Gbajabiamila unmasks security aide who shot Abuja vendor dead
•Elechi was shot severally by trigger-happy DSS -- President Abuja Vendors Association •Says they lied to Speaker about the incident
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has revealed the identity of a security aide attached to his convoy, who shot a vendor, Ifeanyi Okereke on Thursday at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
The Speaker identified the security aide as Abdullahi Hassan of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Hassan, he said, has been handed over to the appropriate authorities for investigation as well as administrative and judicial actions.
The Speaker, who has been advocating reforms of the security system, pledged his resolve to ensure the family of the late Vendor gets justice.
According to him: “The unfortunate death of Mr Ifeanyi Okereke at the hands of one of my security aides has left me deeply shaken.
“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 actions. In the interim, he has been suspended from the convoy.
“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.”
While reacting to the cruel murder of one of his members, President, Abuja Newspaper Distributors Association (ANDA), Chief Benjamin Obute who exonerated the Speaker from the ugly incident, argued that the trigger happy DSS officer should be held culpable and face the full wrath of the law.
Chief Obute who noted that the late Ifeanyin Elechi Chukwu Okereke who was in his mid-30s was deliberately killed by the DSS officer after the Speaker’s orderly handed over the sum of N9,000 to him for onward distribution to his colleagues.
While reacting to the argument that it was a stray bullet that killed him, Chief Ebute who dismissed the report argued that: “this is one of the lies of the century. It is never a stray bullet it was a deliberate plan which was orchestrated and carried out by the errant DSS officer. You know that federal Secretariat as traditional, the vendors used to hail any VIP held by the traffic light there.
“When they are hailing him, in most cases he would part with some token to them and Femi Gbajabiamila has been a friend to these Newspaper vendors at the Federal Secretariat, even before he became the speaker, he has been a friend to them, anytime he’s passing, he used to wind down his glass and pass some money to them. so as customary, when he closed from work yesterday (Thursday, 9th November, and on leaving national Assembly to Federal Secretariat the same traffic light held him.
“You know that traffic light if you are caught in that traffic light it can take not less than two minutes before it would pass you. So while they were there waiting, with his convoy, waiting for the traffic light to pass them as usual, the vendors were hailing him and he removed money which was later discovered to be N9,000 of N500 denomination, and gave to his orderlies, inside his car.
“The orderlies now opened the door and handed over this money to this same Ifeanyi Chukwu to pass to his colleagues there. That’s how he has been doing it because he was their leader there. He collected the money and when traffic light passed them they moved. Only for the convoy at the back one DSS man, they said he came down and went straight to Elechi Ifeanyin and shot him on the head.
“They said he shot him severally. When he felt down, he (DSS) released another two bullets in the air, and it was the gunshot that Femi, the Speaker heard, according to them, he alighted from his vehicle and asked his orderlies, what happened? Why gunshot? And they lied to him, that nothing happened Sir. Then he continued his journey, only for him to discover that somebody was gunned down. The victim was rushed to the National Hospital where unsuccessfully he could not make it, he gave up the ghost,” he narrated.
When asked whether the speaker didn’t see the victim lying down after the gunshot, Chief Ebute said: “according to them (other vendors), they said he did not notice that there was a dead body on the ground. You know that place is a busy place, other motors were here and there and a lot of people rushed and they did not want to delay and they moved.
“Being a friend of the same vendors, I don’t think he’s (Gbajabiamila) a party to the incident. It must be the DSS officer out of overzealousness must be held culpable.”
While calling for adequate compensation for the family of the victims who was survived by a Wife, two children and aged parents, the ANDA President stressed the need for the compensation of all the vendors who could not perform their duties as a result of the trauma suffered as well as various Media houses who lost between N30 to N50 million from the sales of newspaper on daily basis.
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