The donations from GoFundMe campaign launched by The PUNCHNewspapers and other social media activists for the family of slain hero cop,Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko, are now ready for disbursement.
Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko died from gunshot wounds sustained when he and his colleagues confronted armed robbers at an Owerri, Imo State branch of the Zenith Bank in March. Donors, believed to be Nigerians, from different parts of the world had contributed a total of $21,249.
The processes for the clearance of the donations took over two weeks as extant US and Nigerian financial regulations had to be complied with before the funds were released by GoFundMe.
The processes were managed and overseen by GoFundMe, three representatives of PUNCH, Ms. Adeola Fayehun of KIRWA Foundation; Mr Kayode Ogundamisi and Mr Omoyele Sowore of Sahara Reporters.
After the deductions of relevant fees and charges $19,394.77 was cleared for transfer to the beneficiaries.
According to the information on the GoFundMe website, the payment processing fee is 2.9 percent, and another $0.30 per donation. GoFundMe also charges five percent platform fee, which comes to a total of 7.9 percent, plus $0.30 per donation.
At the expiration of the fundraiser, GoFundMe paid $19,394.77 into the receiving account of KIRWA Foundation, an America-based charity organisation that collaborated with The PUNCH on the fundraising.
The processing bank charged $40 for wire transfer, leaving a balance of $19,354.77 for onward transfer to Nigeria. The $19,354.77 was wired on Monday from the United States, but it is expected to be on hold until Wednesday morning because of the July 4 Independence holiday.
The money has now been wired to the bank account of one of the two trustees that had been nominated to manage the fund — the Rock of Ages Empowerment Foundation, headed by Mr. Ignatius Ezeigbo.
The second trustee chosen to manage the disbursement of the fund is the Development Support Initiative, whose director is Mrs. Jackline Odiadi.
The two NGOs have agreed to manage the funds for free and without making any deductions therefrom.
The PUNCH, along with Mr. Kayode Ogundamisi, the social media activist who spearheaded the creation of the appeal fund, will work with the two non-governmental organisations to ensure the judicious and immediate disbursement of the fund to the widow and Sergeant Otu Attang, the only policeman who survived the armed robbery incident but lost one of his eyes during the robbery.
It may be recalled that in less than five days after The PUNCH and social media activists launched the fundraising campaign on June 11, 2017, kind-hearted Nigerians donated $21,249, which is in excess of the $15,000 target.
The late sergeant in whose honour the project was initiated, Chukwudi Iboko, died on February 23, 2017, after confronting some robbers who invaded a Zenith Bank branch on Wetheral Road, Owerri, Imo State.
The late father of eight, in a 2.58-minute video clip released in June 2017, could be seen engaging a four-man robbery gang in a gun battle, during which he shot dead one of the robbers.
The video, which went viral on the social media, also captured Chukwudi being shot at by one of the robbers after he ran out of a security post at the entrance of the bank.
Investigation by The PUNCH revealed that the victim died a day after the incident.
His widow, Rose, in an exclusive interview, lamented that one of their eight children, Chukwuebuka, died from shock on the day of the father’s burial, adding that the police authorities had abandoned her and her surviving children. She also said Zenith Bank only paid for the burial of her husband.
Readers had challenged The PUNCH to create a platform to raise funds for the deceased policeman’s family, with many Nigerians pledging to support the cause.
With the support of some activists, The PUNCH took up the challenge and created a GoFundMe account for the family on Sunday, June 11, 2017, setting a target of $15,000.
In less than 24 hours, the target was exceeded with the highest donation being $1,000, while the least was $5.