Witness narrates how assailants killed FIRMAN CEO Odunukwe

Two prosecution witnesses on Tuesday testified in the case of murder of the Chief Executive Officer of FIRMAN Generator Company, Mr Ignatius Odunukwe, saying that he was murdered and dumped in a canal.

Witness narrates how assailants killed FIRMAN CEO Odunukwe.

The witnesses testified before a Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

Lagos State Government is prosecuting three people over the alleged murder.

The defendants – Daniel Ibeaji, Uzor Arinze and Cletus Solomon – are facing charges of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and murder.

The state said that they killed the businessman while pretending to buy a property from him.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, Mr Olayemi Shofolu entered appearance for prosecution, Mr C.J. Jiakponna represented the first and second defendants while Mr A.O. Ogunsanya represented the third defendant.

Prosecution called its first witness, Mr Adam Odunukwe, the deceased’s nephew and lawyer.

In his evidence-in-chief, Adam told the court that he had prepared a contract of sale between his uncle and one Pa Godwin Okereke of No. 29, Trans-Ekwulu, GRA, Enugu, before the alleged murder.

He said that the deceased was selling his block of 10 terraces in Abuja and was lured by the first defendant, Ibeaji, as a prospective buyer.

The witness told the court that after his uncle got missing, a trace of his last received phone call from MTN showed that he had a meeting with Ibeaji for the sale of the property.

According to him, the deceased’s car was tracked and later found with the second defendant, Arinze.

He said that more investigations led the police to the third defendant, Solomon, as well as to the first defendant’s residence in Abuja, where the original title documents of the property and the contract of sale were found.

During his cross-examination, the witness was asked if he met the proposed property buyer before drafting the contract, and he answered in the negative.

The prosecution then called its second witness, Mr Eugene Odunukwe, who told the court that he was a cosmetics businessman and younger brother of the deceased.

In the witness box, he testified that the second and third defendants had, in his presence, confessed to killing his brother by hitting him with a strong iron on the head.

They hit my brother with a strong iron on the back of his head, he was begging for his life, he offered them the property and even more money, yet they killed him,” he said.

He told the court that the first defendant lured the deceased to a hotel in Ogombo area of Ajah, Lagos State, on the pretext of making payment for the property.

He said that the second and third defendants confessed to watching the first defendant inject three 2.5mg of Diazepam drug into the deceased to prevent him from bleeding on a hotel floor.

He added that the second and third defendants confessed that they cut the deceased, put his body in a big bag and threw it into a canal.

Justice Yetunde Adesanya remanded the defendants back to a correctional facility, and adjourned the trial to Dec. 6.

The alleged offences are contrary to Sections 2 and 3 of the Kidnapping Prohibition Law of Lagos State, 2017, and Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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