Fifteen-year-old Sarah Ibikunle, a fried fish hawker, who was killed by a stray bullet around the Lekki area of Lagos State on Thursday during a bank robbery, had an ambition to become a lawyer. The deceased’s aunt, who identified herself as Mrs. Omolafe, told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday that Ibikunle was eager to study Law after her secondary education, adding that she was abandoned by her mother when she was two years old. Ibikunle, who lived with her aunt on Babalola Close in the area, was brutally killed on Thursday by a gang of robbers, who stormed a branch of FCMB on Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, on the fateful day. The victim was hawking fried fish after she returned from school before a bullet hit her. On Friday, about 13 armed robbers in military uniform, came through a waterway in the area and laid siege to the bank, shooting sporadically for about 30 minutes. Three policemen, whose names were yet to be ascertained, and Ibikunle were shot dead during the shooting. The cops were said to be part of a police team, which stumbled on the rampaging bandits while they were escorting a bus belonging to an oil company. When our correspondent visited the deceased’s family on Saturday, the atmosphere was still solemn. Sympathisers were seen trooping in to their residence to offer condolences. Our correspondent was shown a drawing given as homework to the deceased by one of her teachers. Therein, she drew an image with a caption “I want to be a lawyer.”
Amidst tears, Omolafe said the family’s grief was compounded by the bill charged by the Yaba Mortuary, where the victim’s remains were deposited. Omolafe said, “Ibikunle was very friendly. She was living in Ondo State with my grandmother till she (the grandmother) died. I brought her to Lagos four years ago to start school. Her mother left her and her siblings when she was two years old and she had never looked after them since then. His father (my brother) died in 2009.” “On Wednesday, she showed me the drawing, which she wanted to submit on Friday. She said her class was told to draw what they wished to become in future. I prayed for her and warned her not to keep bad company if she wants to accomplish her goal. She was always eager to learn English. She watched English movies a lot because of that. She and my son help me to hawk when they come back from school. “As if the loss is not enough, we were told to bring almost N100, 000 to embalm and bury her. They should have allowed me to carry her corpse that day. I don’t know where to get the money.” The Lagos State Police spokesperson, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, said the state Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti, had ordered all the area commanders to intensify efforts at tracking down the bandits.