By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Fact has emerged on the real reason an Anambra-born businessman, Chief Ignatus Adunukwe was murdered in Lagos by a United Kingdom trained surgeon and three others.
The late business mogul and philanthropist, said to be the owner of Fireman Generators, was reportedly murdered in cold blood by the four-man syndicate in a Resort last December in Ajah area of Lagos over a property he intended to sell to them.
Leader of the gang, Daniel Bob Ibeaji, who is a United Kingdom trained surgeon, who gave detailed account of how the heinous crime was perpetrated, said it was the lust for wealth and luxury that lured him into the crime.
The deceased had reportedly left his house at No. 14, Maduke Street, off Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, for a business visit, on December 1, 2019, and never returned.
His family had informed the police of the sudden disappearance of the aged man, and subsequently petitioned the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in-charge of Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan Lagos, AIG Ahmed Iliyasu.
According to report, the AIG had summoned the Tactical Commander of the Ikorodu Office of Zonal Intervention Squad(ZIS), of Operation Puff Adder, Uba Adams, a Superintendent of Police, to investigate the matter.
The Investigation was said to have paid off, as the suspects were recently arrested, and confessed to have killed the deceased on same day he was last seen at home.
On Tuesday, Ibeaji and his gang members – Arinze Uzor Igwe, 26, Solomon Cletus, 30, and Isreal Obigaremu, 35, led policemen and journalists to a swamp in Ogombo, Ajah, where the dismembered parts of the deceased was dumped.
The 42-year-old Ibeaji who hails from Awgu Local Government Area in Enugu State, confessed to killing Adunukwe in his hotel room, at Artican Beach Resort, Ajah.
Narrating how the gang perfected their plan to kill the deceased, who is the owner of Fireman Generators, an Estate Development and Gold Mining Giant, Ibeaji said he met the late Adunukwe, sometime in September 2019, when he indicted interest to buy a property owned by the deceased in Abuja.
Ibeaji, an ex-convict said: “ I saw a written advert to a house at Katakpe Street, in Abuja, that the house was for sale. I approached the security man at the house, telling him I was interested in buying the house. The security man called Chief Adunukwe on phone, we spoke and he said he was not in Abuja.
“We exchanged contact, and agreed to keep in touch for later discussion on the property. He had a function in Abuja sometime in same September 2019, so we met and finalised discussions on the property.
“ We met again in Lagos in October, and we reached an agreement that the property will be sold for N900 Million. I told him I will get the money ready, and call him once I was ready. I called on November 30, and told him we should meet at my hotel room, at Artican Beach Resort, on December 1, that I had the N900 million cash ready.
“Meanwhile, I had informed and invited Cletus, whom I met at Kuje Prison, while I was serving a jail term there, and Arinze, who was a former staff of the resort, to be a part of the killing, promising to give them N2 million each.
“ So when Chief Adunukwe came into my room, Cletus and Arinze were there. After we exchanged pleasantries, we sat down, and signed the necessary documents for the purchase of the land by me. I asked Arinze and Cletus to bring out the Ghana -Must-Go bag containing the money, and I asked Adunukwe to confirm the money in the bag. As he bent to do so, Cletus as planned, hit him from behind with an axe, he fell and while he was still trying to stand, we held him and I injected him with a poisonous substance which made him sleep off.
“We strangled him and when I confirmed he was dead. We tried to pack his body in the bag, but we could not, so we had to cut his body into parts and packed them in the bag that was supposed to contain the money. The bag tore and we had to get a carton to also package the body parts, so that people don’t suspect us.
“ We waited till about 8pm when we noticed there was none at the laundry, so Arinze who is a former staff of the hotel, led us through the laundry and then the back door.
“Arinze and Cletus came to this bush to dispose the body. Sincerely I don’t know what came over me, it was just lust for luxury that pushed me into this crime.”
Cletus who also spoke on his involvement in the crime, denied hitting the deceased with and axe.
He insisted it was Ibeaji that hit the deceased with an axe, and also chopped the body into parts.
In his confession, Cletus said it was because he had no one to help him start a business after he was released from prison, that made him embrace the offer by the lead suspect.
“ I really regret my action, I only got involved in this because I needed money to start a new life, after I was released from prison. Ibeaji promised me N2 million, which he was yet to give me before I was arrested,” he said.
Obigaremu, an Uber driver, who is part of the gang, maintained he had no hand in the murder.
He said he is a friend to Arinze, who called him late December 1, saying he needed a place to park his boss’s vehicle.
“ Arinze called me saying his boss had travelled, and that since it was late, he did not want to drive his boss’s car home. He begged me to allow him park the vehicle in my house, which I agreed. But he did not come back for the vehicle until when he led the police to my house to recover the car, and I was arrested,” he explained.
Speaking to journalists on the tragic murder, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Ahmed Iliyasu, said the syndicate had been involved in many high profile crimes in the country.
Iliyasu revealed that Ibeaji and his gang had earlier attempted to kill another property developer, Jude Efulue in Abuja, after they had emptied his account of N9 million.
The AIG also said that the suspects often got their victims through their social media accounts, hence warned against the unnecessary flaunting of wealth on social media.
He said: “ A new and highly sophisticated dimension has been introduced into cybercrime. Before, it was Yahoo-Yahoo we had to contend with. Later we battled Yahoo Plus, until the discovery of this latest one which is about the deadliest in the annals of internet frauds.
” No one is free from them, as long as you are on the social media. However, the only way out is to abstain from unnecessary and flagrant flaunting of one’s achievements and wealth on the social media.
“ Members of this syndicate are so callous that, they hack into your Facebook account, peruse your profile, once they find anything appealing to them in you, ‘ as a big fish’, all they do is to start working on you.
“They would by sending you a friend request, the moment you respond in the affirmative, you are a ready-made target.
“They would start by selling dummies of business ideas in your area of speciality to you. And, by human nature, the insatiable spirit in us tempts us to crave for more.
“ The late Adunukwe never had a premonition of the lurking danger ahead of him when he drove himself to the point of death. The four suspects had confessed to committing the crime. Ibeaji has two cases undergoing trial at Apo High Court, Abuja. ”
The AIG said the suspects will be charged to court to face the wrath of the law.