The family of Nicholas Offodile, owner of the popular Chuks Supermarket Lokoja, who was killed by gunmen while travelling to Abuja has denied knowledge of the so-called apprentice said to have masterminded the businessman’s murder.
The Kogi State Commissioner of Police Ayuba Ede had yesterday, Thursday in Lokoja, paraded one Vincent Omogor who ‘confessed’ he was a member of a gang that killed Nicholas Offodile. Omogor also claimed that the gang was hired by an apprentice working with the murdered businessman.
Omogor said the apprentice was angry because Offodile refused to give him money to treat his sick mother until the mother died. He however did not mention the name of the apprentice.
Same yesterday, ALSC published the story sent by our reporter in Lokoja. We however sent a special crime investigator for a follow-up on the story and our finding was quite shocking.
Two members of the family who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity said they were shocked when they read the story like every other person. They said the Police neither brought Vincent Omogor to identify the apprentice nor even called them on phone to check the veracity of his claim.
“Our family is shocked by the report of the police parade of the so-called Vincent Omogor. The police did not contact us and did not come to ask us whether such an apprentice exists in the company or family. The Police should have come to us so that we hear from Vincent and ask him to even mention the name of the apprentice,” a prominent member of the family told our reporter.
Another member of the family said the police have disappointed them on the investigation of the killer of their husband, father and brother by the shoddy manner they have handled the matter.
“We are devastated by what the police have done. How can you parade someone that said he was hired and paid by our apprentice without coming to confirm from us whether there is such an apprentice with us? Who is the apprentice that said he hired the killers because his oga did not give him money to attend to his sick mother? We have never had such an incident here,” the source stated.
The source said members of the family have become afraid since the news of the police parade was made public, adding that they no longer have confidence in the police both in the investigation and the safety of their family members.
We however called the Kogi State Police Commissioner Ayuba Ede on phone. He confirmed that he neither contacted the family nor took the arrested Vincent Omogor to the family before the parade.
Commissioner Ayuba also agreed that the name of the so-called apprentice was not mentioned, saying he didn’t think it was necessary.
He said- “Yes, the arrested the suspect in a village near and during interrogation, he confessed to have participated in other crimes including the murder of the owner of Chuks Supermarket.
“He said an apprentice working with the man paid them to kill his oga. We didn’t take him to the family for identification because I didn’t think it was necessary. However, we are still following up the matter to fish out his cohorts. The suspect said when they stopped the man, they were questioning him before their leader who is a Fulani man shot him dead,” Police Commissioner Ayuba Ede said.
“The investigation is still on. You know it is a homicide case and it can take ten years to conclude. We are still investigating,” Ayuba Ede concluded and dropped the call.