An Uber cab driver and five suspects have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the murder of the former Gulder Ultimate Search winner, Hector Jobarteh.
Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos Command, led by Sanusi Mohammed, a Chief Superintendent of Police, who had been on their trail since the incident occurred, arrested the suspects.
Meanwhile, Hector, who shot by unknown gunmen on September 2 was buried amidst tears St James Anglican Church, Ologuneru, Ibadan, on Friday.
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported that Hector, 38, was trailed by his killers from the airport where he had gone to pick his brother who just arrived Nigeria.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, who paraded the suspects before journalists said the police arrested the suspects following a painstaking effort.
He disclosed that the phones belonging to the victim have been recovered but added that one of the suspects is currently on the run.
Those arrested were identified as Abdul-Rasheed Jimoh, Francis Madu, Usman Adeyemi, William Igana and Valentine Muna.
According to the police chief, Mr. Igana, the Uber driver who drove the gunmen to Hector’s house, alleged that he was only hired by the gang and that he was not aware they were on a mission to kill.
He said he had only started the cab-driving job for about three days before he was approached.
He said, “I had just been registered under the Uber platform and I needed an Android phone to facilitate the business. I called my brother, Valentine to help me with a phone. He introduced me to one JK. JK said he had a phone I could use and that he wanted to sell for N10,000. I told him I had only N5,000 and promised to give him the balance of N5,000 later.
”The next day, JK called me to take him to Yaba. While on our way to Yaba, we stopped and picked up two other guys. I charged them N10,000 but they gave me N8,000 and promised to balance me later.
”I didn’t know what they went there to do. The next day, I was called by JK that he will be going to Abeokuta with his friends and they will need my service. I charged them N20,000 and we embarked on the journey.
“It was only when we got somewhere in Sango that they asked me to stop at one bushy part and they brought out a gun. I shouted and they immediately silenced me by threatening me. They came down and walked to a house where they shot two persons.”
It would be recalled that Hector’s phone was also taken away by the suspects. The phone was later tracked to Mr. Jimoh, who had bought the phone from Mr. Madu at the Computer Village in Lagos.
Speaking to journalists, Mr. Jimoh claimed he never knew the phone was a stolen property. He said he had only gone to computer village to buy a phone ”innocently.”
He said he bought the phone for N15,000.
Mr. Madu however claimed that he bought the phone from an engineer friend that came with Adeyemi. He said he bought the phone for N7,500 and sold it for N15,000.
Mr. Adeyemi, 18, alleged it was his uncle, Ismaila, who had accompanied him to Computer Village who owned the phone.
Mr. Edgal said the command is doing everything possible to arrest the other suspects.
He also maintained that the suspects would be charged to court when investigations are concluded.
The gunmen who killed the star reportedly knocked on his neighbour’s door downstairs and asked who the car parked outside belonged to.
When she told them the occupant stayed upstairs, they stormed his apartment and shot him.
Hector’s wife was reportedly in the United States of America when the incident occurred. She had just moved to New Jersey to have their second child. Hector was said to have returned to Nigeria in July.
When the deceased won the 2006 Season 3 GUS, held in Benin, Edo State, he went home with the grand prize of N5 million and a Ford Explorer SUV. Since winning the reality TV competition, he has maintained a low profile.