Fuel subsidy protester killed by police is buried in Lagos
Mr. Abe, 27, was allegedly shot by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Pen Cinema, Agege, Segun Fabunmi on January 9, 2012 during the nationwide protest against the removal of fuel subsidy announced by the federal government.
Abe was killed by the police officer whilst he and some of his friends were playing football on the deserted high way in Ogba, Lagos due to the industrial action called by the Nigerian Labour Congress over the fuel subsidy.
Mr. Fabunmi is still in the custody of the police at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, pending a lingering investigation on the shooting.
The funeral rites which began on Tuesday, commenced with a lying in state at the Yaya Abertan junction in Ogba, where he was killed. The casket containing Abe’s corpse had wailing youth and different passers-by, paying their last respect to the deceased, who has become the symbol of the protest.
The ceremony which was organized by the Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area (LGA) also involved the unveiling of an effigy to immortalize the deceased by the local government authority.
Youth from Ifako-Ijaiye also presented a petition to their Representative in the State House of Assembly to forward their grievance over the delay prosecution of the alleged police officer to the Speaker.
The local government chairman of Ifako-Ijaiye LGA, Oloruntoba Oke, again affirmed that the Lagos State government, on the orders of the state governor, has instituted a criminal and civil case against the Police officer that killed Abe. “This is one case we will not allow to be swept under the carpet,” he added.
The Director, Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, recently declared that the state government was suing the police and the former DPO for N200 million for the killing of Abiodun and N100 million each for three others, who were wounded by police bullets during the protest.
According to her, what was delaying the action was the unavailability of the autopsy report, adding that the office was waiting for the Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof. John Obafunwa, a pathologist, to make the autopsy available to her office.
Unlike the ceremony on Tuesday which was invaded by officers of the Nigerian Police Force, when the funeral rites began, few police officers were unavailable at the burial.
The Ifako-Ijaiye LGA, boss stated that the police had been asked to keep “a safe distance” from the burial. The ceremony drew a close with the interment of the deceased at the Atan Cemetery, Yaba.
The fuel subsidy protests recorded several deaths across the country with many injured as security operatives clamped down on the peaceful protest.