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Delta Family demands N400,000, land from Vigilante who shot their first son dead
The family of a nine-year-old boy, Peter Oghenekobiruo, allegedly shot dead by a vigilante in Agabro community, Delta State, has asked the suspect to pay N400,000 as compensation and condition for settling the matter out of court.
In addition to N400,000, It was also learnt that the family also demanded a parcel of land from the suspect to bury the child. The primary one pupil was shot dead on Friday, October 26, while he was relaxing inside his grandmother’s shop.
It was learnt that the vigilante, identified simply as Solo, was passing along the shop in a vehicle when he suddenly pulled the trigger.
Bullets reportedly hit Oghenekobiruo and a customer who wanted to buy a cigar from the old woman.
The deceased’s grandfather, who was outside the shop, was said to have raised the alarm as the driver sped off.
The uncle of the deceased, Mr. Jike Timothy, who spoke to our correspondent on the incident on Thursday, said the boy was being taken to a second hospital when he gave up the ghost.
He said the boy was the first child in a family of four children, adding that an agreement had been reached to settle the matter out of court.
He said, “His mother is my elder sister. The family is based in Ugheli. The mother wanted to attend a burial on Saturday and brought him to our parents’ house in Agbaro on Friday morning. She was supposed to pick him up when returning from the ceremony.
“There is a shop in front of my parents’ house. In the evening, my dad sat outside while the boy and my mum were inside the shop. Other children were playing outside. There was a vehicle approaching. The vigilante was inside the vehicle whose headlamp was not on. My father saw the vehicle from afar and started lamenting.
“As my mother wanted to sell a cigar to a man, gunshot suddenly rent the air. The bullets hit the man and my cousin (Oghenekobiruo). The boy was bleeding from the head. The driver sped off. It was when my dad shouted, ‘Solo, you killed somebody and you’re running away’ that the driver came back to the scene. We don’t know what made the vigilante to shoot the gun. The boy died on the way to the second hospital he was referred to.
“The family has agreed to a settlement with the suspect. They are asking for N400,000 and a parcel of land to bury the boy. The deadline for the payment is today (Thursday) or else the matter would be transferred to Asaba.”
Efforts to speak to the deceased’s parents proved abortive as Timothy, who promised to send their phone numbers, had yet to do so as of press time. He did not pick subsequent calls put across to his line.
The Chairman, Committee on Defence of Human Rights, Mr. Kehinde Taiga, said the group intervened after the matter was brought to its attention through a member.
Taiga, who said CDHR wanted the case to be charged to court, confirmed that he was aware the family was considering a settlement, but said he did not know the terms.
He said, “I have been telling them that compensation will not bring the boy back to life. I advised them that they should let the man be charged to court.
“The incident was brought to the attention of the CDHR through the assistant secretary. We went to the scene of the crime and discovered that the matter was serious. We want the vigilante to face the law.”
The CDHR member, Joe, condemned the shooting in his Facebook status dated October 29, adding that the vigilante and his colleagues in the vehicle had been arrested.
From the post, there was an indication that the family initially intended to take up the matter.
Joe wrote, “We express absolute displeasure on the unprofessional conduct of vigilantes in Agbaro, Delta State which led to the death of a nine-year-old boy who was sitting in the shop. According to eyewitnesses, there was neither uproar nor robbery in the area.
“In announcing their presence, was a sporadic gunshot that left the nine-year-old boy dead and another seriously injured. When I confronted CSP Nosa, the DPO, Agbaro Divisional Police Headquarters, he said they were on top of the situation.
“Paying a condolence visit to the family of the victim left some pains in me as the tragedy was too much for the mother to bear. We hereby urge the DPO in line with the decision of the victim’s family to transfer the suspects to the SCIID (State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department) for prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others who feel they can fire arms at will.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Andrew Aniamaka, said investigation was ongoing on the matter..