A Nigerian-born music manager identified as Emmanuel Odunlami has been stabbed to death by robbers in the UK over what is believed to be a fake designer watch worth up to £300,000.
The Old Bailey, which is the central criminal court of England and Wales, recently heard that Odunlami was ambushed by three robbers after holding a party to celebrate his birthday.
According to Daily Mail, the 32-year-old music manager was attacked after leaving Haz restaurant near St Paul’s Cathedral in London on May 1, 2022.
Odunlami’s attackers were said to have been tipped off by Kavindu Hettiarachchi, a security operator, that he was wearing a Patek Philippe Nautilus watch.
During the court session, Duncan Atkinson KC, the prosecutor, said it is believed that the watch “may have not been genuine”.
He added that the robbers, however, treated the item as though it was genuine.
“Sadly, as it was to turn out, he liked expensive brand watches. At the time when he was fatally attacked, he was wearing a Patek Philippe Nautilus watch,” the prosecutor said.
“If real, such a watch could be worth anything in a range from £90,000 to £300,000.
“It is believed the deceased’s watch may not have been genuine, but was treated as genuine by those who sought to take it.”
Atkinson said Hettiarachchi was “an integral member of the security team”.
The court heard that Hettiarachchi was hired by the events organiser for the private ticketed brunch and afterparty with DJ.
“It was part of his role to protect the safety of those, like Mr Odunlami, who were attending the event. In fact he did the opposite,” he said.
Old Bailey heard that after the event, Hettiarachchi was seen on CCTV calling Louis Vandrose, who is believed to be one of the robbers.
The jurors were told that Vandrose and Jordell Menzies were then driven by Quincy Ffrench in a white Mercedes with altered number plates from north-west London.
“The evidence shows that Ffrench, Vandrose and Menzies were setting off in car with a disguised registration in order to carry out a robbery and that their target for that robbery was at the Haz restaurant where Hettiarachchi was working, and to which by phone he had summoned them,” the prosecutor said.
The security operator was said to have filmed the victim and his “high-value” watch and then appeared to type something into his phone.
“The prosecution case is that he was making those other defendants aware of Mr Odunlami and his watch, in order that they could rob him of that apparently very valuable item,” Atkinson said.
“In common sense, those planning the robbery of Mr Odunlami of what appeared to be a very valuable watch would not have expected him just to surrender.
“Rather, he needed to be compelled to do so, and to that end one of those travelling in Mr Ffench’s Mercedes was armed with a knife.
“When they were ready, the defendants, Ffrench, Vandrose, and Menzies got out of the car and ran towards Mr Odunlami.
“On seeing the robbers closing in on him, Mr Odunlami tried to run, but he was caught by Menzies and then taken to the ground by the combination of Menzies and by Vandrose.
“Once Mr Odunlami was on the ground, all three defendants attacked him, shod feet were used as weapons to kick the defenceless man on the ground.
“During the course of that attack, one of the robbers, identifiable as Ffrench, bent down and took the object of this exercise, Mr Odunlami’s Patek Phillippe Nautilus watch. As he did so he was heard to say ‘got it’.”
The trio were said to have fled the scene, leaving Odunlami on the floor with a knife wound to the chest.
“It appears from the CCTV that he was stabbed before any demand was made of him, or any other form of attempt to take his watch from him,” the prosecutor said.
The jurors were told that a knife was recovered nearby and linked by scientific analysis to the victim and Menzies.
Menzies, whose DNA was on the attack knife, is charged with murder along with Ffrench and Vandrose while Hettiarachchi is charged with being involved in the robbery and manslaughter.
The defendants have denied the charges against them as the trial continues. The proceeding is estimated to last between four and five weeks.
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Police arrest Samaila Fafa, another wanted notorious FCT kidnapper
Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command have arrested Samaila Fafa, also known as Habu Ibrahim, the second of two wanted kidnappers on whom the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, had placed a N20 million bounty.
The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh, said in a statement on Tuesday that the kidnapper was arrested on February 24, 2024, at about 7.05pm, after operatives acting on credible intelligence stormed Sardauna Forest in the Toto area of Nasarawa State.
Wike had on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, placed a N20m bounty on two wanted bandits, Dahiru Adamu and Abu Ibrahim, who were suspected to have been terrorising Abuja.
