By Andrew Nsoseka
A military officer, at a mixed control checkpoint at Mile 18 in Muea, Buea, in Cameroon’s Southwest Region, on August 1, opened fire on a taxi cab, and in the process, shot 28-year-old Evodia Ambi Lakinyo, in her back.
A bullet ripped through one of the woman’s kidneys.
The husband of the victim, Evaristus Ambi, narrates that his wife was shot, as the taxi she boarded stopped a few metres after a mixed control checkpoint at Mile 18 Muea.
Evaristus Ambi told The Post Newspaper, in Buea that the taxi driver had stopped to drop one of his passengers. As the passenger alighted, one of the officers at the control post started moving towards the car, from behind. He narrates that as the passenger locked the door, the driver kicked off his car, to drive other passengers into town. It was then that the officer opened fire on the moving car and its occupants.
The husband of the victim told The Post that the officer’s bullets, pierced through the cars’ booth, through the car seats, and one of the bullets caught his wife through her back.
The bullet destroyed one of her kidneys, and she was rushed to a hospital. Her husband, in a phone interview, said his 28-year-old wife is undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of the Buea Regional Hospital.
Officers Invade Hospital To Seize Extracted Bullet
After news of the incident spread across town, some military officers drove to the hospital where the woman was been attended to by medics. They are said to have ordered that the bullet extracted from the victim’s body to be handed to them. The bullet could not be handed, because, it was still lodged in the woman’s body. Evaristus Ambi said doctors treating his wife had said removing the bullet, might paralyse his wife because it is lodged in a risky part of her body, close to here spine.
The husband, a plumber by profession, said some officers approached and questioned him after the incident, and since then, they have not called or showed up to check on the victim of their recklessness. He said the cost of the treatment has been abandoned to him as the military high command has shown no concern.
The Mile 18 ‘Fleecing’ Point
The Mile 18 checkpoint has been referred to by Buea taxi drivers as a fleecing point, where officers collect bribes from drivers who have incomplete car documents. Some drivers have rather decided to steer clear of Muea as a whole, for fear of falling into the hands of officers who demand huge sums from what the drivers toil to make in precarious conditions and challenging times, all in an atmosphere of insecurity brought about the numerous gunfights due to the Anglophone Crisis.
The officer who opened fire has been blamed for unprofessionalism and complete disregard for human life in the exercise of his duties. People have likened the incident to many others, wherein, officers stationed in Anglophone Regions during the on-going crisis, have in non-life-threatening instances killed innocent people.
Some drivers have been irked by the incident, saying that the officer opened fire on the taxi cab and occupants for the simple reason that the driver was driving off, without stopping to ‘drop’ the FCFA 500 bribe money that is usually dropped at the checkpoint. The incident is similar to many others, which go unreported in mainstream media.