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FIRMAN boss murder: Witness told Lagos court how he was nearly killed by suspect

By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
07 December 2021   |   3:55 am
An Abuja-based businessman, Mr. Ikechukwu Efulu, yesterday, told a Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS),how one Daniel Ibeachi nearly killed him, while pretending to buy his Abuja property worth N150 million.

An Abuja-based businessman, Mr. Ikechukwu Efulu, yesterday, told a Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), how one Daniel Ibeachi nearly killed him,  while pretending to buy his Abuja property worth N150 million. 
Efulu disclosed this in his testimony before Justice Yetunde Adesanya, in an ongoing trial of three defendants for alleged murder of Chief Executive Officer of FIRMAN, Ignatius Odunukwe.
Aside from Daniel Ibeaji, other defendants are Uzor Arinze and Cletus Solomon. They are standing trial on a three-count charge of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and murder brought against them by the Lagos State government.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had on August 28, 2021 arraigned them on three-count charge for allegedly killing the businessman while pretending to buy a property from him.
Led-in-evidence by the DPP, Efulu told court that he met the first defendant (Ibeaji) sometime in 2016 through an estate agent, who introduced him as his client.
The fourth prosecution witness told the court that, the first time he met the defendant, the defendant came with his wife, daughter and son. He noted that they discussed and agreed on the price for the property which was N150 million.
Efulu further told court that the defendant pressured him to accept Dollars but he refused and insisted on bank to bank transaction.
He said the defendant even came up with some business ideas while they were discussing and promised to introduce him to some businesses.
The witness said the defendant told him that he would sell his Dollars and put the money in his brother’s account.
Efulu said the day the defendant was to pay for the property, he asked him to come to his house so they would go to the bank.
Narrating his ordeal how he nearly lost his life in the defendant ‘s house, the witness said, when he went to the defendant’s house, he was handcuffed and his legs were chained by the defendant and two other men who are facing trial in another case in Abuja.
Earlier, in the proceeding, Mr. Friday Clement, a security man and a friend of the deceased, told the court how he volunteered and accompanied the police to Abuja, where the third defendant (Solomon) was traced and arrested.
Clement, the third prosecution witness, said that Solomon was already in police detention in Area 10 for another offence when he was arrested.

Mr. C.J. Jiakponna represented the first and second defendants, while Mr A.O. Ogusanya represented the third defendant and cross-examined the witness.
After the evidence of the two witnesses, the trial judge subsequently adjourned the case to February 23, 2022 for continuation of trial.