A security aide in the convoy of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has “accidentally” killed a newspaper vendor in Abuja.
In a series of tweets in the early hours of Friday, Gbajabiamila said on Thursday evening after leaving his office, he stopped to exchange pleasantries with some newspaper vendors around the national assembly after which some “unidentified” men obstructed his convoy.
The speaker said his aides shot into the air to disperse these men, but that he later learnt that a stray bullet hit “someone.”
The number four citizen described the incident as “horrible”.
“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 investigatiair
“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,” he said.
However, Omoyele Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow, identified the vendor as Ifeanyichukwu Elechi.
Sowore accused the speaker of “fleeing” the scene after the incident.
“#ENDSARS Newspaper Vendors in Abuja protest at @nassnigeria over the killing of their member, Ifeanyichukwu Elechi by @femigbaja ‘s security aide.
“The speaker admitted that his aides shot/killed Elechi but sadly they fled the scene. If you are in that vicinity, join the protest,” Sowore tweeted.
There have been wild reactions on social media over the incident which happened only a few weeks after Nigerians poured into the streets to demand an end to police brutality.