A businessman, Ikechukwu Efulu, Monday narrated before Justice Yetunde Adesanya of a Lagos High Court how he helped police to arrest the alleged killers of Chief Executive Officer of FIRMAN Generator Company, Ignatius Odunukwe.
The trio of Daniel Ibeaji, Uzor Arinze and Cletus Solomon, were arraigned by the Lagos State Government on a three-count charge of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and murder. They were accused of killing Odunukwe while pretending to buy property from him.
In his evidence, Efulu said he had a business dealing with one of the defendants, Cletus Solomon, in 2016, when he developed a phantom interest in his property worth N150 million located in Abuja.
He said they discussed and agreed on the price for the property which was N150 million, with the defendant mounting pressure on him to accept payment in dollars while he refused and insisted on a bank-to-bank transaction.
The witness also narrated how he was handcuffed and his legs chained by Solomon and two other men facing trial in another case in Abuja while he went to his house to finalize the transaction. He added that Solomon told him to bring N500 million before he would allow him to go.
The witness said he was rescued by some automobile mechanics behind the defendant’s house, who called the police after he raised an alarm.
He also narrated how the key to the handcuff and leg chain used in locking him, helped to resolve a murder case involving a politician said to be killed by the same defendant while pretending to buy a property from the politician.
Earlier, a security guard and friend of the deceased, Friday Clement, had testified in the matter narrating how he volunteered and accompanied the police to Abuja, where Solomon was traced and arrested.
Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned to February 23, 2022.
The alleged offences were said to have contravened Sections 2 and 3 of the Kidnapping Prohibition Law of Lagos State, 2017, and Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The defendants had on January 21, 2020, led the police and journalists to a canal at Ogunbo Forest, off Ajah Road, Lagos, where the decomposed body of the billionaire was recovered.
The deceased, who was into estate development and gold mining, posted on his Facebook page in 2019 that he had a property for sale in Abuja worth N900 million.