leg.
“But I have not been able to do the x-ray or receive treatment because police refused to give me a report that could be taken along to hospital for treatment.
“The funny thing is that since it is a bullet wound, people are sceptical of treating me.
“Doctors at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) with the intervention of known artistes only helped to apply light treatment.
“But I still need a comprehensive diagnosis of what has happened to my leg which has not been done as we speak,’’ he said.
According to him, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who later came after the demolition promised him better treatment.
“He (the minister) also promised that there will be compensation. But as I am talking to you, there has not been anything.
“The minister saw me, he came closer to my side, I also showed him an x-ray referral letter from LASUTH that I should bring a police report,’’ he said.
Owie said that what was most important to him now was his health and that he wanted to get well to start catering for his my family.
“I don’t have the minister’s contact number and I do not have that of any of his assistants.
“I’ve not been able to do anything. I have a family. I have three daughters and my wife is currently pregnant.“My first child is in JSS 3, the second in JSS I and the third in KG II, the fourth on the way.
“As I’m talking to you, I am helpless. I cannot provide my dependants’ basic needs,’’ he said.
Owie said he had an exhibition and other commission jobs to do but that the bullet wound had grounded him. (NAN)
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