ByÂ Innocent Anaba
LAGOS – The coroner investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of member of Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers, Mr Abayomi Ogundeji, yesterday visited the spot where he was killed,Â in Dopemu, a surburb of Lagos.
So far, the belief that a lady was with him, the night he was murdered byÂ unknown gunmen on August 17, 2008 came to the fore yesterday, as a witness, Mr. Suraju Azeez Folarin, confirmed the story.
Folarin, who testified before the coroner and at the scene of the crime, said on the night Ogundeji was killed, there was an unidentified lady in the passengerâ€™s seat of the KIA Sportage SUV, he drove.
What could not be resolved easily at the scene was the movement of Ogundejiâ€™s KIA Sportage SUV 40 metres away from the point where he was shot and killed.
Folarin, in his testimony, said Ogundeji was shot at the foot of Dopemu bridge,Â while the Divisional Transport Officer (DPO) of Idimu Police State, DSP Chimereze Chinedu, Inspectors Raphael Nnemeka and Edwin Agunaye said they met the car 40 metres from the scene of the crime.
The witness, who told the court what he saw on the night of August 17, 2008,Â repeated himself at the locus, saying that the robbers, who were about six and operated in a Peugeot 504 Station Wagon car, had laid ambush for their victims, while they drove into them on Shasha road by Kings Filling Station.
And, while they double-crossed his Murano SUV,Â he said they held them at gun-point and asked them to vacate their seats,Â while one of the robbers took over the steering.
He said, â€œtwo of the robbers sandwiched us at the back of the car with AK 47 rifles, while other robbers sat in front withÂ pistols. The sixth member of the gang drove from behind still with the Peugeot 504″.
According to him, it was at Dopemu that the robbers sighted the KIAÂ Sportage SUV which Ogundeji was driving and the robbers accelerated and on getting close to him, discovered that it was a KIA SUV.
He said the robbers quickly dismissed the thought ofÂ snatching the SUV, saying that KIA will not make good business for them.
He said it was at Dopemu that the robbers, who were about taking the Dopemu bridge, suddenly changed their mind, adding that it was at this juncture that Ogundeji, who was driving behind the robbers, hit the Murano SUV from behind.
The robbers, according to him, thought the deceased was trying to prevent them from escaping and at that point,Â the robbers came down from theirÂ vehicle and ordered Ogundeji to wind down his side glass.
He said it was his alleged refusal to comply that allegedly infuriated the robbers who opened fire on his vehicle.