Saturday, March 25 turned out to be a gloomy day for the family of a courier service personnel for popular e-commerce platform, Jumia. The middle-aged delivery agent had gone to deliver products to customers living at No. 4, Adaede Street, off Ada George Road, by Location junction, Port Harcourt before he went missing.
On the said day, he had gone to deliver two i-Phones and a super bike worth about N500,000 at the above address to the duo of Sodienye Mbatumukeke, 28 and Excel Divine Naabe, 25.
As is usually the case when deliveries are made, owners of the item purchased verify products brought and make payment either by cash or transfer. However, on this fateful, the duo were alleged to have grabbed the deliveryman, tied his hands backwards, tortured him before dressing him with a robe and dumping him inside a septic tank in the compound.
Two days after the incident, the frightened residents and neighbours, who suspected strange movements in the area and bloodstains around the compound, informed the police.
The state police command immediately swung into action on Monday afternoon went to the compound and after a thorough investigation, discovered the lifeless body of the courier personnel inside the septic tank. They thereafter called the fire service officials who assisted them in evacuating the body.
The duo of Mbatumukeke and Naabe were immediately arrested, alongside a female suspect, Joy Eluwa, in connection to the incident. They are alleged to have robbed and murdered the courier personnel.
It was gathered that two of the suspects occupy a two-bedroom flat in the compound, which houses eight flats and each flat is rented for N500,000 per annum.
When The Guardian visited the building yesterday, it had been deserted as all the occupants of the eight flats have fled for fear of being arrested.
An ex-police officer, who lives around the area, said the arrested persons were suspected to be criminals for a long time in the neighbourhood because they allegedly lived above their means without any verifiable means of livelihood. He disclosed that the boys were usually seen doing nothing during the daytime, as they only sleep, eat and move out at night.
“Despite doing nothing, they live a very flamboyant life and ride expensive cars. If their suspicious moves had earlier been reported to the police, maybe the poor deliveryman would not have died. I blame their co-tenants for failing to alert security agents when they noticed the questionable attitudes of the suspects,” he said.
One of the suspects, Nabee, denied killing the man. He said he saw the victim on Saturday in the compound carrying packaged items. “I snubbed him and went my way. When I returned, I saw blood stains in the compound but my friend warned me that if I speak, he would kill me and my family.”
The female suspect, Eluwa said her mother was having financial challenges, which compelled her to visit her boyfriend for financial assistance before she was arrested.
The Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, who led other police officers to the scene, appealed to the public to always help the police fight crime by sharing useful information. He promised to flush out all criminal elements in the state.