Emmanuel Anikwe, the 27-year-old lover of Alexia Thomas, a 47-year-old United Kingdom-based professor, was yesterday, brought before an Ogba Chief Magistrate’s Court, Ikeja, for allegedly poisoning the professor.
Anikwe was arraigned alongside Priscilla Okogba, 26, and Uche Ogbonnaya, 43, Thomas’ cook and driver, respectively.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to charges bordering on conspiracy, attempted murder, threatening violence and assault.
Mr. Nosa Uhumwangho, the prosecutor for the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, told the court that the defendants committed the offences alongside others, who are now at large, at about 11a.m. on June 19, at 37, Ahmed Onibudu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
According to him, “Emmanuel and Professor Thomas were lovers and during the romance, the complainant had started making arrangements to process a UK visa for Anikwe for both of them to relocate abroad.
“Emmanuel, however, plotted with Ifeoma Anikwe, his 52-year-old mother, who is now at large, to kill Thomas and defraud her of her property and life savings.
“The mother and son hired Okogba to work in Thomas’ home as a cook and unknown to the professor, Okogba was actually Emmanuel’s girlfriend.
“Okogba, in connivance with Emmanuel and his mother, poisoned Thomas’s meal which put her in a coma for over six hours. They also threatened to kill her by shouting at her that she will be dead if she does not leave Emmanuel alone.”
He said prior to the poisoning of the professor, Emmanuel, his mother, Ifeoma and Okogba had also connived with one Ogbonnaya to kidnap Thomas for a ransom.
“The earlier kidnap plot, however, failed because the professor was in the company of some aides who due to their appearance, the defendants mistook for security operatives,” Uhumwangho said.
The offences contravened Sections 56, 168(d), 230 and 411 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
Chief Magistrate Olufunke Sule-Amzat granted each of the defendants bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties each in like sum.
Sule-Amzat said one of the sureties must be a blood relation to the defendants, be gainfully employed and show evidence of three years tax payment to Lagos State government, and then adjourned the case till October 21, for mention.