A security aide to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiala, has allegedly shot and killed a newspaper vendor identified as Ifeanyi Okereke, at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
The incident happened on Thursday when the police officer attached to Gbajabiamila opened fire to scare away the crowd as speaker’s convoy was driving out of the secretariat.
The speaker, who confirmed the sad incident on his Twitter handle a few hours later, described the killing of Okereke by one of his security details as horrible.
In a statement issued by his media aide on Friday, Gbajabiamila said he was distraught by the incident.
The speaker said he did not know that his security detail had killed someone in an attempt to protect him until he arrived at his destination.
It was gathered that the victim was shot in the head and later died at the National Hospital where he was rushed to by his brother and some police officers.
Eyewitnesses said Okereke and other vendors along the Shehu Shagari Way, Three Arms Zone, had flocked around the convoy of the speaker who is said to be in the habit of doling out money whenever he passed the area, when the police officer decided to shoot into the air to make way for the convoy to pass through.
The statement read:
“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 the meantime, the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from the convoy pending the conclusion of the investigation.
“I am personally distraught about this incident and my deepest sympathies go to the victim, his family, and Abuja vendors.
“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.”
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