Mrs. Josephine Okereke, wife of Abuja newspaper vendor killed by a security detail attached to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, has disassociated herself from the N500 million compensation lawsuit.
Okereke told newsmen on Thursday in Abuja that she was not privy to the N500 million compensation requested by the family.
She said what was paramount now is how to get justice for her late husband.
Recall that on November 23, a letter signed by Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), counsel to Okereke’s family, had demanded a N500 million compensation from the speaker.
The letter also stated that failure to comply with the N500 million demand within seven days would led to legal action against the Speaker.
She however said that the Speaker had since reached out to the family with a promise to take care of the children.
“Gbajabiamila carried my new born child when he came to our house and said he was not a Speaker when he knew my husband.”
Okereke said that what she needed at the moment is justice and not N500 million, stressing that she will never be in support of the N500 million compensation.
The bereaved wife said the Speaker had done what was unexpected of someone in authority with a promise to take care of the children’s education and other needs.
“I was in my house when within 10 minutes my father in-law came from Abia, he went out along with his other son and the next day I heard that my husband’s people are demanding N500 million as compensation.
“I was shocked and asked how will they be doing that and how will the speaker help the children again with such demand.
“All I want now is that the person that killed my husband to face justice. He was the bread winner of the family and he just secured a job with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“But COVID-19 prevented him from resuming; it was the Minister, Dr Chris Ngige, that helped him secure the job, but since COVID-19 prevented him from resuming he went back to vendor so as to eke a living,” she said.
The 36-year-old mother of two said she was also a vendor when they both met in 2013 and the union had since produced two children.
NAN recalls that Ifeanyi Okereke, the vendor was shot in the head on Nov. 19 by a security detail attached toGbajabiamila when the speaker’s convoy passed through the Federal Secretariat.
Mr. Wilfred Okoye, the Legal Adviser to Newspaper Association of Abuja (NPA), had condemned the death of Okereke by the security aide, Abdullahi Hassan.
In an emotion laden voice, he said Okereke’s death was most painful, adding that the NPA is pained by the gruesome murder of the late vendor.
He called for justice to the bereaved family to serve as deterrent to other security details.
Okoye commended the Speaker for the role played so far in assuaging the feelings of the family, expressing confidence that the Department of State Security that deployed Hassan to the speaker will do the needful.
“I have not seen such empathy by people in authority in my 12 years of legal practice, the Speaker should not be discouraged, he should put up the trust fund quickly to secure a future for the children,” said the lawyer.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate steps that would address overzealous security operatives in the country.