The family of Ifeanyi Okereke, the newspaper vendor shot dead last week by a State Security Service (SSS) officer in the convoy of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has demanded N500 million in compensation over the incident.
In a letter written to Mr Gbajabiamila by their lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, the family gave the speaker seven days to fulfil their demand or face legal action.
In the letter dated November 23, Mr Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria, said he has the mandate of the father of the deceased, Okorie Okereke, and his younger brother, Destiny Okereke, to make the demand.
The demand is coming a few days after Mr Gbajabiamila visited the immediate family and pledged to support his children’s education until they become adults.
The victim was rushed to the national hospital by his colleagues but was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Mr Gbajabiamila had in a statement vowed not to let the matter be swept under the carpet and promised to cater for the family of the deceased.
He also identified the SSS personnel who fired the fatal shot as Abdullahi Hassan.
Family asks for more
Despite the commitment made by the speaker to the family, Mr Ozekhome said if the demand of N500m amongst others was not met, he would institute legal action against the speaker.
“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.”
“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 read.
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