The family members of the late Vanguard Newspaper journalist, Tordue Salem, have said they don’t believe the narrative put up by the Nigerian Police Force about that he was killed by a hit-and-run driver on October 13 in the Mabushi area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The family members added that there were loopholes and gaps in the account which the police presented, saying the security agency must address them as a matter of urgency and necessity.
The deceased’s in-law, Dr. Jeffrey Kuraun, who spoke on behalf of the family, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during a condolence visit by the members of House of Representatives press corps to the family.
He said the family was not convinced, while insisting that the police authorities must provide answers to nagging questions and ensure that justice was served.
Kuraun said the family would wait and allow the police to conclude their investigation though they have not had any formal brief from the police on the matter except the press conference where the purported hit-and-run driver was paraded.
Kuraun also urged the media personnel to be objective in their reportage and to focus more on investigative journalism to unravel the circumstances surrounding the untimely death of Tordue.
He said, “Don’t be in the category of people where someone will say, “Let them talk after a while, everything will die down. Do investigative journalism in your own little space to unravel the certain things though you may not have the resources.
“As a family do we believe the story? No, we don’t. It could be true but we don’t. Why? Do more to clarify certain things. Formally we have not been informed. Maybe the formal information is the press conference and I respect that. We take that as formal information concerning this issue.”
He said upon getting to the mortuary, they saw the body but they were not convinced it was his body though the body frame looked like him but the legs were completely gone, twisted and messed up.
“So you don’t even have the legs. He is a tall guy but I did not see that. I was trying to look at the face; I just need answers,” he added.
He also expressed displeasure at the way Vanguard Newspapers broke the news of the death of Tordue without prior notice to the family.
He expressed regret that the police hurriedly announced at the press conference that the family had positively identified the body while they were on their way to the Wuse General Hospital mortuary.
During the condolence visit, the journalists met with the wife of the deceased, Deve Salem; his five-year-old daughter, Avaana and Tordue’s elder sister, Elizabeth Kuraun-Elder.
The family who could not control their emotions wept profusely while narrating the last moment they had with the journalist before he was declared missing and eventually died.
Earlier in her remarks, the Press Corps Chairman, Grace Ike, said they came to commiserate with the family and to let them know that they were not alone.
She said, “Tordue was indeed a friend, a brother and we know someday we will all meet. We are also looking forward to doing all we can as journalists and as his fellow brothers and sisters to ensure that relevant security agencies get justice for Tordue.
“For us, we are one family, we are still pained. We are hopeful that someday, justice for Tordue will come and we will not rest on our oars until justice for Tordue is served.”