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Father of slain kid demands N20m compensation from Imo government

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Father of the late Somtochukwu Ibeanusi, Isaiah, has demanded N20 million compensation from the Imo State government. The 10-year-old and only son of the parents was killed by a stray bullet from the alleged sporadic shots by security agents during the demolition of the Eke Ukwu Market in Owerri on August 27, 2017.

The senior Ibeanusi made the demand yesterday while testifying before the Public Tribunal on Police Brutality, Corruption and Abuse in Southern Nigeria organised by NOPRIN Foundation in the state capital.He alleged that after the unfortunate incident, the state government never assisted in the burial of his son.

The bereaved father expressed dismay at the “abandonment” b y both the police and the government, whom he maintained, could have stood by them and ensured that the perpetrators were brought to book. According to him, the sum would cover the expenses incurred before and during the burial and the N500, 000 he paid for an autopsy among other liabilities.

Ibeanusi also sought a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to Somtochukwu’s death, stressing that all he wanted was justice. Other testifiers, including Justus Ijeoma, Temitope Adeyemi and Paulina Nweke, gave sordid accounts of unlawful killings, detentions, torture, brutality and enforced disappearance of relations.

Earlier, NOPRIN National Coordinator, Okechukwu Nwanguma, said the event was part of the foundation’s “contribution to the ongoing advocacy and efforts to transform the Nigeria Police from a brutal regime to a democratic, professional, citizen-friendly, effective and accountable force that serves and protects the rights and interest of the people.”

Besides, the secretary to the state government, Mark Uchendu, has said his inability to tackle issues of pensions and salaries before the May 29 exit date would be his only regret working in the Governor Rochas Okorocha administration. He stated that if had more time, he would ensure that no single pensioner or worker was owed a dime.

Uchendu bared his mind yesterday to The Guardian shortly after addressing members of the Organised Labour who were agitating over unpaid salaries and pensions in the capital.He urged more patience from the protesters, assuring them that their request would be met before the end of the week.

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Somtochukwu Ibeanusi
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