An Igbosere High Court in Lagos, on Monday, heard how three truck conductors tied up one Nse-Obong Idodo with a rope and beat him to death for allegedly stealing a phone.
A Prosecution Witness, ASP. Roland Ayeme, made the disclosure while giving evidence as to the first prosecution witness in the trial of the three truck conductors.
The conductors are Bashiru Salami, Omokehinde Abdulatif and Ibrahim Ajibola.
They are facing trial on a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder, preferred against them by the Lagos State Government.
At the resumed hearing, Ayeme who was led in evidence by the Lagos State Counsel, Mr Babatunde Sunmonu, said that the case was transferred to him at the Port Criminal Investigation Department, Apapa from the Apapa Police Division.
He said that the incident happened on June 7, 2016, at about 2.00 a.m. at Sand Field in Tin Can Island, Apapa.
The witness said that when he visited the scene on June 8, 2016, with his team, the Divisional Police Officer had already deposited the corpse of the deceased at Mainland Hospital in Apapa.
Ayeme said there were blood stains at the scene.
The witness told the court that during their investigation, the police discovered that the deceased was tied up with a rope and beaten to death.
He said that a principal witness, one Garuba Ejo, who witnessed how the defendants tied and beat the deceased to death was the one who informed the police about the incident.
Ayeme said that Ejo informed the police that while he was taking his trailer to Mile 2, he saw how the second defendant (Abdullatif) raised an alarm that his Techno second-hand phone was stolen by the deceased.
He said the first and third defendants rushed out, dragged the deceased to the other side of the road and beat him to death.
He said that Ejo also narrated to the police how an elderly man tried to stop the defendants from beating the deceased but they chased him away with clubs and axes.
Ayeme explained that Ejo said he could not go there because it was dark, adding that he was afraid of confronting the defendants.
He argued that the defendants were culpable of the offence of murder because they took laws into their hands by torturing the deceased to death.
The witness was cross-examined by the defendants’ lawyers, Mr Damilola Olaofe, Mrs Pamela Okoro-Igwe and Mr Olarenwaju Mabawonku.
He said that the second defendant actually alleged that his Techno phone was stolen.
Ayeme also stated that the first defendant denied participating in the action that led to the death of the deceased.
Asked if the first defendant was arrested while he was sleeping, the witness said the first defendant was not asleep when he was arrested.
After listening to the evidence, Justice Adedayo Akintoye, adjourned the case until Nov.11 for the continuation of trial.
The three men, who were arraigned sometime in December 2017 were alleged to have committed the offences on June 7, 2016, at Apapa.
The prosecutor said the offences contravened Section 233 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.