Vendor’s Family Demands N500Million Compensation from Gbajabiamila

Vendor’s Family Demands N500Million Compensation from Gbajabiamila

The family of late Mr Ifeanyi Okereke, the vendor killed by a security aide to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, is demanding N500million compensation from the nation’s number three man. Okereke was shot last Thursday by an operative of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Abdullahi Hassan, who was attached to

The family of late Mr Ifeanyi Okereke, the vendor killed by a security aide to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, is demanding N500million compensation from the nation’s number three man.

Okereke was shot last Thursday by an operative of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Abdullahi Hassan, who was attached to the Speaker.

Gbajabiamila thereafter handed him over to the DSS, which has promised to ensure justice is served.

The Speaker also visited the family of the deceased and promised to support them. He also offered to fund the education of Okereke’s children until they become adults.

However, in a letter dated November 23 and addressed to the Speaker by counsel to the Okereke family, Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), the family demanded more.

The Okereke family said the demand is not enough to replace their son but it will mitigate the trauma and hardship his death has placed on them.

“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,” Ozekhome wrote.

“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.”

The attorney said if the Speaker fails to accede to their demand in seven days, they would take legal steps.

“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,” he said.

The family also asked the Speaker to ensure that the safety of vendors is guaranteed as they had become afraid to return to the streets since the tragic incident.

According to The PUNCH, Ozekhome was given the mandate to write the letter by the father of the deceased, Okorie Okereke; and the younger brother to the deceased, Destiny Okereke.

Twice on Friday, Speaker Gbajabiamila was forced to issue statements over the killing of the newspaper vendor, Mr Okereke, by a security detail in his convoy.

The incident occurred close to the Federal Secretariat on Thursday, when, according to Gbajabiamila, he stopped his convoy to exchange pleasantries with the vendors as was his usual practice after work.

He said in his first statement; “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 I stop my convoy quite often to connect with them.

He had to issue another statement, also on Friday, when colleagues of the late Okereke made good their threat to stage a peaceful protest to draw the attention of the Speaker and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to the killing and after the Police authorities denied the involvement of their man.

Gbajabiamila, in the new statement disclosed the identity of the killer-security operative as Abdullahi Hassan, whom he handed over to the Department of State Security, DSS, “for investigation and appropriate administrative action.”

He said he would meet with the parents of the late Okereke and ensure adequate compensation and justice meets the case.

Meanwhile, the Department of State Services (DSS) has detained Hassan, the security aide.

In a statement issued on Friday by the DSS, Mr Peter Afunanya, the said personnel was detained following the alleged shooting of a vendor, Ifeanyi Okereke, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“The Service hereby confirms that the suspect is one of its personnel deployed to the Speaker’s Convoy as a security detail,” the statement partly read.

“As part of its disciplinary procedures in the instance, he has been taken into detention. In addition, the Service has opened a detailed investigation into the matter.

“And as already stated by the Speaker that he has been suspended from his Convoy, the Service has further withdrawn him from the assignment.”

The DSS spokesman assured Nigerians that the service would “be transparent and accountable in handling this,” adding that “it is liaising with appropriate authorities to achieve this objective.”

He also sympathised with the family of the deceased and his loved ones, reiterating the DSS commitment to thoroughly investigate “the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident and will surely keep to this.”

 

 

 

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