Family of Lucy Ukpong, the 18-year-old sales girl killed by some policemen in Apo, Abuja on October 12, have said nothing short of justice will be acceptable to them.
This is just as Lucy was buried amid tears at Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State on Saturday.
PUNCH Metro had reported on Friday that the police authorities had pleaded with the family to accept an amicable settlement of the matter.
But Lucy’s uncle, Tony Ukpong, who spoke with our correspondent in Etinan on Saturday, insisted that the family was more interested in justice.
Although he acknowledged that the police had made entreaties to the family, he said family members were still meeting and had yet to decide whether to dialogue with the police authorities or not.
Tony said, “Justice must be done because the way Lucy was killed is not acceptable to us; we demand justice and nothing less.
“We have no demand but we want to go into a dialogue. We have not stated any of our demands. Negotiation is ongoing within the family that is the best I can tell you.”
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator, Greater Gbagyi Development Initiative, Gbaiza Gimba, has said the organisation will not allow the matter to be swept under the carpet.
Gimba, who spoke with our correspondent after the burial, said the group took interest in the matter in line with its principle that justice must be done to aggrieved parties.
“We believe that Lucy died for justice. We shall be ready to give her justice. Whatever the situation, we will be talking with our leaders, our traditional institutions in making sure that justice is done to ameliorate the suffering of the son that she left behind,” he said.
He blamed police brutality on bad leadership, adding that the leaders had abdicated their responsibility.
Gimba observed that in developed countries, policemen use rubber bullets to disperse crowd during civil unrest, wondering why the Nigeria Police always use live bullets to disperse protesters.
He said, “In crisis, police were supposed to go with teargas, but because there is no control over issues by the government, that is why anything can happen in this country.
“If police are shooting, they might be telling us that they are shooting to defend themselves, but it is not within our power to say this is how it should go. We will continue to make sure that the right things are done for justice to be given to whom it is taken away from.”
A sympathiser, Okon Tom, said the killing had also shown that the police were not for the masses but for the rich and privileged members of the society.
He called on civil society groups to ensure that justice was done to Lucy by identifying and bringing the killers to justice.
Lucy, a sales girl at a photography shop, was hit in the chest by bullets fired by policemen from the FTC Special Anti-robbery Squad on October 12. She had only spent one month on her job before the incident.
The policemen claimed they had come to enforce the order on demolition of illegal structures by officials of the development control department of Abuja Metropolitan Council.
But the policemen, according to findings, were on illegal duty as the council had denied sending them to enforce the order.
Lucy’s remains were buried on Saturday at 1.13pm at her family’s compound on Udo Inyang Street, Etinan. Apart from her parents, she also left a son, Devine Godswill, behind.