The life of a young Nigerian artiste has been cut short after he was allegedly crushed to death by personnel of the Nigerian Air Force.
Bereaved family members of the deceased, Ifeanyi Kalu, alleged he was on his way to work in the Ilupeju area of Lagos state when an officer of the Nigerian Air Force, driving on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, crushed him.
His body has been deposited in a mortuary at the Nigerian Air Force base in Lagos.
Ifeanyi’s death comes two months after his mother’s death. His mother’s body is still in the mortuary and the family now has two bodies to bury.
Actor, Segun Adefila took to Facebook to demand justice for Ifeanyi while disclosing that he was “a major breadwinner” in his family and leaves behind six siblings and an aged father.
It was also claimed that the Airforce offered the Kalu family 200,000 Naira.
A spokesperson for the Nigerian Air Force, Edward Gabkwat, refuted Adefila’s claim that the military vehicle crushed the victim, saying the 31-year-old was knocked down by a commercial bus.
Speaking to Punch, Edward said: “An Air Force vehicle did not kill or crush the victim. From what I learnt, the victim was trying to cross the road and an Air Force vehicle that was approaching saw him, and the vehicle suddenly stopped.
“The victim, who was apparently in shock at how the vehicle stopped, tried to go back to where he was coming from and I understood that a Danfo vehicle crushed him. As an organisation with responsible personnel, the officers, who were in that vehicle, felt it would be out of place to see such an incident and a victim in that particular state and ignore.
“So, they decided on their own that they needed to assist and convey him to an Air Force hospital and that was how the victim ended up in our own hospital. Unfortunately, it was in that process that he gave up.
“When the victim passed on, the family asked the Air Force for assistance to bury him and I understood that they (family) came up with a sum of N500,000. The Air Force leadership in the base volunteered to contribute more than half of what they asked.”
He insisted that the Air Force personnel did not ply the BRT corridor or break any law.
However, Segun Adefila insisted that the Air Force was responsible for the accident. He added that some companies in the vicinity could confirm his claim with their CCTV footage.
Speaking about the compensation offered to the Kalu family, Adefila asked: “But why would they agree to take him to their place or even agree to pay anything if they did not hit him?”
Ifeanyi’s brother, Ikechukwu, has denied that the family sought the assistance of the military.
He said: “They were the ones that first hit him and the impact of hitting my brother pushed him on the expressway where the bus killed him. Even the person speaking to us on behalf of the Air Force said their vehicle brushed him on the BRT lane.
“They first rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was rejected before they took him to the military hospital where he died on that same day. We are not seeking assistance; I have the message they sent us asking for a meeting and to know what we want them to do for us.”