…And the Vendor Died THE UNTOLD STORY OF HOW IFEANYI OKEREKE DIED FROM GUN SHOTS BY A SECURITY DETAIL ATTACHED TO THE SPEAKER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

…And the Vendor Died THE UNTOLD STORY OF HOW IFEANYI OKEREKE DIED FROM GUN SHOTS BY A SECURITY DETAIL ATTACHED TO THE SPEAKER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 13
12:27 2020

The accidental killing of the newspaper vendor, Mr. Ifeanyi Elechi Okereke , in Abuja by a DSS official attached to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabimilia, has generated a lot furore all over Nigeria. One of the deceased colleagues and Chairman of the Abuja Newspaper Vendors Association, Comrade Etim Iwara Eteng, in the company of the Association’s attorney, Barr. Wilfred Okoi, spoke to LIVES exclusively on what actually happened that led to the death of Mr. Okereke, how his wife is managing without her young husband, the Speaker’s intervention, the N500m demand as compensation by the deceased family and other key issues.

Q. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED LAST WEEK WITH THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ONE OF YOUR MEMBERS?

A. On Thursday, 19 November, 2020, a Newspaper Vendor, by name Mr. Ifeanyi Elechi Okereke was shot on the head by a security aide attached to the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila in the cause of selling Newspapers. He was rushed to the National Hospital with the assistance of Vendors, and police officers from the Federal Secretariat. He was confirmed dead shortly thereafter.

Q. WHO IS THE VENDOR THAT DIED?
A. The said late Vendor is Mr. Ifeanyi Elechi Okereke, a law abiding citizen and member of the Newspaper Vendors Association, Abuja.

Q. WHERE IS HE FROM?
A. Mr. Ifeanyi Elechi Okereke hails from Ebonyi State of Nigeria.

Q. WHAT IS HIS FAMILY BACKGROUND?, ARE HIS PARENTS ALIVE? WHERE ARE THEY? WHAT IS THEIR REACTION?
A. Late Mr. Ifeanyi is from a humble and God fearing family and He is the breadwinner of the family. His parents Mr. Elechi Okereke and Mrs. Elechi Okereke are both alive. They were in Ebonyi State before the gory incident and are presently in Suleja, Niger State as a result of the gruesome murder of their beloved son. The family is sad, broken and presently heavily grieving in pains and are praying that whosoever killed their dear son must be brought to book.

Q. IS HE MARRIED? WHO IS HIS WIFE? DOES HE HAVE CHILDREN?
A. Yes, he is married. His wife is Mrs. Nene Ada Ifeanyi Okereke. Yes, he has two children. The first child is two years old while the second child is barely a week old

Q. How is the deceased wife managing without her young husband?
A. She is absolutely helpless now due lack of basic earning to cater for her immediate family. She was majorly depending on her late husband.

Q. How are his children coping without their father?
A. His impact is highly felt due to lack of fatherly affection , protection and care noticeable during his life time.

 

Q . W H AT WA S T H E REACTION OF THE OFFICE (DSS) WHERE THE SAID CUPRIT WORKS?
A. The DSS where the said culprit works has invited our office – The Newspaper Vendors Association to sympathize with us and have vowed to ensure that prompt and proper investigation would be carried out to ascertain the killing of Mr. Ifeanyi Elechi.

Q. WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE?

A. The Honourable Speaker, Rt. Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila has invited the parents of the late Ifeanyi Elechi Okereke from the village and had taken steps to remove the overzealous security aide who killed Mr. Ifeanyi from his body of guard and had also handed the said officer to the Department of State Security (DSS) for Proper Investigation and prosecution. He has also visited the Primary constituency of the deceased, The Newspaper Vendors Association Abuja (NVAA) to condole with them. He has also promised to cater for the deceased immediate family including setting up a foundation in this respect.

