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General News of Friday, 20 November 2020

Source: The Nation

Gbajabiamila horrified by convoy’s security shooting of vendor

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has said he is distraught by the fatal shooting of a vendor at the Federal Secretariat Abuja on Wednesday.

The Speaker, in a statement he personally signed, described the event as “a horrible incident.”

The statement 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 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.

“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.

“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.

“I am personally distraught about this incident and my deepest sympathies go to the victim, his family and Abuja vendors.”

The incident occurred barely 24 hours after Gbajabiamila and other stakeholders called for wide-ranging reforms in the Police.

The Speaker has been a champion for end to police brutality and a Force that operates based on the Rule of Law

The late vendor, Ifenyichukwu Elechi, was allegedly shot in the head at close range by one of the police aides in the convoy of the Speaker.

He was said to have died at the National Hospital where he was rushed to after the incident.

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