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Family demands N500m from Gbajabiamila over newspaper vendor’s death

The family of Ifeanyichukwu Okereke, a vendor who died after being shot by a security aide to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has written a letter to the Speaker, demanding N500 million.

This is according to a letter dated November 23, 2020, signed by the lawyer of the family, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

Ozekhome was given the mandate to write the letter by the father of the deceased, Okorie Okereke; and the younger brother to the deceased, Destiny Okereke.

The Department of State Services had last week arrested the operative, Abdullahi Hassan, who shot Okereke while Gbajabiamila had also visited the family of the deceased and promised to ensure that they do not suffer.

However, the family demanded more, adding that nothing could bring the dead vendor back to life.

The letter read in part, “Our clients have instructed us to make from your good self, the following modest demands: That you use your good offices to ensure the immediate prosecution of your security aide (Abdullahi Hassan), who went on a frolic of his own, clearly acted outside the purview of his duty and responsibility by shooting to death an innocent, harmless and armless citizen.

“That you adequately compensate the Okereke family with a modest sum of N500m only. This monetary demand can never adequately replace or take the place of their son, husband, brother, and breadwinner’s life. But it will at least mitigate the obvious trauma and hardship the premature demise of their irreplaceable breadwinner has placed on them.”

The family also asked the Speaker to ensure that the safety of vendors is guaranteed as they had become afraid to return to the streets since the tragic incident.

The Okereke family said it would take legal action against Gbajabiamila if all the demands are not met within seven days.

“Take note therefore that it is our clients’ firm instruction that in the event that you fail, refuse and/or neglect to accede to or proffer reasonable compensatory terms to our above modest demands within seven days from the date of this letter, we shall without any further correspondences from us, take appropriate legal steps to enforce our clients’ constitutional rights,” the letter stated.

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