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The Speaker of the House of Representative in Nigeria, Femi Gbajabiamila has suspended one of his security aides after he learned he had shot a newspaper vendor.
The incident happened in the capital city, Abuja on Thursday, around 15:00hrs after Gbajabiamila signed off work.
According to the speaker’s statement, he was unaware that someone was killed by his security aide while trying to protect him.
He said he learned of the death of the newspaper vendor after he had reached his destination.
The victim has been identified as Ifeanyi Okereke.
Okereke was rushed to the nearest hospital by his brother and some police officers but was pronounced dead minutes later.
According to reports, the newspaper vendor ran towards the speaker’s convoy on Shehu Shagari Way, as he is said to always dish out money to them.
The speaker’s tweet on Thursday night reads “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 the 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.”
Mr Gbajabiamila disclosed that “the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from the convoy” pending the conclusion of the investigation.
He describes the fatal shooting as “horrific”, adding that he cannot imagine the grief and loss the victim’s family must feel, saying “no family should have to go through this”.
“I have caused a report to be made to the local police station and an investigation has commenced,” he said.
Adding that “I am personally distraught about this incident and my deepest sympathies go to the victim, his family and Abuja vendors.
“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.”
The killing of Ifeanyi is coming amid the controversial killing of EndSARS protest in the Lekki axis of Lagos State.
The Nigerian government has yet to issue an apology to the public with the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed openly stating that the Nigeria military “did nothing wrong”.