By Evelyn Usman
Family of the 32-year-old bureau-de-change operator who was last Tuesday shot dead by an Army Private in Ikeja area ofÂ Lagos has accused the Nigerian Army of lying against the deceased by saying his death was as a result of his struggling with the soldierâ€™s weapon.
The bereaved family members who thronged the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Monday, to give statement to detectives at the Homicide section who are investigating the incident, also accused the Nigerian Army of treating a matter of such magnitude with levity.
Spokesman for the family, Mr Christopher Ogien, who spoke with VanguardÂ expressed shock over what he described as lackadaisical approach on the part of the accused, saying since the incident, no condolence visit had been paid to them.
Wondering if there could ever be justice for the poor, he called on the Police to state their findings in the course of investigation in order to ascertain the truth.
Army authorities in Lagos had last Thursday explained that investigation into the shooting of the bureau-de-change operator identified as Friday Ogien, revealed that Private Aminu Audu pulled the trigger in self defence.
A senior officer who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: â€œOur men had gone to repair their patrol vehicle and were on their way back whenÂ two persons approached them that some people had shortchanged them.
â€œTwo of them went to confirm the claim and effect possible arrest. But on reaching there, a mob gathered and tried to prevent them. In the process, seven persons tried disarming one of the armed soldiers.
â€œThe struggle went on for sevenÂ minutes before he pulled the trigger. He shot in self defence,â€ the officer said.
But describing the claim as a lie, spokesman for the bereaved family said: â€œNobody ever made an attempt to disarm the soldier. The Army told a lie. When the woman came with the soldiers, they did not even give my brother an opportunity to explain, they just shot him in the head and he died on the spot.
â€œAll we demand is justice because my brother died leaving three children among whomÂ is a two-month-old baby,â€Â he said.