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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

How My Driver Was Killed During #EndSARS Protest In Surulere

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Sam Okafor

Chief Sam Okafor (on red cap) narrating the incident to Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and others

The circumstances surrounding the death of Okechukwu Iloamuazor, a driver wo was shot dead in Lagos have been revealed by his boss.

Chief Sam Okafor, the boss of Okechukwu Iloamuazor who was killed during an #EndSARS protest in the Surulere area of Lagos State, has said his driver got down from the car to stretch his body when he was shot dead.

The late Iloamuazor’s boss relived the incident on Saturday when Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, visited the widow of the driver hit by a stray bullet during the last Monday protest by youths in Surulere.

The protest ended bloody when the police attempted to disperse some of the protesters who were moving towards the Anti-Cultism Police Command in the area.

In the ensuing chaos, Iloamuazor, 55, was hit by a bullet and died on the spot.

A policeman, Inspector Ayodeji Erinfolami, also died in the incident, according to the Lagos State Police Command.

It was gathered that the family house of the slain driver was enveloped in gloom when Sanwo-Olu visited his grief-stricken widow, Mrs. Ngozi Iloamuazor.

Okafor clarified 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.

He narrated, “We were stuck in the 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 from the car to stretch his body. After stretching, he put his both hands into his pockets and trying to figure out where the traffic started.

“Suddenly, we heard gunshot three times. The next thing I saw was Iloamuazor falling from his position. His hands remained in his pockets as he fell. I ran out of the car and screamed for help. People came and started performing all sorts of things to save him. 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, noting that he was yet to be relieved of the shock.

Sanwo-Olu 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 book.

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

A statement from the Lagos State Government quoted the governor as saying, “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 the 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 subjected to such pain death.

“The officers involved are undergoing orderly room trial as we speak, but we will allow the police to complete their investigation. We will certainly take the case out 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.

“Mr. Iloamuazor’s death is a sad loss not only for the family but to the entire citizenry that has clamoured for an end to police brutality. I assure you that his death won’t be in vain and the case will not be swept under the carpet. This is going to be the beginning of a real change that people want to see in law enforcement.”

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