It was a harvest of tears from family members, friends, and neighbors in Urora community, Benin City, when Governor Godwin Obaseki led some members of his cabinet to condole the family of the deceased driver.
David Okoniba, whose death last Tuesday, (which was allegedly caused by an exchange with a police officer at Upper Igun, 3rd Junction area of Benin City), sparked off a heavy clash between youths and the police in Benin.
At an interval when wailings subsided for the governor to address the family, Governor Obaseki announced the setting up of a N10 million education fund for the training of the two children left behind by David Okoniba, whose death the governor described as very painful.
The governor said he was at the victim’s home to assure his relatives that the Government of Edo State share in their grief, assuring them that those culpable in the killing will be brought to book.
“I am here today to get the details of what happened. Listening to you, I am heartbroken. I can feel your pain and appreciate your pain and anger. I want to assure the family that the case will not be swept under the carpet.
“It will be followed to a logical conclusion as a reputable retired Judge of Edo State High Court, Justice Olubo has been selected to head the panel of enquiry which will investigate what truly happened on the said date of the incident that led to the death and consequent fracas between the youths and the police,” he said.
According to him, “I learnt that the deceased has two children. I have released N10 million fund to be used for their education, to reduce the pain of the absence of their father and ensure their education does not suffer much because of this incident.”
Obaseki also assured the family that government will lend good support in the burial of late David Okoniba, and advised that the family should take the wife of the deceased to the hospital for medical attention at government expense, as it was very visible that she was still traumatized from the incident.
A spokesperson for the family, Mrs. Aremu Roseline, expressed appreciation to the governor and the state for the visit to the family, noting that the presence of the governor has given them hope for justice.
She also thanked the Commissioner of Police, Mr Johnson Kokumo, who also visited the family and showed concern over the death of David, thanking him for promising to get to the root of the mater.
“We appeal to the governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to help the family ensure David gets Justice. His death must not be in vain as he was the pillar of the family.
He had two children and his formal wedding was to be in two-week time. His wife who was an eyewitness of the incident is psychologically affected and seriously traumatized,” she added.