Family of newspaper vendor killed by Gbajabiamila’s aide demands N500 million from Speaker

The family of the late Ifeanyi Okereke has demanded the sum of N500 million from the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Okereke was shot and killed when Gbajabiamila’s convoy passed through the Federal Secretariat, Abuja on Thursday, November 19, 2020.

Gbajabiamila said in a statement on Friday, November 20 that the Department of State Service (DSS) agent, Abdullahi Hassanhas been handed over to the secret police for investigation, and appropriate administrative and judicial action.

In a November 23 letter signed by Okereke’s family’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), the Speaker was asked to pay the N500 million compensation even though it wouldn’t bring the dead back.

“It will at least mitigate the obvious trauma and hardship the premature demise of their irreplaceable breadwinner has placed on them,” the letter read, according to a report by The Punch.

The family also requested that Gbajabiamila use the influence of the office to ensure the immediate prosecution of Hassan who killed the father of two.

Failure to comply with the demands within seven days will trigger the initiation of legal actions against the Speaker, according to the letter.

While speaking about the incident during plenary on Tuesday, November 24, Gbajabiamila said he already made personal pledges to the family regarding funeral costs, support for Okereke’s widow, and the education of his children.

“I have initiated the process to formalise these commitments in a trust that gives the family the certainty that allows them to continue with their lives despite the unfortunate loss,” he said.

Narrating what led to the shooting in a statement last week, the Speaker said 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.