*Confession of man who claims to have murdered friend
By Evelyn Usman
As the harmattan haze blew across farmlands at Apete village, near Abeokuta, last week, it was not difficult for the villagers to perceive an unusual thick foul smell around them.
“Who could have been hunting around and forgotten his game?”, some wondered. No answer came, and everybody tried to mind his business and cope with the stench hoping that with time, it would subside.
How wrong they were, for three or so days thereafter the smell persisted. That was when they resolved to trace the source of the stench.
But instead of a game, what they found was a bloated human being with a rope tied round his neck.
Confused, they fled home, one after the other. To play safe, however, some of them decided to report to the police, consequent upon which the body was removed.
Investigation showed it was that of one Tobi Ogunsola, a commercial motorcyclist who had disappeared on December 26, 2010. When news of the discovery of his remains filtered into his Gbonagun community in Odeda local government area of the state, the residents were thrown into a fresh mourning with the villagers recounting how they had at one time or the other benefited from his generosity.
A bigger shock came when the late Tobi’s assailant was discovered to be no other than his bosom friend, Moruf Ganiu. Ganiu who was subsequently arrested, is currently at the Homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Elewe-eran, Abeokuta.
When the suspect was paraded before newsmen, he looked remorseful. Strangely, he was seen trying to avoid an unseen object out to hit him. He later said he was seeing the ghost of his late friend everywhere and that he carried out the gruesome act out of greed and jealousy.
He said, “Tobi and I had been friends for years. In fact , there was no secret we did not share with each other. Things however started falling apart when I began to be jealous of his progress. First, he bought a motorcycle and started using it for commercial purpose. On an occasion when we went out , he did not buy drink for me, claiming he had no money. But I knew he was lying because he had made money for that day”
That apparently marked the genesis of his hatred for Tobi. But it did not just end at mere hatred, as he started hatching devilish plans on how to eliminate his friend. An opportunity availed itself when the late Tobi innocently revealed to his assumed bosom friend that he had purchased a parcel of land.
The plan to kill him
“Before he told me he had bought a land, I had met with two of my friends and informed them of my intention to kill Tobi and do away with his motorcycle. We started planning how and where to carry out the mission . But my other friends said they must get their own share which I agreed.
So on December 26, 2010, I met Tobi at Gbonnagun Junction via Odo-Eran Obantoko and told him to take me to Apete village, at about 11.30am. He refused carrying a passenger when he saw me”.
Continuing, 22-year-old Ganiu said, “when we got to Apete village, where my friends were waiting in the bush, I told him to stop that I wanted to ease myself and he did. Immediately, my friends came out of the bush and one of them with a rope used it to strangle him while I entered the motorcycle and left the scene. While I was driving away, his last statement broke my heart. He spoke in Yoruba dialect saying, ‘ah! Aye ma le o(the world is wicked).
Help was far from Tobi’s as he shouted for help without any in sight. When his assailant ensured he was dead, they reportedly threw him inside the bush, away from the pathway.
Ganiu said he succeeded in selling the motorcycle for N75,000. He said he got N40,000 as his share. While the search for Tobi lasted, Ganiu was nowhere to be found. He reportedly stayed away for two weeks. But immediately he resurfaced, he was arrested, as preliminary investigation by the police showed that someone sighted him mounting Tobi’s motorcycle that fateful day.
Ogun state Commissioner of Police, Mr Musa Daura said the sum of N49,000 was recovered from the suspect, adding that effort was still on at arresting his fleeing accomplices, at the end of which Tobi would be charged to court.