Newspaper Vendors Protest Over Death of Member, Police Refutes Allegation
Following the death of a newspaper vendor identified as Ifeanyi Elechi, Newspaper vendors in the Federal Capital Territory has protested over the killing by a security aide attached to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The incident happened on Thursday while the vendors tried to sell their wares to the convoy of the Speaker who stopped at Shehu Shagari Way, Three Arms Zone.
The vendors who were carrying placards, demanded justice, insisting that the errant operative who is believed to be a Department of State Services operative must be brought to book.
Gbajabiamila has issued a statement expressing regrets over the horrific incident stating that the officer has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
The victim was shot in the head and died at the National Hospital.
Chairman of the Newspapers Vendors Association in FCT, Etim Eteng, said the association would not allow the matter to be “swept under the carpet.”
Eteng stated, “We are gathered here today to demand justice for Elechi who was killed extra-judicially. Extrajudicial killing means the killing of an individual by a security operative without judicial proceedings and this is what has happened. The vendors association through their legal adviser are demanding justice.
“The overzealous security operative who killed Elechi must be brought to book; he must face the wrath of the law. We know that over time, judicial killings have been swept under the carpet but this time, the death of this innocent man who left his wife and new-born baby to look for his daily bread and was killed by an aide to the Speaker of the House of Reps must be probed and the killer brought to book.
“It was not an accidental discharge, he was shot in the head. It is not stray bullets, there are eyewitnesses. The spirit of Elechi would not rest until justice is done.”
Meanwhile, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, has ordered an investigation into the incident.
The command also refuted allegations that the killer was a police officer.
A statement by the command spokesperson, ASP Mariam Yusuf titled, ‘Shooting of newspapers vendor not by the police,’ commiserated with the family of the victim.
It read, “The FCT Police Command wishes to unequivocally refute the allegation making the round sections of the media that a police officer attached to the convoy of the Speaker of the House of Representatives shot at a newspaper vendor within the Three Arms Zone on Thursday 19th November 2020.
“Contrary to the misleading information, a preliminary investigation into the unfortunate incident reveals that the security aide who shot at the vendor is not a member of the Nigeria Police Force.
“However, the Commissioner of Police FCT, Bala Ciroma has ordered a discreet investigation into the incident. While commiserating with the family and friends of the deceased, the Commissioner of Police wishes to guarantee members of the public that the command will be lucid in its investigation and ensure the findings are made public.”
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