How Graduate Died During NSCDC Raid

A 37-year-old graduate of Accountancy from the University of Lagos in a bid to make a living for himself and family has had his life cut short by men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. According to Punch Babalola who sold recharge cards under the Meckwen Bridge, Victoria Island,Lagos State for fear of being arrested by NSCDC officials who had stormed the area to rid it of hoodlums was chased to his death as he fell into the Lagoon after he slipped. The incident happened last week Monday afternoon, August 18. The group of NSCDC men were led by one A.C. Orijah attached to Alausa, Ikeja. It was gathered Babola ran like others through a side of a bridge, following the confusion that resulted in the area on sighting the security operatives. Eyewitnesses report, however said that efforts to rescue him from the river was resisted by the NSCDC officials, who threatened to kill anyone who tried to save him. Sadly Babola who could not swim it was reported had tried coming out from the lagoon but was said to have drowned after one of the officials mocked him for not being able to swim and pointed a gun at him to prevent him. Punch gathered that Babalola’s body floated on the water two days after the incident just as it was gathered that policemen from the Zone 2 Police Headquarters, Onikan, arrested the NSCDC officials, but later released them. Meanwhile the younger sister of the deceased, Ajoke, who also said she had sold recharge cards under the bridge before she gained admission into the Kwara State College of Health Technology spo the death of her brother “It was a tragedy that could have been avoided. The NSCDC men prevented my brother from getting help.” PUNCH Metro learnt that the deceased’s aged mother passed out after hearing that her son was dead as it was said he had planned to foot his mother’s eye surgery before his life was cut short. The devasted victim’s widow, Oluwaremilekun said: “My husband suffered till death. He struggled to send himself to school. He finished and couldn’t secure a job. His uncle assisted him with funds to start the recharge cards business. But they have killed him. “I am now a widow. He is irreplaceable. He married me properly; did court wedding, traditional wedding and church wedding. What will happen now? I am a widow for life.” Meanwhile Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has assured that justice must be given to the Felix family. Falana said: “This is a case that should not be handled carelessly. The system reduced a graduate of the University of Lagos to a vendor selling recharge cards in town. “In an attempt to chase him from the street, he was chased into the Lagoon by a law enforcement officer who was supposed to protect his life. “To allow him to get drowned is worse. Those who tried to save him were scared away by the same official. It is a tragedy that should attract severe punishment under the law. “We have taken over the matter and we will sue the appropriate agencies of government to make sure the family is compensated. He has left a wife and two kids. We will not allow them to become beggars on the street of Lagos. We will invoke the criminal jurisdiction of the state to get the officer fished out with a view to getting him to face the full wrath of the law.” The Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Lagos Command, Mr. Chibuzor Mefor, however, said he was not aware of the incident. Speaking on the incident the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Lelma Kolle, said: “The police at Zone 2, arrested the three NSCDC officials and querried them and they said nothing happened. “But later, the Marine Police heard somebody drowned in the place and they recovered his corpse. They wrote the NSCDC that the officials should be released to them for questioning. But up till now, NSCDC have yet to reply the letter.”

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