Nigerian Navy Faces Accusations of Abandoning Family of Slain Police Officer
The family of the late Assistant Superintendent of Police, Hezekiah Abiona, has come forward to express their grievances, stating that officials from the Nigerian Navy have neglected them following the tragic death of their breadwinner. Abiona was fatally stabbed by two naval ratings, Onyekachi Egwin and Nnamani Anointing, in the Satellite Town area of Lagos State.According to previous reports by PUNCH Metro, the incident occurred when Abiona and his colleagues flagged down the ratings, who were dressed in civilian clothing and riding a motorcycle, on Oluti Street. This seemingly routine action allegedly enraged the naval ratings, leading to a heated argument that quickly escalated into a physical altercation. During the scuffle, the ratings allegedly stabbed Abiona on December 3, 2022.The injuries sustained by Abiona proved fatal, and the suspects were subsequently apprehended by the Lagos State Police Command. However, the family now claims that the Nigerian Navy has shown no concern or support since the tragic incident unfolded.In an interview with our correspondent, Benjamin, Abiona’s son and a final year student at Tai Solarin University of Education, expressed his disappointment at the Navy’s indifference. He revealed that they had been left to cope with the traumatic aftermath of losing their father, with no condolence visit or assistance provided by the Navy.”To date, my mum cries that naval officers are yet to show concern or even send a delegation to the family; they didn’t even bother. It was like they killed a fowl,” Benjamin lamented. “The trauma is still very much for us. Nobody has shown up for us. My siblings and I are all still in school, nobody has asked for us.”During the investigation, Benjamin claimed to have seen the suspects at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba. However, after the police transferred the suspects to the Nigerian Navy for further legal proceedings, the family has been left in the dark regarding the status of the case.Seeking justice for his late father, Benjamin demanded that the responsible naval ratings be held accountable for their actions. He expressed concerns that the Navy might be shielding the suspects and emphasized the need for swift legal action.”It has taken over six months now. This issue happened on December 3, 2022, and we are already in June 2023. We want those ratings charged for the crime,” Benjamin insisted. “My father was one of the cops that was rewarded with commendation letters and N250,000 each by the former governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode, for recovering N5m that fell off a bullion van around Alausa, Ikeja.”Esther, the grieving wife of the deceased, struggled to contain her emotions as she recounted their desperate situation. Since her husband’s tragic death, she claimed to have been left to fend for herself and her children, facing immense challenges in providing food and education for them.Expressing her plea for assistance, Esther stated, “Since December, I have been expecting a reaction from the authorities but nothing. I want them and the government to help my children because they are still small. If they can put the children on scholarships, it will help.”When contacted for a response, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Navy, acknowledged the ongoing case. He assured that he would consult with the legal department to gather the latest information on the progress of the investigation.”I will reach out to you once I have all the facts,” Ayo-Vaughan stated.