Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has confirmed that one of his security aides shot dead a newspaper vendor at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday.
In a statement, Gbajabiamila said that he stopped, as usual, to exchange pleasantries with the newspaper vendors in the area, but unidentified men obstructed the convoy which got the attention of security men in the convoy who shot into the air to disperse them.
“Unfortunately, after the convoy set out in continuation of the movement, unidentified men obstructed the convoy which got the attention of security men in the convoy. They 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 socioeconomic 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 of 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.”