Rights group tasks IG over Pierre Cardin CEO’s murder

The Crusader for Justice (CJF), a Non-governmental Organisation and Human Rights group, has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris over the murder of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pierre Cardin, a foremost fabrics designer label in Nigeria, Chief Innocent Ofojee, calling for speedy investigations into the matter.

The group, in a strongly worded petition dated March 20, 2017, a copy of which was made available to the Sunday Telegraph, alleged that some close associates of the late fashion designer and four others may have had a hand in the alleged murder of the business mogul. Chief Innocent Ofojee, an orphan, reportedly singlehandedly raised by his widow mother, died on July 5, 2016 at his residence, No.3 Yeye Olofin Street, Off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

CJF in the petition, addressed to the IGP, copies of which were also sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representative, Hon. Yakubu Dogara; alleged that the late Ofojee was drugged, when he became weak, masking tape was used to seal his mouth and nose to prevent him breathing and while pinning him down to the bed, he was injected with acid.

The petition titled Re: “Murder of Chief Innocent Ofojee (Pierre Cardin) and the alleged Involvement of…Urgent Appeal for the Thorough Investigation of Same and the Role Played by the Federal SARS, Adeniji Adele, Lagos and the Monitoring Team attached to your Office in this Whole Sad Episode”; the group further alleged that after killing Chief Ofojee in his house, by the alleged family member and alleged accomplices, his corpse was moved to a remote mortuary at Epe Town, Lagos away from the prying eyes of his kinsmen.

“It was there they hid his corpse from where it was moved to his home town in Anambra State for burial without any autopsy.”

The petition signed by Barr. Richard Nwankwo, President/Founder of CJF, alleged that though one of the suspects has confessed to participating in the gruesome murder of the deceased, but because staggering amounts of money in millions of naira, have exchanged hands, the confessional statement made by the suspects in the presence of a Deputy Commissioner of Police, who recorded same, were not captured in exhibits transferred to the X squad, FCIID Annex, Alagbon Close, Lagos, when they finally took over the matter.

Barr. Nwankwo in a statement, said: “It was mystery how the suspects got bail despite the serious and damning allegations against them and their confessional statements.”

CJF further expressed worry over the manner by which the officers from the IGP’s Monitoring Team Abuja, flew into Lagos and took over the file from the X Squad, FCIID ANNEX, Alagbon, Lagos that had taken over the case on the request of the complainant, Mr. Obioma Igbokwe a relative of the deceased who suspected foul play at the SARS office Lagos, swore to an affidavit, sought and transferred the matter to the X Squad, Alagbon.

The group prayed the IGP to use this good office, to make the case a test case to strengthen the emerging good image of the force, by bringing to book any member of the investigating teams at any level; as well as make sure any person or group implicated in this deadly transaction are subjected to the full weight of the law.

Sunday Telegraph called the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CSP Taiwo Jimoh, by 12.46 PM on Saturday to confirm if the IGP has received such petition, and he said that because it is on weekend, he would not be able to give a yes or no answer, but stressed that the IGP treats petitions with expediency more especially when it has do with murder.

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