By Olasunkomi Akoni, Evelyn Usman, Bose Adelaja & Monsur Olowoopejo
LAGOS—Miss Nadel Hunpoyanwha, daughter of the slain Chief Timothy Hunpoyanwha, who was shot dead by one of the security officials attached to the demolition team in the on-going removal of shanties on the Iwaya/Makoko waterfront, Yaba Local Council Development Area, LCDA, yesterday, cried out for justice, saying the killer should be brought to book. She also appealed for help so she can continue her education. Ten-year-old Nadel is in primary five.
She said: “There is no way I can continue because my father, who sponsors my education, was shot by a security official, yesterday (Saturday).
Nadel, however, pleaded for assistance from the state government saying: “The state government should come to our aid by assisting me and my siblings to complete our education.
“It cannot be possible for my mother, uncles and aunts to take the full responsibility of our education because they also relied on my late father for financial assistance.”
The deceased, Hunpoyanwha, was last Saturday shot dead by a Marine Police from Oworonsoki, while he was pleading with the demolition team not to demolish more than the stipulated area away from the electrical cable on the water. He was 51.
The deceased, with four wives and many children, became the deputy Baale in 2007, and lived on the upland area of the community. His residence was not marked for demolition.
Speaking to Vanguard in a telephone chat, Mr. Ade Aguntor, who witnessed the scene, identified the man as the assistant Baale of Makoko, Mr. Timothy Hunpoyanwha. The security officer, who shot Hunpoyanwha dead, was identified as Corporal Boma Peddle, a Marine Police Officer.
How it happened
Aguntor explained that the incident happened at 10:30am, when the representatives of the community, who were sent to Alausa secretariat to hold a meeting with the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Mr. Adesegun Oniru, were still briefing the elders on the outcome of the meeting held on Friday.
He said: “At the meeting, the Baale of Makoko Community, Chief Aji Steven, was informed that the officials of the state government had arrived to continue with the demolition exercise in his territory. He then left the meeting to order his subjects to ensure that they remove all their property from the house before the demolition commences.
“Steven, who was accompanied by Hunpoyanwha, sat down to watch how the exercise was progressing. As the demolition commenced, Steven further ordered those whose houses were being demolished to park their woods, because they will be useful.
“While the Baale was still giving the order, Peddle began to shoot sporadically, with one of the bullets hitting Hunpoyanwha in the stomach.
“Immediately he (Hunpoyanwha) was hit by the shot, he alerted the Baale who quickly rushed him into a boat towards Oworonshoki jetty. While on their way to Gbagada General Hospital, Hunpoyanwha died.”
When Vanguard visited the residence of the deceased, relatives and sympathisers were in mournful mood, with some weeping uncontrollably.
It was also learnt that over 10 relations, yesterday, came from Benin Republic to Makoko, after they received the news late Saturday night.
We lost our breadwinner, says brother
Also speaking, Joseph, younger brother to the late chief, said: “We have lost the bread winner of the family. That was the man that attends to the needs of the family members, especially on financial issues. We want the law to take its course.”
‘He foresaw his death’
Secretary to the Baale of Makoko, Mr. Asuka Remi, said the Chief foresaw his death, saying “he was reluctant to accompany the Baale to the scene of the demolition exercise when he was called upon.
“After we persuaded him to accompany the Baale, immediately he got to the scene of the demolition, he stood aside.
“The Chief was a peace-loving person, who does not involve himself in any violent case. Due to his peace-loving nature, he was made the head of Resolution Committee of the community.”
Residents take protest to Alausa
Following the killing of Hunpoyanwha, a community leader, and the ongoing demolition exercise at Makoko water front, residents of the area have vowed to take their protest to the seat of power in Alausa, today. They have also asked the authorities concerned to stop the exercise as it has affected their lives adversely.