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Father of man killed by naval officer dies

Posted by Sun News Online on 2007/02/23 | Views: 838 |

Father of man killed by naval officer dies


As the world was busy celebrating the Valentineís Day on Wednesday, February 14, theheartbroken father of the commercial motorcyclist, Peter Ede, 23, who was shot dead in Ikeja, Lagos, on July 25, 2005, by a naval officer, Lt. Felix Odunlami, died in Lagos a disappointed man.

As the world was busy celebrating the Valentineís Day on Wednesday, February 14, theheartbroken father of the commercial motorcyclist, Peter Ede, 23, who was shot dead in Ikeja, Lagos, on July 25, 2005, by a naval officer, Lt. Felix Odunlami, died in Lagos a disappointed man.

According to a family source, Joseph Ede was said to have complained bitterly about the murder of his son and the breadwinner of the family and his failure to retrieve his corpse for burial, before he succumbed to the cold fingers of death.
"I am tired," he was quoted to have said before giving up the ghost.

Besides the failure by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja to produce the body of Peter Ede, a former factory worker at Nigerchin Company Limited, Ikeja, for burial, the father had lamented and expressed surprise that neither the naval authorities nor the government had bothered to visit the family to say, "sorry" for the unfortunate incident.

"The senior Ede had been a shadow of himself since the unlawful termination of his sonís life by a gun-totting naval officer. He had been heartbroken and frustrated by the apathy shown by the government and naval command sequel to the brutal murder of his breadwinner, Peter," counsel to the late Ede family, Nnabuike Edechime of Veritas Chambers, said.

He said that when the family went to LASUTH to claim Peterís body for burial, the hospital authorities told them that it had been buried in a mass grave.

He said: "We have repeatedly requested the production of Peter Edeís body but to no avail. Similarly, the authorities have not acceded to the familyís demand for compensation. This is the scenario that led to the death of Peter Edeís father, Joseph Ede, who was heartbroken.

"Not only was his son killed unlawfully, he was denied the opportunity of giving him a decent burial and he received no form of compensation from either the naval authorities or the government," he said.
Edechime reiterated his call to the LASUTH authorities to produce the body of the late Peter Ede, adding: "We also restate our call for the Nigerian Navy to pay commensurate compensation to the family of the late Peter Ede."

Peterís younger brother, Joshua Ede, told Daily Sun that the family had been passing through difficult times since the death of his elder brother.

He said his fatherís salary as a security man at the Lagos State Ministry of Works, was so meagre that they could no longer pay their house rent after the death of his elder brother, leading to their ejection from the house.

He said they lost their mother at a tender age, adding that the death of his elder brother and that of his father have created a vaccum in the family.

Narrating the last moment of his father, Joshua said he just came back from work and visited his father who was on admission at the General Hospital, Ikeja, when a nurse beckoned on him to come and see the state of his fatherís health, which was deteriorating very fast.

He said before help could come, the embattled father said, "I am tired," and died thereafter.
Peter was a part-time student of Business Administration. He was supplementing his meagre income by working as a commercial motorcyclist, after closing from his place of work. He was said to be riding his motorcycle on that fateful Monday, July 25, 2005, at Radio Bus stop, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, when his front tyre touched the rear bumper of a Mercedes Benz car No. AR 374 SMK, driven by Lt. Odunlami. The officer, who was in uniform, allegedly jumped out and shouted, "do you know that I can kill you and nothing will happen?"

Peter was said to have gone down on his knees, begging the officer for forgiveness before he pulled his service pistol and shattered his brains.

After a protracted trial, a Nigeria Navy General Court Martial found Lt. Odunlami guilty of manslaughter and sentenced him to life imprisonment. He was equally recommended for dismissal from service as a naval officer.

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