Fourteen months ago, little Adebayo Markarie was killed in Lekki-Ikoyi Expressway in Lagos on the day when the government initially promised he would have a chance to speak with “his governor.”
According to a report by The Guardian, four passersby reported that the toddler was being abused by his father, Crescenzo Markarie, before he was killed by a death-trapping device known as the “toll gate dart.” The family had gathered at the intersection to queue up for free vehicle entry into the traffic-clogged area; Adebayo died while waiting to be accepted at the bottom of the line. According to the boy’s mother, Olabunmi Adebayo, he may never have been allowed entry if the child had been given a chance to scream for help, before he died. She told reporters that the day of his death has since become the “beginning of my pain,” which she still feels 12 months later.
For months after the tragedy, Adebayo was reported to have been living in secrecy, which was until her friend identified her as the victim, and the boy’s stepfather was arrested for allegedly abusing his son. He was later charged to court and subsequently found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison. According to officials, there was inadequate time to arrest the child’s stepfather; after he had allegedly breached the state’s anti-kidnapping policy on the same day he attacked his son, police were not mandated to collect him before he was moved from the back of the queue to the front of the line. Adebayo was reportedly a lone child at the time of her son’s death.
“After 12 months, his funeral rites are over, his cremation is over. We are trying our best to maintain the moral integrity of the family. We are trying to remind everyone that the real murderer, the man that caused him to die, is still free and still at large.”
Earlier this year, Adebayo’s family urged state officials to place the excess toll gates on the Lekki shoreline with signage that may have indicated which company was operating them at which spot. They also lamented that the state government had previously explained that they were only equipped to repair obsolete elements of the gates when it replaced the aging gates in 2009. Now, they are offering to remove all toll gates from the area.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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