Chineye Igwetu is the elder sister of Linda, a corps member due to pass out last Thursday, who was shot dead in a vehicle by a policeman in Abuja on Wednesday. She shares the grief of her family with The Punch’s Tope Omogbolagun. Excerpts:
What can you say about your sister’s death?
She worked with an American company in Abuja. After work on Tuesday, she went out with her colleagues to celebrate the end of their last day at work since the following day was their passing-out having completed the National Youth Service Corps scheme.
On their way around Ceddi Plaza, a policeman shot at their car. The male colleague, who was driving, said they didn’t see any ‘stop and search’ point mounted by the police and they were playing a loud music in the car since they were in celebration mood. The guy said he heard a sound but he thought it was his car tyres and that when he didn’t feel anything strange as he was driving, he continued. I learnt that she later tapped the guy driving to say that the police had shot at them. They were surprised when she said that and that they looked back only to discover that she had been hit by a bullet and was bleeding.
What did they do afterwards?
They rushed her to Garki Hospital. But when they got there, they were told to deposit N50, 000 before they could commence treatment on her. The colleague said they told them that they didn’t have cash on them and that he had lost his ATM card. He pleaded with them if he could do an online transfer to them but they declined. After pleading, they accepted but by the time they agreed to attend to her, it was too late. She died in the process.
There was a report that the policeman heard a shout from someone in the car. How would you react to that?
Nothing like that happened; there was a loud music in the car, so the police couldn’t have heard if someone shouted from the car. It was not a case of kidnap. I know the colleague, so how would her colleagues kidnap her? Even the police have said it was not true. They said it was not a case of kidnapping but homicide.
How did you hear about her death?
The colleague called me while they were in the hospital.
Do you all live in Abuja?
No, our parents and other siblings are based in Lagos while she stayed with me in Abuja.
What is your parents’ reaction to the case?
They are saying that they want justice.
Where is the corpse?
Her body is at the Garki General Hospital.
What kind of person was your late sister?
She was a very nice girl, third of four children and was full of life. She was a jolly good fellow filled with positive vibes, always friendly and ready to help. She desired to be an air hostess. She was even planning to attend an aviation school in January. Her dreams had been wasted and an innocent life was cut short.
What school did she graduate from?
She studied Geography at the University of Lagos.
What step is the family taking at the moment?
We are going to court. We must get justice for the innocent blood that was shed.