By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
An eyewitness to the brutal murder of Lagos auto dealer, Alhaji Rafiu Jabita in his palatial home situated at the highbrow Adeniyi-Jones area of Ikeja, Lagos State, early morning last Monday, gave a chilling and heartrending account of how he struggled for life before giving up the ghost.
The witness who claimed to be an in-law said he was passionately pleading with doctors and nurses who were tending to him after he was rushed to the hospital not to let him to die.
“He kept on complaining of pains in the stomach while they were tending to him and at a stage, he pleaded passionately to the doctor not to allow him to die. Unfortunately, he died few minutes later after losing a lot of blood”, the witness lamented.
The witness, Bariu Kareem (38), a relation of the wife who could not hold his emotions three days after the ugly incident, told Crime Guard that it will be very difficult for life to move on without the slain 48-year-old Alhaji Jabita.
Insisting that he should not be photographed as he was shedding tears, the young man gave a vivid account of the circumstances that led to the death of his in-law.
According to him, “That early morning, I was in my room downstairs when I heard his voice calling for help. When I came out, I bumped into him soaked with blood already. Somebody was behind him holding dagger with torchlight, still pursuing him.
I held him and after a while, I ran into the laundry before I realized that we cannot come out from there. So, on our way to the kitchen so that we could take the exit from there, he now ran towards the dinning, I went to the kitchen to open the door.
The next thing I heard from him was that they had gone, we should come and rescue him. At that point in time, the wife and nephew had come downstairs. We now tried to open the windows and quickly started the generator.
At that time, he was still talking. He was the one that told us to take him to Lagoon Hospital. I don’t know much about the medical attention required but the only thing they did at the lagoon was like trying to pass drip and then making attempts to stitch him up and at the same time telling us the cost implications of the treatment they were going to render.
They said they had to transfer him to their head office at Apapa where they they could handle him better and advised us that before anything could be done in Apapa, we must pay N700,000.
We then asked the wife to go home and quickly change her blood-stained dress. Then, there was nobody with telephone for us to call anybody. I was asking the doctor if they could stabilize him first.
We spent over 30 minutes in that hospital and he was still talking to the doctor, complaining that they were not doing enough to stop the stomach pains, that they should not let him die.
Then around 10 minutes after 5am, I saw how the doctor reacted because he was lying down in a stretcher at the emergency floor. Eventually, he gave up the ghost at that point in time. He was really butchered by those people. Blood was all over his body.
While he was alive, he was a complete gentleman that does not want to involve himself in any trouble. He was very good to everybody that had contact with him. He paid extreme attention to people’s education and there was no way he would relate with you without relating with the whole family.
He was particular about young people making progress in life. Even his workers, he always encouraged them by giving them the necessary support.
How the assailants entered the compound with all the sophisticated gadgets we have is still a mystery to me because up till now, we cannot fathom how they gained entry into the compound.
But we can still see where they cut the burglary open. One thing I realize is that the so-called Mallam, is less than three months here as a security guard and I now recollect that very late in the night, he would start to come and wash cars and it was only the car park at the same side where the robbers gained entry that he washes not other cars.
So, I don’t’ know his reasons for doing that, I thought may be he was a kind fellow and what have you.
I must tell you that he had no premonition of his death. There was nothing he did that was strange in recent times. That day, one cannot say he got home late or in the early hours of the evening.
He just came home normally. I will also confirm that he had encounters with armed robbers in the past. During one of the encounters, he was going to Mama Cass when he was attacked.
They really rough handled him because when he came back home, his shirts were torn. I must also state that I think that what happened was purely robbery.
This is because I know he doesn’t involve himself with deals that have to do with money or any contest. They carted away my sister’s valuables. We will miss him greatly”, he stated.