Newspaper vendors in Abuja are staging a protest in the capital city over the killing of a fellow vendor by the security aide of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Ifeanyi Okereke was shot and killed when Gbajabiamila’s convoy passed through the Federal Secretariat, Abuja on Thursday, November 19, 2020.
The shooting happened when the deceased and other vendors crowded the convoy after they had been summoned by the Speaker himself.
Vendors commenced a march from Area 1 in Garki district to demand justice for Okereke.
The president of Abuja Newspaper Distribution, Ebechi Ebute, said the incident was caused by the recklessness of Gbajabiamila’s security aides.
He said Okereke was shot while he was receiving a monetary gift of N9,000 from the Speaker’s orderly.
The protesters chanted “Give us justice” while they marched in the capital city on Friday.
Gbajabiamila said in a statement early on Friday, November 20 that he had stopped to exchange usual friendly pleasantries with the vendors, but that some unidentified men obstructed his convoy when he was ready to leave.
He said the obstruction caused his security aides to shoot in the air to disperse the men.
“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,” he said.
Gbajabiamila described the incident as unfortunate, and noted that a report has already been filed at the local police station where an investigation has commenced.
He said the officer responsible has also been suspended from his convoy pending the conclusion of investigations.