The police have found the mutilated corpse of Ignatius Adunukwe, the Nigerian billionaire and owner of Firman Generator company who was kidnapped on December 1, last year.
The decomposed body was recovered in a canal at Ogunbo Forest, off Ajah Road, Lagos.
Ahmed Iliyasu, the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police in charge of Zone 2 Command, Onikan on Tuesday visited the site where the body was found, accompanied by journalists.
Mr Illiyasu said Mr Adunukwe was brutally murdered by a syndicate who trailed him via his Facebook page.
“Their despicable conduct connotes a high level of wickedness, hinged on abysmal loss of moral values,” he said.
The victim, who was into estate development and gold mining, posted on his Facebook page sometime in 2019 that he had a property for sale in Abuja worth N900 million.
Seeing the post, the alleged four-member syndicate led by Bob Ibeaji, a medical doctor, pretended to be real estate buyers and lured Mr Adunukwe into their trap.
According to the AIG, Mr Adunukwe left his residence at 14, Maduke Street, Ikoyi on December 1, 2019, to meet with the suspects but never returned home.
The suspects met the victim at a hotel at Ajah and killed him after signing the documents of the property.
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Mr Iliyasu said the family reported the disappearance of Mr Adunukwe to the AIG’s office, who ordered officers to rescue the victim and arrest the abductors, unknown to them that he had been killed on the same day.
The suspects in custody are Bob Ibeaji, 42; Arinze Igwe, 26, Solomon Cletus, 30; and Israel Obigaremu, 35.
Mr Ibeaji, the prime suspect, a medical doctor, is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgery and member of Royal College of Surgeon in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Mr Ibeaji was said to have injected the victim with a lethal substance, while another member of the gang hit him with an axe on the back of his head, leaving him unconscious.
The police further said they immediately dragged the victim into a toilet and strangled him to death.
They then put the body in a sack and sneaked it out of the hotel through the laundry and back door, and then dropped it into the canal.
“The late Ignatius Adunukwe never had a premonition of the lurking danger ahead of him when he drove himself to the point of death,” the AIG said.
He added that Mr Ibeaji, the prime suspect, had been living on ill-gotten money as he is undergoing trial on two cases at the Apo High Court, Abuja.
In one of the cases, he was allegedly involved in the murder of one “Honourable Depolga” whose remains were found along the Abuja Expressway, while in the other case, he allegedly forced one Jude Efulue to sign a prepared document transferring the ownership of the victim’s property to him and N9 million from his account.
Mr Ibeaji, while remanded in Kuje prison, met Solomon Cletus who also worked with him in the killing of Mr Adunukwe.
Mr Cletus said Mr Ibeaji promised him a loan of N2 million to start his business and that Mr Ibeaji also offered the remaining members of the gang N2 million each.
However, the fourth member of the gang, Israel Obigaremu, claimed he was not involved in the crime but was arrested because the vehicle of the deceased was found in his compound.
Mr Obigaremu, who works as a Uber driver, said he had carried Messrs Ibeaji and Igwe on trips previously.
“Arinze called me on that fateful day that his boss was travelling out of the country and they needed a place to park his car, which will be carried to Abuja the following day, and I allowed them to park in my compound. I didn’t know of anything they did,” he said.
Mr Iliyasu said the police would ensure justice for the deceased’s family and to curb further occurrences of the crime.
He also enjoined Nigerians to abstain from “unnecessary and flagrant flaunting of their achievements and wealth on the social media,” as criminals have devised a new and highly sophisticated way of luring unsuspecting citizens.