by Isi Esene
Police authorities are said to be pleading with the family of Lucy Ukpong, the 20-year-old photography shop salesgirl who was allegedly hit in the chest by a stray bullet from some officers attached to the Federal Capital Territory Special Anti-robbery Squad.
The policemen who were directed to supervise the demolition of illegal structures in the Apo area of the FCT on October 12 reportedly began to shoot sporadically when their attempt to carry out their duties was met with stiff resistance by affected residents of the area.
The girl’s parents who reside in Akwa Ibom State had reportedly arrived Abuja to demand an investigation into the death of the young lady with a view to bringing the officers allegedly involved in the crime to book.
Reportsindicate that police authorities are asking for an amicable settlement of the case out of court.
The policemen were said to be on an illegal duty as the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council said they were not authorized to enforce any demolition exercise during the period.
Sources say that the Federal Capital Territory Administration gave the family N1.8m for funeral expenses while the FCT Police Command provided coffin, ambulance and what it called ‘logistics support’ to the family.
Ukpong’s family are said to be seriously considering settling the matter through judicial process or payment of compensation by the police.
Sources close to the family say, “The police have been pleading with the family to drop the case, but they (family members) are yet to take a position on the matter, they want to bury the girl first before taking a stand on the next point of action.
“Some family members want the police to pay compensation for killing the girl, but the police have not made any offer for now.”
This revelation came just just as the family had concluded arrangements to receive Ukpong’s remains from Garki Hospital on today for burial in Akwa Ibom State on Saturday.