Hours after media reports said his security aide killed a newspaper vendor, Ifeanyi Okereke in Abuja, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has confirmed the incident.
It was gathered that Okereke was shot by Gbjabiamila’s convoy while they passed through the Federal Secretariat on Thursday, November 19, 2020.
The vendor was shot after he alongside others crowded the convoy.
Confirming the incident in a statement in the early hours of Friday, November 20, Gbajabiamila claimed that some unidentified men obstructed his convoy, after he exchanged pleasantries with vendors.
According to him, his security aides shot in the air to disperse the men, but hours later, he heard someone was hit by stray bullet.
“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.
Describing the incident as an unfortunate one, the speaker said no family deserves to go through such loss, as he noted that the officer responsible for the shooting had been suspended from his convoy pending the conclusion of investigations.
Gbajabiamila said “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.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Newspapers Vendors Association in Abuja, Etim Eteng, said Okereke’s death came hours after he welcomed a new baby with his wife.