How medical doctor, others allegedly murdered billionaire businessman – Court

The prosecution witnesses to the trial of a medical doctor, Daniel Ibeaji and two others suspected over the killing of a billionaire businessman, the late Ignatius Odunukwe, yesterday, told a Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), how the suspects allegedly killed the deceased.

Giving graphic description of the events that led to the killing, brothers to the deceased, Afam and Eugene Odunukwe, told the court that police findings, showed that Ibeaji, the first defendant, was the last person to call the deceased (the late Chief Odunukwe), before his line was switched off.

Ibeaji is standing trial alongside Uzor Igwe Arinze and Cletus Solomon for alleged kidnapping and killing the businessman, while pretending to buy a property from him on December 1, 2019, at Atican Beach Hotel, Ajah, Lagos. The trio was charged before Justice Yetunde Adesanya by the Lagos State Government for conspiracy, kidnapping and killing of Odunukwe

They were arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy to kidnap, contrary to Section 2, 3 of Kidnapping Prohibition Law of Lagos State 2017.

The offence is contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. They denied the allegation, and pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Led-in-evidence by the state prosecution counsel, Mr. Olayemi Shofolu, the first prosecution witness, Odunukwe Afam told the court that the deceased (Chief Odunukwe) who was his uncle informed him in November 2019 that one Godwin Okereke based in Enugu State had expressed interest in his 10 Terrace Duplex with an adjoining plot of land located in Abuja to be sold at N900 million.

Adam, who is a lawyer, told the court that he prepared a deed of assignment on the transaction.

He said that the deceased told him not to conduct an investigation of the buyer as the said Pa Okereke had requested privacy.

He stated that on November 30, himself and Chief Odunukwe met that night in Ikoyi and he was informed that the businessman would conclude the transaction with the purchaser the following day. Afam said that was the last time he saw him. He explained that he, thereafter, wrote a petition to the police and DSS.

“The deceased’s car was tracked to where it was dumped at Lekki. Shortly after, the three defendants were arrested.
“The deed of assignment and the original title documents on the same property was found in the possession of the first defendant, (Daniel Ibeaji),” he said.

The witness said he was present when the defendants led the police and journalists to where they had dumped the decapitated body of the deceased at a canal in Ogombo.


However, when he was cross- examined by defence counsel, the witness told the court that the land documents don’t bear the names of the defendants and that he didn’t witness the killing.
Also, the second prosecution witness, Odunukwe Eugene, a brother to the deceased, told court that police findings showed that the first defendant was the last person to call the deceased (the late Chief Odunukwe) , before the line was switched off.

He said the defendants later confessed in police custody and in his presence that they killed his brother in a hotel room at Ajah by hitting him on the head with an iron rod, despite pleadings by the deceased for his life to be spared.

He added that the first defendant, who claimed to be a medical doctor, allegedly injected him with a deadly dose of diazepam. He then dismembered him and his remains were dumped at nightfall.

Eugene was equally cross-examined by Mr. Jiakponna and Mr. Olajide Odusanya, the third defendant counsel, the witness said he was not there when the police arrested the defendants and that he didn’t know what transpired between the police and the defendants during investigation.
After listening to the testimony of the witnesses, Justice Adesanya subsequently adjourned further hearing to December 6, 2021.

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