OrderPaperToday – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, has restated his sobriety and ordered a thorough investigation into the death of a newspaper vendor shot death by a security detail in his motorcade.
The sad incident occurred on Thursday around the Federal Secretariat Abuja.
The Speaker in a personally signed statement dated November 19, 2020, described the incident as horrible and unfortunate.
According to him, “a horrible incident has taken place. This evening as I left the national assembly, I stopped as usual to exchange pleasantries with the newspaper vendors at the corner. Many of them have known me since I first moved to Abuja and it was a friendly exchange.
“Unfortunately, after the convoy set out in continuation of movement, unidentified men obstructed the convoy which got the attention of security men in the convoy who shot into the air to disperse them.
“Some hours later, after getting to our destination, it was brought to my attention that someone was hit by a stray bullet, contrary to an earlier report by men in the convoy that they applied their security discretion to shoot in the air.
“I have caused a report to be made to the local police station and an investigation has commenced.”
In another update on the death of the vendor this afternoon, Mr. Gbajabiamila said he would ensure justice for the family of the deceased vendor as well as care for those left behind.
“The unfortunate death of Mr. Ifeanyi Okereke at the hands of one of my security aides has left me deeply shaken,” the new statement said, adding:
“Mr. Okereke was a citizen going about his business, trying to make a living for himself and his family. There is no reason for his life to have ended the way it did.
“This morning, I have handed over the security operative, Abdullahi M. Hassan, to the Department of State Security (DSS) for investigation and appropriate administrative and judicial action.
“In the meantime; the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from the convoy pending the conclusion of the investigation”, he added.
“My value for human life and my respect for all people – irrespective of social economic status – is what endeared me to these vendors and these are the reasons why I stop my convoy quite often to connect with them. For one of them to have been shot by my security detail is horrific and I cannot begin to imagine the grief and loss Ifeanyi’s family must feel on this sad day. No family should have to go through this.
“I am personally distraught about this incident and my deepest sympathies go to the victim, his family and Abuja vendors”.
The Lagos lawmaker also promised to reach out to family of deceased family.
“I expect, and I will see to it that the family of Mr. Ifeanyi Okereke receives the full measure of justice so that their bereavement is not compounded by any actions that can cause them further pain and suffering.
“I have expressed my personal condolence to his family and have arranged to meet with them when the parents of Mr. Okereke, who are already on their way, arrive in Abuja.
“Additionally, I have committed to them that I will support his wife and the immediate family he has left behind.
“I commiserate with the family of Mr Ifeanyi Okereke and ask all Nigerians to join me at this time to pray for the peaceful repose of his soul”.