The dismembered body of Anambra State-born billionaire businessman, Chief Ignatius Adunukwe, popularly known as Odunukwe has been recovered from a bush in the Ajah area of Lagos State.
Police operatives have narrated how suspected kidnappers killed the billionaire man
The police arrested the alleged mastermind of a four-man gang and United Kingdom-trained surgeon identified as Daniel Bob Ibeaj
Police arrested 42-year-old Ibeaji and his gang members including 26-year-old Arinze Uzor Igwe, 30-year-old Solomon Cletus and 35-year-old Isreal Obigaremu, all of them confessed to the killing of the businessman.
The suspects, after their arrest, led policemen and journalists to a swamp in Ogombo, Ajah on Tuesday, where the body parts of the owner of Fireman Generators were dumped.
It was gathered that Adunukwe was about to sell a landed property to some supposed buyers when he was allegedly kidnapped by the potential buyers.
It was learnt that the supposed buyers and Adunukwe had agreed on a date and location to meet to perfect the transaction, but the suspects took advantage of the situation to whisk the Enugu State indigene away.
The suspects were said to have coerced he billionaire into signing the agreement for the transaction, after which he was reportedly strangled and injected with a lethal substance in a hotel room in Ajah.
Adunukwe’s corpse was dismembered and the parts were reportedly packed into a bag and dumped in a bush in a bid to conceal the crime.
Chronicling the circumstances surrounding the death of the billionaire on Instagram, a lawyer, identified simply as Smart Law, stated that efforts by Adunukwe’s personal lawyer to accompany him to the meeting point proved abortive.
He said when Adunukwe was nowhere to be found, a case of a missing person was reported to the police and personnel were detailed to commence investigation into the incident.
Smart Law’s post on Instablog9ja read in part, “How the billionaire owner of Fireman Generator was murdered and his body stacked inside a bag.
“Chief Ignatius Odunukwe, who went missing since the first week of December 2019, has been found dead.
“The story had it that the billionaire was killed by his assailants, cut into pieces and his body packed into a Ghana-must-go bag, took to the expressway and dumped inside a forest. The sum of N900m and original documents collected from him.
“Some criminals, who pretended to be land buyers, drew his attention requesting to purchase property since he had one for sale. The deal was concluded and having agreed on the purchase price, the agreement was drafted by his lawyer.
“Both parties agreed to meet on an agreed date and place for the exchange of money and signing of documents, that’s when the whole drama unfolded. Chief Odunukwe’s lawyers suggested going with him for the perfection of the deal, but he declined on the ground that he needed to see someone at Ikoyi Club and that was the last time he was seen alive.
“When the billionaire could not return home, his family reported the incident to the police and investigation commenced. It is always good to disclose your movements to your family. It was his lawyer who unveiled the whole deal to the police.”
Enugu State-born Ibeaji in his confessional statement told newsmen how he connived with his gang members to kill Adunukwe in his hotel room, at Artican Beach Resort, Ajah.
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 contacts and agreed to keep in touch for later discussion on the property. He had a function in Abuja sometimes in same September 2019, so we met and finalised discussion 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 African 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 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 won’t suspect us.
“We waited till about 8:00 p.m. when we noticed there was no one 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 of the body. Sincerely I don’t know what came over me; it was just lust for luxury that pushed me into this crime.”
Cletus, however, denied hitting the deceased with an axe. He insisted that it was Ibeaji that hit the deceased with an axe and also chopped the body into parts.
“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 narrated.
However, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2 Command, Ahmed Iliyasu, said at a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday that Adunukwe’s family petitioned the command and narrated their trauma regarding his sudden disappearance, adding that he detailed personnel to go after the abductors.
He stated that four suspects, Daniel Ibeaji, 42; Arinze Igwe, 26; Solomon Cletus, 30; and Israel Obigaremu, 35, were arrested in connection with the crime.
He added that one medical identification card, an axe, remains of the victim in a bag, three AK-47 rifles, one pump action gun, one Ford SUV and property documents belonging to the victim, one Toyota Corolla car, a Nissan salon car, three Tecno phones, four Nokia phones, two Samsung phones and one Bontel phone were recovered from the suspects.
According to him, Adunukwe left his residence at No. 14 Maduke Street, off Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, on December 1, 2019, and never returned home.
Iliyasu said the victim was declared missing, noting that he was strangled and injected with a lethal substance in a hotel room in Ajah.
Iliyasu stated, “The suspects specialise in hacking into unsuspecting members of the public’s Facebook accounts and the moment a person responds to a friendship request, the person is a ready-made target. Daniel Ibeaji, who claimed to be a medical doctor, is the kingpin of the syndicate.
“It was Ibeaji, who approached the late Adunukwe with a business proposal to the tune of N900m, following which they fixed an appointment for the Artican Beach Resort, Ajah, Lagos, having asked the three other suspects to be on red alert for that operation.
“After cajoling Adunukwe into signing the agreed documents, he lured him to his hotel room. In the hotel room, Ibeaji instructed one of his boys to fetch him a bag and pretended as if he wanted to hand over the money to the victim.
“As the victim was about to open the bag, Ibeaji grabbed him from behind, while one of the boys hit the victim with an axe in the back of his head. Ibeaji then dragged Adunukwe into the toilet, strangled him and with the assistance of his boys, who held the victim down, injected him twice with a lethal substance. Convinced that the deed had been done, Ibeaji gave directives to the boys to evacuate the corpse and throw it away.”
One of the suspects, Cletus, said Igwe, who was a former worker in the hotel where the crime was perpetrated, directed them to take the corpse through the back door.
He said, “It was Igwe, who directed us, and we moved the body through the back door of the hotel and through the laundry area. We chopped the body between 7pm and 8pm and it was within that same hour that we dumped him in the bush as the hotel is not far away from where the corpse was dumped.
“Ibeaji was the person, who hit him, before he asked us to go and kill him.”
The other suspects confirmed their involvement in the crime.
Iliyasu said Ibeaji was also involved in the murder of a commissioner in Bayelsa State, one Depologa, whose remains were found on the Abuja Expressway.
He said Ibeaji’s second victim was one Jude Efulue, a property developer in Abuja, who swam into Ibeaji’s net and was held captive in an apartment and forced to sign a prepared document transferring the ownership of the victim’s property to him.
“His plan was to kill Efulue after sweeping his account clean. But with the help of neighbours, who called the police, Bob and his boys were apprehended and charged accordingly. It was at the Kuje Prison, where Cletus was also serving a jail term, that he and Ibeaji met and they reunited after leaving the prison to execute this dastardly act,” Iliyasu added.
The AIG said Ibeaji was currently undergoing trial at the Apo High Court in Abuja for two similar cases.