Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri
The Owerri branch of Nigerian Bar Association on Monday said that it would sue the Nigeria Police Force and Zenith Bank for allegedly abandoning the family of heroic Police Sergeant, Chukwudi Iboko, who died during the February 22, 2017, robbery which took place at the Wetheral Road branch of Zenith bank in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Sergeant Iboko, who killed one of the four armed robbers in the attack, suffered severe gunshot injuries and died the next day in a police clinic in Owerri after he was allegedly rejected at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri.
He had been praised by many Nigerians, leading to a massive campaign for raising fund by the Punch Newspaper and some social media activists for his family’s upkeep and to put his children back to school.
Irked by the victim’s wife’s claim that both the Police and the Bank had abandoned her and her seven surviving children which was published in Sunday PUNCH, the Owerri Branch NBA Chairman, Lawrence Nwakaeti, said that it was a wicked act for the police and the Bank to have abandoned and neglected Iboko’s family.
The legal practitioner said that his branch would have no option than to sue the police and bank to compel them to take full responsibility of the family of an officer who died in an active service while protecting the assets and customers of the Zenith Bank on the day of the incident.
Nwakeati said, “It is the height of wickedness for the gallant policeman who died in the course of duty to be abandoned by the police which he served most meritoriously and gave his life as a result and the bank for whom he paid the Supreme price, to abandon the young family he left behind.
“We demand that both the Nigeria Police Force as well as Zenith should take urgent steps towards the upkeep of the family left behind by the deceased police officer”.
The Chairman said that the children of the hero police officer who had dropped out of school must be assisted by the police and the bank to return to and to assist his young widow.
“The children he left behind who have dropped out of school must be assisted to return back to school. Their dreams must not be allowed to die just like that. It’s unfair. What message are we sending to our men and women in uniform who daily put their lives on the line so that others may be safe?
“We owe those they leave behind a duty of care in the event of the unthinkable happening to them”
According to him, “We hereby demand that the family of this fallen officer be made to feel less the death of their breadwinner”.
Nwakaeti said that In the event that nothing happens in spite of the demand, the Association shall take up the issue and ensure that Justice comes the way of the grieving family.