By Dayo Johnson, Akure

78-year- old former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State, Prof. Albert Ilemobade, who was gruesomely murdered by his domestic staff on June 21, seemed to have  had premonition of death.

“Reason: About an  hour to his death, allegedly  in the hands of two of his aides, his two sons- Prof Adesola Ilemobade and Adeseni Ilemobade-called him to wish him happy Father’s Day, celebrated that Sunday,  and his response suggested this.“His response, according to Adesola, a professor of civil engineering, based in South Africa, gave an inkling  he had premonition of death.“Adesola said: “Our last conversation was on Sunday, Father’s  Day, and that was the night he passed on.

I called to wish him happy Father’s Day and he told me he was very excited that day. He told me ‘I am happy and I don’t know why I am happy’. We believe that God gave him such a good day as a way to transit him.““Within  an hour of that conversation, he passed on”. “The second son, Adeseni, repeated he had same conversation with the father when interviewed separately at their No I, Ikere Street, Ijapo, Akure.“”The last conversation I had with my dad was on Sunday, Father’s Day, June 21.

He was so excited when I spoke with him. He told me he was excited and didn’t understand why and the last thing he told me was, ‘Seni, I know you’re going to be a very good father; and  I already see what you are doing”.“While the deceased was exchanging pleasantries with his children, Olayemi, 36, his former driver, sacked for dumping his boss  in church  at Easter, was said to have sneaked into the compound with the assistance of the security guard, Daniel, to take his boss life.

“It was  alleged by Adeseni that the former driver came back to kill his father to avenge his sack and detention after his alleged attempt to steal the former VC’s car was foiled by tracking device.“The son alleged that the suspect did that despite the fact that it was the father that asked the police to discontinue the matter, bailed him and even gave him money to continue life elsewhere.“Sunday Vanguard was informed by a family member that the deceased, after the greetings from his sons, sat in the living room watching television and later retired to his study at about 8.30pm.

“The suspected  assassins were believed to have, before that Sunday, agreed that the only way to succeed in their crime was to lure the deceased from his study to another  place within the compound to kill him.“The former driver, who the police called the ‘chief culprit’, said to have been hiding in the gate house, had agreed with the guard to raise the alarm that an electric spark had occurred near the pumping machine  close to where Olayemi was hiding.“Sunday Vanguard learnt that the guard walked to the window of the study and called the attention of the deceased to the purported electric spark.

“On hearing the alarm raised, the former VC  reportedly came out of the house through the kitchen door and walked to the gate house with the guard.“While he was examining the place the guard  was  pointing at, the former driver allegedly  grabbed him from behind and strangulated him while the guard used some of his clothes to cover his mouth to prevent  any noise  from attracting attention.

“While this was going on, the wife, Olakitan, 73, was in one of the rooms in the house, sleeping.“After killing him, his body was said to have been dragged from the gate house to the generator house, located at the other end of the compound and dumped there.“The decomposing corpse was discovered a week after he was declared missing by his family after his killers were apprehended in Ogun State while trying to sell the deceased’s  Toyota RAV4  SUV, which they confessed was the reason they killed at a ridiculous price to a buyer who tipped off the police.

“When the suspects were paraded by the police in Akure, they confessed to the  chagrin of the Ilemobade family how the deceased was nice to them, but that they needed to kill him ” to make good money and start a new life”.“Olayemi described how he planned the revenge and the reason  they had to kill their benefactor in cold blood.

What the three children of Prof Ilemobade – Adesola, Adeseni and Mrs Tolulade Ilemobade-Ozigbo – told Sunday Vanguard about their late father. Adesola spoke first: “”Our father was a great man . I am his first son and a civil engineer, a professor. Where I am today, my father had even reached there and did  more at my age. The last time I saw him in Johannesburg, I told him if I got to where he was, I will be proud.

“” I will miss a man who always encouraged me and boosted me by saying, ‘you  must not stop learning, you must continue to be the best you can be’. I will miss him.“ “He said to me several times that ‘I am so happy today and I don’t why, ‘ and within an hour of that conversation, he passed on. “”Irrespective of  the mode of exit , we are grateful for the life he spent and the heritage .

