Newspapers vendors in the Federal Capital Territory on Friday protested the killing of their colleagues, Ifeanyi Elechi, who was shot dead on Thursday by a security aide to Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker, House of Representatives.
The vendors who were seen carrying placards, demanded justice, demanding that the errant operative who is believed to be a Department of State Services operative(DSS) must face the law.
The Reps Speaker has issued a statement expressing regrets over the tragedy and announcing the suspension of the officer involved.
He said he was not aware of the incident until much later, adding that he was shocked by the killing.
NEWSNAIJA learned that the shooting incident happened when Elechi and other street vendors selling on the Shehu Shagari Way, Three Arms Zone, gathered around the convoy of the speaker who was said to be in the habit of giving out money anytime he passed them.
The victim was inexplicably shot in the head and died at the National Hospital.
Etim Eteng, Chairman of the Newspapers Vendors Association in FCT, said the association will not allow the matter to be swept under the carpet as it’s usually done.
According to Eteng, the vendor’s death was not as a result of accidental gunfire or stray bullets, noting that he was shot point-blank by the unidentified security officer, stressing that there were witnesses at the scene.
The Vendors Chairman stated, “We are gathered here today to demand justice for Elechi who was killed extra-judicially. Extrajudicial killing means the killing of an individual by a security operative without judicial proceedings and this is what has happened. The vendors association through their legal adviser is demanding justice.
He said “The overzealous security operative who killed Elechi must be brought to justice; he must face the wrath of the law. We know that over time, judicial killings have been swept under the carpet but this time, the death of this innocent man who left his wife and new-born baby to look for his daily bread and was killed by an aide to the Speaker of the House of Reps must be investigated and the killer brought to justice.
The spirit of Elechi would not rest until justice is done.” He added.
Meanwhile, Bala Ciroma, the FCT Commissioner of Police, has ordered an investigation into the incident.
The command also refuted allegations that the killer was a police officer.