 

 

Q. WHAT WAS THE REACTION O F T H E V E N D O R’ S ASSOCIATION?

A. From reports reaching me as the Chairman, Newspaper Vendors Association at 5:00 hours pm from eye witnesses and members of the Association namely: Charles Agu and Obinna Nsuqwo, that the late Ifeanyi Elechi Okereke was shot by a Security aide attached to the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila when he approached the convoy of the Speaker with a view to selling his Newspapers to them. And thereafter, through the assistance of the Vendors and police officers from the Federal Secretariat Police Post, he was rushed to the National Hospital, Abuja where he gave up the ghost. We immediately consulted our legal officer and we resolved, among other things, to stage a peaceful protest, while we instructed our Legal Adviser, Barrister Wilfred Okoi, to file a petition before the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Q. Has the Speaker’s intervention helped? What action has he taken so far to ameliorate the impact of the death of Mr. Okereke?
A. The speaker’s intervention is yet to be felt as we , the vendors association and the immediate family await full implementation to bring succour. We are praying for prompt intervention on the part of the HON Speaker.Q. It’s in the news that the family demanded N500m compensation. Who exactly made the demand?A. The N500m compensation was demanded by the late vendor’s father and brother and not his immediate family.

Q. What is the deceased wife’s reaction?
A. The deceased wife debunked the #500 million claims through a press conference and that she was not consulted and not in support of the said claims.

Q. HOW DO WE ENSURE THAT THIS KIND OF INCIDENT DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN?
A. We can prevent the recurrence of this ugly incidence by ensuring that the trigger happy security agent who killed Ifeanyi Elechi is made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent to other security operatives that may want to follow his footsteps.

Q. WHAT LESSONS SHOULD NIGERIAN ELITES LEARN FROM THIS INCIDENT?
A. The Nigeria elites including Mr. Speaker should ensure that all security attachés deployed or attached to them are subjected to psychological exercise to ascertain their mental stability. For instance, it is on record that the former Head Of State of Congo, Mr. Joseph Kabila was murdered by a member of his presidential body of guard. And so, there deployment of security attachés who are mentally unstable to our elites could also be a threat to them.

Q . W H AT A R E T H E NEWSPAPER VENDORS ASSOCIATION’S DEMAND?
A. The demands of The Newspaper Vendors Association are as follows:i. Proper and thorough investigation into the gruesome killing of Mr. Ifeanyi Elechi Okereke on Thursday, 19 November, 2020 by a trigger happy security attached to the Speaker of t h e F e d e r a l H o u s e o f Representatives. ii. Prompt and adequate compensation be paid to the family and children of the deceased, Mr. Ifeanyi Elechi Okereke including Employment for the wife or financial assistance for her to support her business to be able to feed and train the children. iii. In reliance to the promise made by the Honourable Speaker at the Newspaper Distribution center which is the primary constituency of the deceased on the 22nd November, 2020 to put up a foundation that will cater for the immediate family of the deceased, including the children, we hereby respectfully request that the legal advisers of the Newspaper Vendors Association, Abuja should be included in the legal team of the Honourable Speaker in putting up the legal framework for the said foundation.iv. Furthermore, we wish to charge and implore the Honourable Speaker and distinguished members of the 9th Assembly to consider, enact and make the date being the 19th day of November, 2020 when Mr. Ifeanyi Elechi Okereke was gruesomely murdered as a National Vendors Day.v. And Renovation of both Newspaper Vendors and Distributors Head Offices at Area 1 Newspaper Distribution Center.vi. Compensation for both newspaper vendors and distributors who lost their daily earnings and traumatized selling of Newspapers to the public..
from the 19th November, 2020 till date as a result of this ugly incident.vii. To build a hall at the Newspaper Distribution Centre and name after him.viii. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

Q. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE NEWSPAPER VENDORS ASSOCIATION IN ABUJA?
A. The Newspaper Vendors Association, the primary constituency of the deceased Mr. Ifeanyi Elechi Okereke was incorporated in 2010 with the Corporate Affairs Commission with the mandate to disseminate information through the selling of news papers to the public.

 

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