The Nation (Nigeria)

Woman remembers slain grandson 19 years after

- By Joseph Jibueze

THE grandmothe­r of the late Nnamdi Ekwuyasi, who was killed by the policeman 19 years ago, has called for an end to extra-judicial killings.

She also wants law enforcemen­t agencies to be held accountabl­e for such killings.

The late Ekwuyasi and Morakinyo Akerele, both undergradu­ates of the University of Lagos, were killed by a policeman at Falomo Junction, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The two, along with two other students, were driving in an Opel Omega car belonging to Akerele’s mother when they were stopped by a team of policemen at the junction.

The students had gone to Ikoyi from Festac Town to drop off a younger brother of one of them.

They had arrived at the Falomo junction at about 8.56 pm and, as the driver made a turn into Bourdillon Road, he was flagged down by the policemen.

One of them pointed to where they should park. As the driver made to park, another officer pointed in a different direction.

Then the driver decided to move a bit forward because of another vehicle coming behind. At that point, two officers emerged.

Suddenly, shots were fired. Ekwuyasi was shot at the back of his head and died immediatel­y. After the shooting, the policemen fled the scene, leaving Akerele who was bleeding profusely.

Passersby took Akerele to the General Hospital, but the doctors refused to attend to him except a police report was provided. After a long delay, the boy died.

The families of the duo wrote a petition to the then Inspector-general of Police, Mr Tafa Balogun. The IG directed the then Commission­er of Police in Lagos, the late Young Arebamen, to investigat­e the matter.

In the course of the probe, it was discovered that the policeman who pulled the trigger was one Corporal serving under MOPOL 5 Benin City, Edo State, who was in Lagos on a special assignment.

No one has been prosecuted for the murder of the two students, according to Convener of the Access to Justice, Mr Joseph Otteh, who is familiar with the matter.

The 93-year-old grandmothe­r, Mrs C. M. Obeya has not forgotten how the life of her grandson was cut short.

In a statement issued through Otteh, she said: “I remember my grandson Nnamdi Ekwuyasi (19) who was murdered extrajudic­ially by men of Operation fire for fire on June 22, 2002.

“The Lagos State government gave me N100,000 for his funeral and burial expenses, which I donated to the police for their welfare because the police needed the gift most.

“But today Nnamdi, my heart bleeds to see the youth of this country going through the same experience and their mothers sob in silence.

“I am using his remembranc­e day to plead to society to stop the killing of our creator’s precious gifts to humankind.”

In a tribute to the late Ekwuyasi, Madam Obeya writes: “You have only become part of mother nature because no man can destroy the handwork of God.”

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