Economy

#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu visits widow of driver killed during protest – The Punch

•How Iloamuazor was hit by stray bullet –Eyewitness

Tobi Aworinde

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday, visited the widow of a driver, Mr Okechukwu Iloamuazor, hit by a stray bullet during last Monday’s demonstration by youths in Surulere for the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

The governor assured her that “his death won’t be in vain and the case will not be swept under the carpet.”

The police attempted to disperse protesters who were moving towards Anti-Cultism Police Command in the area by shooting indiscriminately, which led to 55-year-old Iloamuazor’s death.

A policeman, Inspector Ayodeji Erinfolami, also died in the incident.

According to a statement, Sanwo-Olu visited the home of the deceased in Ebute Meta at 2pm to pay his respects to the widow, Mrs. Ngozi Iloamuazor.

He was said to have been received by family members led by Bede Enewally.

The governor commiserated with the family over the incident, which he described as unfortunate. He said the late Iloamuazor should not have died under the circumstance, but assured the family members that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.

All four policemen who opened fire on the protesters in Surulere had been identified by the state government and police authorities. An orderly room trial at the Lagos State Police Command reportedly commenced on Friday.

But, Sanwo-Olu said the state government would take the officers’ punishment beyond the established disciplinary guidelines of the police.

He said, “On behalf of the state government and the people of Lagos, I commiserate with the family over this mindless brutality that led to the death of your son. We condemn endless killing of innocent citizens to the highest level.

“It is highly disheartening to learn that the victim, Mr Iloamuazor, was performing his legitimate duty when the unfortunate incident happened. He hurt no one to have been subjected to such a painful death.

“The officers involved are undergoing an orderly room trial as we speak, but we will allow the police complete their investigation. We will certainly take the case out of the (hands of the) police and bring the full wrath of the law on the officers who perpetrated this irresponsible act. This will be a clear signal for other trigger-happy officers.”

The governor described Iloamuazor’s death as a sad loss not only for the family but to the entire citizenry that had clamoured for an end to police brutality.

The late Iloamuazor’s boss, Chief Sam Okafor, who witnessed the driver get hit by stray bullet, reiterated that the deceased was not partaking in the protest, adding that they were both heading to Ilupeju when they ran into the protesters in Surulere.

“We were stuck in traffic caused by the protesters who were shouting #EndSARS. For more than 40 minutes, there was no movement. I wound down the windshield for fresh air; while Iloamuazor got down to stretch his legs. After stretching, he put both hands in his pockets as he was trying to figure out where the traffic started.

“Suddenly, we heard three gunshots. The next thing I knew, Iloamuazor had fallen from his position. His hands remained in his pockets as he fell. I jumped out of the car and screamed for help. People came and started performing all sorts of life-saving measures. The police came to the scene and I told them my driver had been shot on the spot.”

Okafor urged the governor to ensure justice was served in the matter, adding that he had yet to recover from the shock.

Enewally said Iloamuazor’s death threw the family into a state of perpetual sorrow.

According to him, the deceased carried several responsibilities in the family. He said the family put their trust in the governor to ensure justice was served at the end of the day.

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