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Breaking: Police deny shooting vendor in Abuja despite Speaker’s statement

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has denied reports that a policeman attached to Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, fired the gun that killed a newspaper vendor on Thursday in Abuja.

Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Yusuf Mariam, in a statement on Friday, said the security agent, who fired the shot was not a policeman, according to preliminary investigations.

She said the Commissioner of Police FCT CP. Bala Ciroma has ordered a discreet investigation into the incident.

It reads: “The FCT Police Command wishes to unequivocally refute the allegation making round sections of the media that a Police officer attached to the convoy of the Speaker of the House of Representatives shot at a newspaper vendor within the Three Arm Zone on Thursday 19th November,2020.

“Contrary to the misleading information, preliminary investigation into the unfortunate incident reveals that the security aide who shot at the vendor is not a member of the Nigeria Police Force.

“However, the Commissioner of Police FCT CP. Bala Ciroma has ordered a discreet investigation into the incident.

“While commiserating with the family and friends of the deceased, the Commissioner of Police wishes to guarantee members of the public that the Command will be lucid in its investigation and ensure the findings are made public.”

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila has confirmed the death of a newspaper vendor shot by one of his security aides on Thursday. 

Gbajabiamila who, in a series of tweets on his official handle in the early hours of Friday, narrated how the incident took place, explained that the vendor was hit by a stray bullet meant to disperse a crowd when he went to greet newspaper vendors while leaving the National Assembly.

“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,” he explained.

“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.”

The Lagos lawmaker narrated that some hours after they got to their destination, he was informed that the victim, identified as Ifeanyi had been hit by a stray bullet.

He said this was “contrary to an earlier report by men in the convoy that they applied their security discretion to shoot in the air.

“In the meantime; the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from the convoy pending the conclusion of the investigation.”

While sending his condolences to the family of the deceased, the Speaker expressed distraught about the incident.

“For one of them (vendors) 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,” he added.

“I have caused a report to be made to the local police station and an investigation has commenced. 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.”

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