The former Rivers State governor had made the declaration when he met with the FCT Commissioner of Police, CP Benneth Igweh, during a parade of 23 criminal suspects at the FCT Police Command Headquarters in Garki, Abuja.
The anti-kidnapping unit of the FCT police command had previously arrested Saidu Abdulkadir, aka Dahiru Adamu, one of the two wanted kidnappers, after operatives raided two kidnappers’ camps bordering Nasarawa and Abuja via Kuje Area Council on February 15, 2024, at about 12am.
Meanwhile, Adeh, in the statement, said the kidnapper had confessed that his syndicate masterminded several kidnappings in the FCT and its environs, including the abduction of Barr. Chris Agidy, legal aid to Senator. Ned Nwoko, and Mr. Sunday Yahaya Zakwai, the district head of Ketti Village, both of whom were later killed.
The statement read, “The operatives of the FCT Police Command, in a continued effort against banditry in FCT and its environs, on February 24, 2024, at about 7.05pm, acting on credible intelligence, stormed Sardauna Forest, Toto, Nasarawa State, and arrested one Samaila Wakili Fafa A.K.A. Habu Ibrahim, a kidnapping kingpin who has been on the wanted list of the Command for a long time and had a bounty placed on his head by the Hon. Minister FCT.
“The suspect is one of the two kidnappers the Honorable Minister FCT placed a bounty on, as the other one, namely Saidu Abdulkadir A.K.A. Dahiru Adamu, had earlier been arrested by the Command.
“He confessed that his syndicate masterminded and executed several kidnappings in FCT and its environs, including the abduction of Barr. Chris Agidy provided legal aid to the Senator. Ned Nwoko and Mr Sunday Yahaya Zakwai, the district head of Ketti Village, were later killed by them. Samaila Wakili further led police operatives to where the remains of Barr were. Chris Agidy is. The remains were recovered and deposited in Gwagwalada General Hospital.”
Adeh said investigations were ongoing, adding that the FCT Commissioner of Police, CP Benneth Igwe, reiterated his commitment to combating crime and criminality and ensuring the safety of residents.
Lagos arraigns RCCG pastor for allegedly raping, impregnating daughter
A Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Emmanuel Orekoya, was on Tuesday arraigned before the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court for allegedly raping and impregnating his 17- year-old daughter.
The defendant is facing two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and sexual assault preferred against him by the Lagos State Government.
It was also gathered that the defendant in the process of having sexual intercourse with his daughter, allegedly impregnated her.
The state’s prosecution counsel, Mrs Abimbola Abolade, told the court that the defendant committed the offences sometime in 2017 at Jacob Adeleye Street, Odoeran, Itire area of the state.
The prosecutor also told the court that Orekoya sexually assaulted the victim, by inserting his finger inside her vagina and inserting his penis inside her mouth.
According to the prosecutor, the offences Orekoya committed contravened Section 137 of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges pressed against him.
Justice Soladoye adjourned the case till April 17, 2024, for the commencement of trial.
Five dead, 26 rescued as building collapses in Anambra market
A yet-to-be-ascertained number of persons have been trapped following the collapse of a building under construction in the Ochanja market in Onitsha, Anambra state.
The cause of the collapse, which happened on Monday evening, is yet to be determined.
Chukwuma Soludo, governor of the state, who visited the site on Tuesday, said five casualties have been recorded so far.
Soludo described the incident as tragic and one “that was not supposed to happen”. He disclosed that 26 individuals had been rescued and hospitalised, with rescue efforts ongoing to locate those still trapped under the rubble.
“The contractor at his own cost will come and put down the illegal buildings he erected here,” the governor said.
“They are all going to come down. My government did not approve of this building. We will redesign this area and build it properly.”
He added that other buildings constructed without proper approval will be demolished, including structures currently under construction at other markets.
“A comprehensive inventory of buildings in Anambra markets and public places will be conducted,” Soludo said.
“Markets will undergo integrity tests to identify and remove potentially unsafe structures and individuals found responsible for illegal construction will face legal consequences.”
The governor also assured that the hospital bills of those receiving treatment will be offset by the government, and expressed condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.
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