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Speaker Gbajabiamila explains how his aide killed newspaper vendor

Ifeanyichukwu Elechi was hit by live bullets reportedly fired into the air by the top lawmaker’s security detail.

• November 20, 2020
The Speaker of House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila
The Speaker of House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila (Photo Credit: Channels TV)

Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila on Friday admitted that his security guards killed one of the citizens who obstructed his convoy at the Eagles Square, Abuja on Thursday.

Mr. Gbajabiamila said he was distraught by the incident and had immediately suspended the officer involved and asked police to thoroughly investigate it to bring justice to the family of Ifeanyichukwu Elechi.

A video surfaced on Thursday showing a man who was shot by a police officer at Eagles Square, a few meters away from the parliament.

Mr. Gbajabiamila, who affirmed that the man in the video was killed by one of his guards in the early hours of Friday, described the incident as “horrible”. 

“A horrible incident has taken place”, Mr. Gbajabiamila said on Twitter. “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.”

Mr. Gbajabiamila said Mr. Elechi was killed when unidentified men charged towards his convoy, prompting his orderlies to open fire in an attempt to disperse them. He was driving out of the parliament when the incident occurred, he said.

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

It was yet unclear whether the officer who fired the shot was attached as a police officer or State Security Service agent. The fatal shooting came a few weeks after citizens staged a nationwide #EndSARS protest against police brutality in the country. 

It also came barely a month after a police aide attached to Abike Dabiri-Erewa opened fire at a beer parlour in Abuja, killing a 19-year-old. 

Unlike Mr. Gbajabiamila, however, Ms. Dabiri-Erewa has yet to publicly admit her aide’s murder of a young man or condole with the family of the victim.

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