Emotion ran high at Ogombo forest, Ajah, Lagos, where the decomposing body of billionaire  Lagos based businessman, Chief Hyginus Odunukwe, was recovered, following a startling revelation by the prime suspect, Daniel Bob Ibeaji, on how the businessman was lured to his death.

He further revealed how he conspired with three others: Arinze Igwe, 26; Solomon Cletus 30 and Israel Obigaremu, 35, to snuff life out of Odunukwe at Artican Beach Resort, in Ajah area of Lagos, on December 1, 2019.

Ibeaji who claimed to have studied Medicine and Surgery in Edinburgh, the United Kingdom, disclosed that the deceased was first hit with an axe on the head, injected with an excess dose of a lethal Injection that weakened him before he was strangled.

Recall that the deceased, who was into importation of generator, estate  development and Gold mining, was approached by the prime suspect in respect of one of his buildings he displayed for sale, in Abuja.

Late Odunukwe, left his Ikoyi, Lagos abode on December 1, 2019, having informed his family that he was going to meet the supposed buyer but he never returned home.

His body which was cut into pieces was recovered by operatives of the Zonal Intervention Squad, ZIS of the Zone 2 Command, last week, in a canal in Ogombo forest along Ajah road, while his 4- Runner SUV was tracked to Artican Beach Resort.

Ahmed Iliyasu, the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police in charge of Zone 2 Command, Onikan on Tuesday visited the site where the body was found, accompanied by journalists.

Mr Illiyasu said Mr Adunukwe was brutally murdered by a syndicate who trailed him via his Facebook page.

“Their despicable conduct connotes a high level of wickedness, hinged on abysmal loss of moral values,” he said.

The victim, who was into Importation of Fire man generator,estate development and gold mining, posted on his Facebook page sometime in 2019 that he had a property for sale in Abuja worth N900 million.

Seeing the post, the alleged four-member syndicate led by Bob Ibeaji, a medical doctor, pretended to be real estate buyers and lured Mr Adunukwe into their trap.

According to the AIG, Mr Adunukwe left his residence at 14, Maduke Street, Ikoyi on December 1, 2019, to meet with the suspects but never returned home.

The suspects met the victim at a hotel at Ajah and killed him after signing the documents of the property.

Mr Iliyasu said the family reported the disappearance of Mr Adunukwe to the AIG’s office, who ordered officers to rescue the victim and arrest the abductors, unknown to them that he had been killed on the same day.

The suspects in custody are Bob Ibeaji, 42; Arinze Igwe, 26, Solomon Cletus, 30; and Israel Obigaremu, 35.

Mr Ibeaji, the prime suspect, a medical doctor, is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgery and member of Royal College of Surgeon in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Explaining why the late businessman was murdered, Ibeaji, who was paraded by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in-charge of Zone 2, AIG Ahmed Iliyasu, at the canal where the victim’s body was recovered, said, “I killed him because I wanted to take the property worth 900 million naira.

“Lust for material things made me kill him. I met him last September in Abuja, through an advert for the sale of the property in question. Later, I called him on the phone to inform him that I was ready to make payment and he told me to come to Lagos.

That Sunday afternoon, when I was sure he was on his way to Artican Beach Resort, I instructed one of my boys to bring a bag for me. After he signed the documents of the building in question, in the garden, I told him to come inside the hotel room so as to give him the money.

“But when he came, I started shouting on him to hand the documents over to me but he insisted I must first pay. At that point, one of my colleagues brought the bag containing some cash, as Chief bent down to check the money, I hit an axe on his head.

We dragged him to the toilet, injected him with two doses of diazepam and he slept off”. I wanted to use the signed document to claim the property as mine and later sell it”, he said.

“Lust for money made me do this”

Other cases

During preliminary investigation, he was discovered to have been arrested in connection with two other similar cases.

One of them was in respect of the murder of a Commissioner in Bayelsa State, one Honourable Depologa, whose remains were found along Abuja road.

His murder as gathered, occurred a week after his encounter with Ibeaji, at Ibeto Hotel, Abuja.

Obeaji, however, denied culpability in the death, when asked. Rather he said, “Yes, I met him at Ibeto hotel in respect of a block of flat which he intended to sell at Durumi, Abuja. We did not agree on the price as he rejected the N220 million offer I told him”.

Asked where he would have raised the N220 million, had the commissioner accepted his offer, he replied, ” I am a miner”.

The second victim according to the AIG was that of one Jude Efule, a Property Developer in Abuja.

Efulue, according to the AIG, “ also swam into Bob’s net. He held him captive in an apartment and forced him to sign a prepared document transferring ownership of the victim’s property to him.

“He also discovered that the victim had N9 million in his account. His plan was to kill Jude after sweeping his account. But with the help of neighbours who called the police, Bob and his boys were apprehended and charged to court accordingly”

– I was promised N2m –

One of his accomplices, Solomon Cletus, also confessed to have bagged the remains of Odunukwe after they confirmed that he was dead.

He said, “Ibeaji, promised to pay me N2 million at the end of the deal. We were able to smuggle the body out of the hotel with the help of one of its staff, Arinze Igwe. He took us through the back door.

“Thereafter, the body was kept inside a bag and with the help of one of the hotel staff, we smuggled the bag out of the hotel”.

On his part, Israel Obigaremu, who claimed to be an Uber driver, said he had no hand in the murder of Odunukwe. He explained that “Arinze only brought the car to my house.

“He said it was his master’s, who travelled out of the country. He promised to come and pick it the next day. It was after the arrest that I discovered the owner of the car was murdered”.

“Arinze called me on that fateful day that his boss was travelling out of the country and they needed a place to park his car, which will be carried to Abuja the following day, and I allowed them to park in my compound. I didn’t know of anything they did,” he said.

The police AIG therefore, cautioned Nigerians to be cautious of information they post on social media, alerting that criminals used such information to get their targets.

He also enjoined Nigerians to abstain from “unnecessary and flagrant flaunting of their achievements and wealth on the social media,” as criminals have devised a new and highly sophisticated way of luring unsuspecting citizens.

Credit: Vanguard Newspaper