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Widow of slain journalist petitions senate, wants police to take responsibility of family

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The Senate yesterday received a petition on the gruesome killing of Mr. Alexander Ogbu, a journalist by men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) during a protest by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shiites in January 2020.

Widow of the slain journalist, Mrs. Francisca Uneku Ogbu, petitioned the Senate to compel the police to take full responsibility for the upkeep of the family. This, she said, is expedient as police officers shot dead the journalist who is their breadwinner on the forehead on January 21, 2020.

The petition, which was presented on the floor of the red chamber yesterday by Senator Patrick Abba Moro, senator representing Benue South, wants the police to tend to the children’s upkeep and those of their dependents whose breadwinner they have taken away.

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The petition was addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, through the Senate Committee Chairman on Ethics, Privileges & Public Petitions.

The petition reads: “On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, my husband, Mr. Alexander Ogbu, a peace-loving man and journalist, was shot on the forehead by men of the Nigeria Police Force with the intention to kill and did kill him. “The police should be made to take full responsibility for my children and the many dependents my husband left behind.”

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This sad incident, she said, occurred at the scene of a protest led by members of the Shiites group in Abuja. “During the incident, another bystander was shot on the leg despite having identified himself as a VIO (Vehicle Inspection Officer) and not a protester. This was confirmed by media and eyewitness accounts and further buttressed by the spokesperson of the FCT Police Command in media reports that men of the Nigeria Police Force shot at ‘protesters’.

“Suffice it to say that Mr. Alexander Ogbu, my late husband, was neither a Shiite member nor a protester. My husband was shot and killed by trigger-happy policemen who used live ammunition to disperse protesters and ended up killing and maiming innocent citizens going about their legitimate business.”

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She explained that forcefully, her mobile phone was confiscated and held unto by men of the police force for over a month before it was released to her for reasons best known to them following the death of her husband. According to her, the men of the police force insisted that her husband fell and hit his head on a sharp object with the intention to cover up the true cause of his death.

“However, on my insistence for an autopsy, it was found that my husband was killed by a gun shot.” She said her husband has since been buried.

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