By Gabriel Enogholase
Benin – LATE last year, precisely on November 12th 2009, Mr. Matthew Idemudia, a pensioner, had a premonition that something bad may likely happen to him or any member of his family on that fateful day.
Perhaps, if he had stayed back at home as his inner voice had told him, he may have been able to ward off the intruder who came to his Ekosodin residence, adjacent the University ofÂ Benin, Ugbowo Campus, to lure his son to where he was murdered in cold blood.
Speaking in an emotion-laden voice, Mr. Idemudia told Crime AlertÂ that his late son, Eric Idemudia, who studied Marketing at the Lagos State University (LASU), and was waiting for his degree result at the time of murder, had arrived Benin-City on November 7th 2009Â to enable him recuperate from his illness and be taken care off by his parents.
According to the bereaved father, no one knew that he was in Benin apart from few of his friends in the area.Â Â â€œHowever at about 10 pm the next day, a friend came to sleep with him in his house.Â His younger brother, Godfrey opposed the stranger sleeping in their house. But Eric had pleaded that the stranger should be allowed to sleep with him that nightâ€.
Continuing, he said that on the fateful day that his son was shot by a yet- to- be apprehended boys suspected to be cultists, he (the father) left home while his wife went to the church.Â His son, Eric was alone at home when he was lured out and never returned alive. â€œAt about 11 am, I had a premonition that something bad was going to happen to the family.Â Â I left where I was and went back home only to discover that the back door to my house was ajar.
When my wife came, I complained about it to her and it was then that we discovered that Eric was no where to be found. His youner brother called his GSM handset severally and although it rang many times, it was not picked. This continued until the phone was no longer ringingâ€.
â€œThat marked the beginning for the search for Eric until a woman raised alarm that a young man has been killed at the boundary between Ekosodin and Evbomonre.Â And my wife wanted to know from another woman who came to pluck some vegetable the identity of the victim.Â She described the victim as a very dark, handsome young man and it was at that point that my wife became apprehensive and she said that we should go and see the corpse of the person.
â€œBefore we got to the scene of the murder, the corpse had been removed by the police and we decided to go to the BDPA Police station with the assistance of one Pastor Nosa. At the police station, we had to wait until about 7 pm when the patrol team led by Inspector Ekpe arrived and we were asked to identify the corpse to see if it was my son.
His younger brother, Godfrey recognized the corpse as that of my missing son and I was ached to accompany the police to the UBTH Mortuary where the corpse was deposited. On recognizing my sonâ€™s body at the mortuary, I collapsed and became unconsciousâ€.
Asked if his son was killed as a result of inter-campus cult war, he denied and stated that to the best of his knowledge, he was never a cultist.Â Â â€œHe was dragged out of the house by those who killed him. I suspect that his friend who came to sleep with him may have a hand in the murder because apart from him, no one else knew that Eric was in town. Now that it has happened, I may not be able to recognize that his friend again.
It is agonisisng to know that many months after the ugly incident, the Police that claimed they are investigating the case has not been able to come out with anything concrete.Â That is why I am using this opportunity to appeal to the Inspector- General of Police and Edo State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Danladi Yarâ€™Adua, not to let the killers of my son go unpunished.Â Our hope of a better future has been shattered and we have no other hope for nowâ€, he stated in tears.
Efforts by Crime Alert to speak with Edo State Police image maker, Peter Ogboi on the development was not successful as he could not be reached.Â However,Â police sources disclosed that the issue was being investigated since it was transferred to the Police Command headquarters from the BDPA Police station.