A businessman, Uchechukwu Orji, has told a Lagos High Court in Igbosere, that his fiancée, simply called ‘Ijeoma’, was allegedly murdered by her ex boyfriend, identified as Ifeanyi Christian.
Naija 3Orji, who testified on Monday as the second prosecution witness in the trial before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, said Ijeoma, 26, was declared missing on January 12, 2013, but was found dead 4 days later.
Ifeanyi, an apprentice spare parts trader at ASPAMDA, Trade Fair Complex, Ojo, Lagos is being prosecuted by the state for Ijeoma’s death.
Led in evidence by State Counsel, Mrs A. A. Saromi, Orji said he was formally engaged to the deceased, who was a food vendor, and that they had made plans to get married.
He said Ijeoma travelled to her home town in the east in December 2012, for the Christmas and New Year celebrations but visited him at his home in Ojo, Lagos, on her return on Friday, January 11, 2013.
The witness testified that while they were discussing in his room, the deceased’s phone kept ringing but she ignored it and when he asked her who it was, “she said the caller was just a friend.”
He said he insisted on knowing who it was and she eventually told him the caller was her ex boyfriend, Ifeanyi Christian, who was trying to renew their relationship.
He said he also told him that Ifeanyi wanted her to come over to his house, but that he forbade her.
Orji said he saw the deceased off to where she boarded a motorbike to her neighbourhood in Agboju, Ojo area. He phoned her when she got to Alakija Bus Stop, near her home and also spoke to her elder sister, who she ran into at the bus stop.
The witness said the following day, a Saturday, he called her number from about 4pm till about 7pm but there was no response. He decided to give her some time because he thought she was probably attending to customers at her shop.
“At about 10pm, when I called her line again and didn’t get any response, I became very worried. I then called Ijeoma’s sister who told me that she was probably busy at work. The sister called me back to tell me that she had checked and couldn’t find her sister. We started searching for her that night and continued the search on Sunday morning to no avail,” he said.
Orji said the next day the deceased’s friend named Joy, told him she met Ijeoma the day before while the deceased was on her way to return a bottle of acid which the defendant kept in her possession. Joy also told him that the defendant worked at a shop at ASPAMDA at the Trade Fair Complex, Ojo.
“On Monday, I went straight to the place where she directed me and I met an elderly man, who told me to check Ifeanyi in the shop, but Ifeanyi wasn’t there. So, I went back to the man, and he gave me a seat and asked me to wait for Ifeanyi.
He said the defendant was his apprentice and asked me if there was a problem and I said yes, there was a murder case,” the witness stated.
Orji said when the defendant showed up at the market and was questioned about the deceased, he fled but was arrested by security officials at the complex and taken to FESTAC Police Station.
He added that defendant later told them that Ijeoma was dead.
Justice Taiwo adjourned the case till October 24, for continuation of trial and possible cross examination by defence counsel, Mr. T. A. Jiakpona.
– Once desperation enters this so called ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend matter, it’s always a long story.