He taught us to pray and, as a family, we pray together. Whether you like it or not, you must be at the family altar and not only the family but everyone who is a part of the family, biological and non-biological by 6am; you must pray with the family.“”During  Christmas,  we have Father Christmas  who gives gift to all the children in the house. It’s a tradition that’s happening in our home. He was Father Christmas as far as children were concerned”.

“Tolulade is the baby of the family. She said her late father lived a fulfilled life. “”My father was strict, he was a disciplinarian, he wouldn’t take nonsense, but my father was a good man, he never forced a decision on us,”she stated.“” He will give us his suggestion and then leave the decision  to us and, when you have a father like that, you would not want to take a decision he wouldn’t support.“” I look back and I don’t want to change anything;  if I have the chance to be born again and grow under him again, I will do it.

“” I miss everything about him. He was my father, my friend and my everything, I will miss everything about my dad”.“Adeseni  said:” I’m the third child of the late Prof. Albert Ilemobade. I saw my father last during Easter when that incident of the driver who took away his car happened. I was actually around and that was the last time I saw him.“”The last conversation I had with my dad was on Sunday, Father’s Day, June 21.

He was so excited when I spoke with him. He told me that he was excited and didn’t understand why. The last thing he told me was,’Seni, I know you’re going to be a very good father and  I already see what you are doing’. “”The conversation we had before then was during Easter. For a very long time, my father and I never had a discussion like we had that day because he actually called me to his study and said, ‘I needed to have a discussion with you’. He mentioned it about two times in the day when I arrived Akure and he told me he was very proud of me.“”I don’t live here. I  work in Lagos. So I arrived  Akure on  Easter Friday with my family.

When I arrived, he had gone to church and, when he came back, we had informal discussion but he kept saying he wanted to discuss with me and, for him to say he wanted to have  one-on-one with me, I knew he wanted to tell me something that was very important.  And what he said was that he was very proud of me. He just wanted to tell me he was proud of me”.“Speaking on the reaction of the family when the former driver absconded with the VC’s car at Easter, Adeseni said,  “The truth of the matter was that it happened on Easter Sunday. My father  was a chief in his church in Ondo and he always liked to go back home for service.

He would go at least once or twice a month for service. “”So he went for the Easter Sunday service in Ondo and the driver dropped him in church and, by the time my father finished the church service, he couldn’t find the driver and the car. “”He alerted the police in Ondo about the case and I had to go and pick him there and brought him to Akure and we also lodged, complaint at the police station in Ijapo Estate because this is where he lived. Arrests were made. “I was very furious because I knew the driver was trying to play pranks but my father suggested that something might have happened.

I had to travel back to my base on Monday and there was no trace of the car or the driver until Wednesday when the driver himself drove the car back and the police arrested him and I don’t know what his confession was. “”I heard after the death of my dad that he actually went to pay for his bail because my father said he didn’t feel good that the driver was in police custody. That was his nature. “”My father saw no need in charging the driver to court. He never told us the end of the story, he just told us that the car had been seen and I kept on calling him to get the full story but he kept the better part of the story from us.

It was his close staff in office that told us that daddy actually went to bail him. “The driver was sacked after he was released from police custody. I heard my father gave him some money to go and take care of himself but told him his employment had been terminated. “”I believe his coming back to commit the murder was a revenge and the fact that he still wanted money”. “The Vicar of the Chapel of Annunciation, Ondo,  Ven. Rev Ayodeji Fagbemi, where the deceased worshipped, said the late professor was in church during the Father’s Day celebration and even wrote a cheque in furtherance of the ?work of God in the church.“Fagbemi described his murder allegedly by the two accused persons as callous.

“According to him, the church had been praying for his release when  he was purportedly kidnapped not knowing that he had been gruesomely murdered allegedly  by his domestic staff.“He faulted  the intelligence gathering of the security operatives who were fooled by the aides to believe the former VC  was kidnapped.

“The cleric said if the detectives had combed the entire compound, they would have seen the corpse of the deceased the very day he was murdered and dumped in the generator house.“Fagbemi however said that ” it’s not only the police that were fooled but everybody”.“Meanwhile, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, who raced to the family house of  Ilemobade on arrival in Akure from Abuja at about 7pm, last Sunday, declared that the murderers will not go unpunished.“

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