Traders seek justice for slain colleague
Three persons have been arrested in connection with the suspected murder of Chijioke Njube (26), a trader at Oke-Arin Market in Ebute-Ero (Idita Line), Lagos State.
Divisional Police Officer of Festac Police Station, Gboyega Balogun, who confirmed this, said the three were arrested after Njube’s body was discovered on Fifth Avenue, and his colleagues reported him missing.
According to Balogun, the deceased’s trader’s colleagues were at the station on Monday to report him missing when he showed them a picture taken earlier, and they confirmed it to be Njube. They had been trying to reach him since Sunday.
He said: “There had been no report of any missing person, but we were called at 7am on Monday about a body on Fifth Avenue.
“We got there and took pictures and noticed there were bruises on the body. This most likely points to suspected murder. But we called an ambulance and the body was taken to the Yaba General Hospital mortuary.
“Some traders later came to report one of them missing. And when I showed them the picture we took earlier, they confirmed it to be the person they were looking for.
“An eyewitness also told us of what had been happening in the house where the deceased lived. According to him, the deceased was about to be settled after serving his boss for 10 years before his body was found.
“Three persons have been arrested and the case has been transferred to the state CID for further action.”
Njube’s colleagues at Oke-Arin Market in Ebute-Ero (Idita Line) have asked that justice be served because they believe Njube was murdered.
The traders said Njube went missing on Sunday, January 30, and could not be reached on his mobile phones. His bruised body was however identified in a picture shown them at the police station.
According to their spokesperson, Chidi Nweze, the deceased was supposed to sleep at his newly-rented apartment on Sunday but was called to return to his boss’ house on Fourth Avenue, E-Close, Festac Town before her went missing.
He said: “We had been trying to reach Chijioke since Sunday but no success. We could not also reach his boss, Mr. Chika Umofia. But we later got through to his son who came to the market to tell us they had also been looking for Chijioke.
“He also said they had not reported to the police and we urged him to do so, even offering to nominate three market officials to go with the family, which he rejected, saying the family would go alone and report back to them.
“The boy also asked where Chijioke rented an apartment, saying he was no longer serving his father and that he had been settled for about one year but still lived with them at Festac.
“He also confirmed that Chijioke was to leave their house on Sunday for his own apartment. He later brought out the keys to open Chijioke’s shop but people prevented him.
“We don’t know how he got the keys, and he said it was not our concern, but that he was interested in the shop.
“The market executives decided to visit the house to know what was happening. But first, we went to the police to inform them of our plans.
“And on getting to the Festac Police Station, we met the DPO, who we showed Chijioke’s picture. But the man showed us a picture; he said the body was discovered on Fifth Avenue before they deposited it at Yaba General Hospital mortuary on Monday.
“I cannot say if the deceased had problems with his boss, but last Wednesday, he came to the market with injuries on his left eye, and he said he sustained it during a quarrel.
“We also heard that on Saturday, he received calls from home that he should return urgently as there were some things they needed to settle, though he was supposed to sleep in his new apartment and go pick his clothes on Monday.
“We don’t know if the call was from his boss or the sons, but some people advised him against going there but he insisted on going.
“The market executives are working on how to get justice for Chijioke. He came from a poor family; the only son and the breadwinner. His father is crying for justice.
“We also want his phone to be tracked because it should be with someone since it has been switched off.
“The body, as seen in the picture the police showed us, had wounds all over, so we believe Chijioke was beaten to death.
“We want justice for Chijioke. The human rights commission should help us. The police should also do a thorough job.”