Air Force officials accused of killing Lagos artist on BRT lane

Some personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) have been accused of killing an artist while illegally driving on the lane meant for the bus rapid transit (BRT).

The artist, Ifeanyi Kalu, it was gathered, was on his way to work in the Ilupeju area of the state when the incident happened.

Actor Segun Adefila, in a Facebook post, said Mr Kalu was killed two months after his mother’s death.

According to him, the 31-year-old left behind six siblings and an aged father.

“On October 20, 2021, Ifeanyi’s life was cut short on the expressway of Ikorodu Road. He lived with his aged father and six siblings and left them at home on that fateful day for a job he just secured.

“He was on his way to a school (Temple Schools, Ilupeju) where he was helping to teach pupils cultural dance and music. A Nigerian Air Force vehicle travelling on a BRT lane knocked him down. Ifeanyi’s body is still in the Nigerian Air Force base mortuary.

“Ifeanyi’s mum is also still in another mortuary. His bereaved family who are definitely inconsolable at the moment also stands the risk of not getting any form of tangible compensation from those whose vehicle knocked him down,” Mr Adefila wrote.

Adefila told PUNCH that the military later offered the family a compensation of N200,000.

However, NAF spokesperson Edward Gabkwat denied that the military vehicle crushed the victim.

He 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.

Kalu’s brother, Ikechukwu, denied that the family sought the assistance of the military.

The deceased’s remains have been deposited in a mortuary at the Nigerian Air Force base in Lagos.