As far as the wife of slain Abuja vendor, Ifeanyichukwu Okereke, is concerned, she is not part of the N500 million demand being made of Hose Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila by her father-in-law and one of his sons, a younger brother to her husband.
She told journalists in Abuja that she is more interested in the welfare package announced for her and her children by Gbajabiamila rather than the ambitious pursuit of N500 million compensation by her in-laws
Recall that despite all of his efforts to come clean on the shooting and killing of a vendor, Ifeanyichukwu Okereke, by his security detail; and his setting up a trust fund for the education of the children, the family of the late vendor demanded a compensation of N500m from House of Representatives Speaker, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila. The vendor died after being shot by a security aide to the Speaker Mr. Abubakar Hassan.
Gbajabiamila announced on Tuesday, when the Abuja Newspapers Distribution Association (ANDA) visited him the establishment of an Education Trust Fund for the funding of the education of late Okereke’s two children.
But the family appeared unimpressed with the Speaker’s gesture and efforts. A letter dated November 23, 2020, signed by the lawyer of the family, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) reads in part, “Our clients have instructed us to make from your good self, the following modest demands: That you use your good offices to ensure the immediate prosecution of your security aide (Abdullahi Hassan), who went on a frolic of his own, clearly acted outside the purview of his duty and responsibility by shooting to death an innocent, harmless and armless citizen.
“That you adequately compensate the Okereke family with a modest sum of N500m only. This monetary demand can never adequately replace or take the place of their son, husband, brother, and breadwinner’s life. But it will at least mitigate the obvious trauma and hardship the premature demise of their irreplaceable breadwinner has placed on them….
“Take note therefore that it is our clients’ firm instruction that in the event that you fail, refuse and/or neglect to accede to or proffer reasonable compensatory terms to our above modest demands within seven days from the date of this letter, we shall without any further correspondences from us, take appropriate legal steps to enforce our clients’ constitutional rights,” the letter stated
The Abuja Newspaper Distributors Association (ANDA) and Newspaper Vendors Association Abuja (NVAA) last week protested the killing of Okereke.
He left behind a one-week-old baby billed to be named days after his death.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions, “Justice for Elechi,” “Vendors lives matter,” “We need Justice,” “End Police Brutality,” They explained why they did not go beyond Area One in the Garki District.
“As you can see, we are peaceful and we are proceeding carefully because we don’t want our protest to be hijacked by other elements for lootings and destructions. All we are demanding for is Justice for Elechi,” says Comrade Benji Ebute, President of the ANDA.
“The victim was supposed to be having naming ceremony this week but recklessness on the side of the errant security details has cost his life. Femi knows this very victim one on one, so when they came to hail him usual, he gave his orderly N9,000.00 to give to the vendors which Ifeanyi collected but the officer shot him at close range and released another shot in the air.”
Gbajabiamila, announced when the killing occured that he was “personally distraught”
The speaker explained that the incident occurred when he stopped his convoy to exchange pleasantries with the vendors as was his usual practice after work.
“Unfortunately, after the convoy set out in continuation of our 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.
“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.
On it’s part, the DSS issued a statement acknowledging the shooting and opened investigation on its officer, while grounding him.