Posted by By IKenneth Ehigiator & Ndidiamaka Ifionu on
UNIONS in the aviation sector, the Nigerian Aviation Safety Initiative (NASI) and family of the Capt. Jerry Agbeyegbe yesterday called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, to conduct a fresh investigation into the murder of the late activist.
LAGOS—UNIONS in the aviation sector, the Nigerian Aviation Safety Initiative (NASI) and family of the Capt. Jerry Agbeyegbe yesterday called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, to conduct a fresh investigation into the murder of the late activist.
Capt. Agbeyegbe, who was Executive Director of NASI, was shot dead at Alapere, on the Lagos-Oworonshoki expressway by yet to be identified persons exactly a year ago, on October 12, 2004.
At a rally organised to commemorate the first year of the murder of Capt. Agbeyegbe, the family, NASI and the unions under the aegis of Aviation Union Grand Alliance (AUGA) took turns to berate the Lagos State police command for the shoddy manner it handled the investigation into the case.
The peaceful rally had commenced at the headquarters of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) at Beesam Bus Stop, with the police escorting the protesters to ensure it was peaceful.
The rally took the protesters through some two kilometre walk to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, where stakeholders took their turns to address protesters.
Addressing the rally, NASI’s Secretary-General, Engineer Offiong Effanga, lamented that twelve months after Capt. Agbeyegbe was killed, the question of ascertaining who the killers were was yet to be resolved.
"Exactly a year ago, Capt. Agbeyegbe was killed and up till now, nothing concrete has been done to unearth the killers.
Abdulkareem Motajo of NUATE said the police had obviously not done its job, stressing that for the IG to uphold the police new creed of serving with integrity, he must get to the bottom of Capt. Agbeyegbe’s murder.
"Capt. Jerry died with calibration in this country. Nigeria now pays ASECNA in dollars in Dakar, Senegal, for calibration of the nation’s aviation facilities. The police should cover its face with shame; they have a hand in his death," said Comrade Motajo.
Representative of Nigeria Airways’ pensioners, Comrade Oyewo Muideen, raised an alarm that the hunt for people like Capt. Jerry has not stopped in the aviation industry, adding that would not deter those who wish the sector well from continuing with their agitations for things to be done rightly.
Engr. A.B. Kyari of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) told the protesters that his group had resolved to petition the IG to ensure proper investigation was conducted into the killing to ensure the killers were brought to book.
Kyari, who served as Capt. Agbeyegbe’s vice as NAAPE President, said nobody can wish away the ideals for which the late safety activist stood and died.
Wife of the slain pilot, Mrs Mary Agbeyegbe, who spoke for the family, praised the courage of the late husband in fighting the ills in the aviation sector.
She said: "I want the police to look for my husband killers. I’m really disappointed that the police have not been able to get to the bottom of the case. Let them produce Juliet Okonkwo for me to ask her whether she was there at the time he was shot.
"She is a woman; I’m a woman too. Who signed the surety for Juliet to be released on bail? The police should produced the person."
She thanked the aviation community for the support it had rendered the family since her husband was killed.
Activities commemorating the first year of Capt. Agbeyegbe’s death would be rounded off December 3, 2005, with a lecture on aviation safety as well as launching of a foundation in his memory.