How body of slain Zenith banker Okafor-Mang was found in her parlour - OPID News

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Tuesday, 15 March 2022

How body of slain Zenith banker Okafor-Mang was found in her parlour

 How body of slain Zenith banker Okafor-Mang was found in her parlour

Tanko, Mabel

A businessman, Mr Jude Edeh, on Monday narrated to a Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square, how the body of Miss Mabel Okafor-Mang, a Zenith banker, was discovered in her sitting room, six years ago.

Edeh, an associate pastor at the Redeemed Evangelical Mission, Lagos, said this while giving evidence at the ongoing trial of a security guard, Abdullateef Tanko, charged with the murder of his employer.

Tanko, is standing trial on a count charge of stabbing Okafor-Mang to death, on Aug. 17, 2016, at her apartment, J68B, Close 9, Victoria Garden City (VGC) Ikota, Ajah Lekki, Lagos.

At the resumed hearing, Edeh, the third prosecution witness, told the court that the deceased was a member of his church, who participated actively as a planning committee member at the church’s anniversary programme.

Edeh, who was led in evidence by the Lagos Prosecution counsel, Mr Olayemi Shofolu, narrated that on Aug. 19, 2016, members of the church were worried when the deceased did not show up for events.

Edeh said he, therefore, went to the deceased’s office at Ikota shopping complex Lekki, to find out about her whereabout but was told by her staff that she had not been to the office for two days.

The witness said he drove to the deceased’s house at VGC with her staff to check on her.

According to him, the security at the estate gate asked them to call the deceased first but all her phones were switched off.

He said the estate security supervisor then accompanied them to the house.

Edeh said after several knocks at the gate, the deceased’s tenant opened the gate, and informed them that he had not seen the deceased for two days.

“The supervisor went round the compound, opened the window, and shouted “the worst has happened, the woman is lying dead in her sitting room.”

“The supervisor reported the incident to the estate police while I informed our senior pastor in the church.

“The deceased elder brother, Dr Nduka Okafor-Mang called and I told him to come that we were at the house with other church members,” Edeh narrated.

He also narrated how they broke the kitchen door to gain entrance and found out that the front door was not locked.

The witness said he saw marks of stab wounds on the woman’s stomach but did not count the wounds.

After his evidence, the witness was cross-examined by the defendant’s counsel, Mrs Love Ikhine.

The witness answered questions and said he did not know the person that killed the deceased.

Edeh said that he had known the deceased for 10 years and added that the only time he visited the deceased at her residence was in 2011 when they were planning to build their church.

When asked if he knew all the woman’s family members, he said no, that he only met them in church during the deceased 50th birthday celebration in 2016.

However, Justice Yetunde Ogunsanya, adjourned the case until March 15 for continuation of trial.

The prosecutor, Shofolu, had said that the defendant allegedly murdered the banker on Aug. 17, 2016, at about 7:30 p.m., at J68B, Close 9, Victoria Garden City Ikota, Ajah Lekki area, of Lagos State.

Shofolu said the defendant murdered one Mabel Okafor-Mang, by stabbing her with a kitchen knife on her stomach.

According to him, the offence contravenes Section 233 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Tanko, who had just spent two weeks on the job, pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.

After he was arrested in his village of Bali in Jalingo Local Government Area of Taraba State, where he escaped after the murder, Tanko confessed to the killing.

He told the police: “I can say that as this thing [killing) happened, it was the devil that got into me, because I never believed that I could kill a human being. On the day it happened, my boss returned home at almost 8.30p.m. She went to her room and later called me.

“She had earlier broken some branches of overgrown flowers within the premises. She asked me whether I did not allow DISCO officials to enter her compound when they had no means of identification and I replied her that I did not. She then asked me to go and trim the flower branches.

“At the time she called me, I had a knife in my hand to cut onions and pepper to prepare my dinner, and as she opened her door and gave the instruction, I just felt a spirit passed through my body. The next thing was that I stabbed her and I found her on the floor.

“I stabbed her two times but I don’t really know I did it. As she fell, she looked at me and called my name repeatedly: ‘Abdul, Abdul.” I said ‘sorry Ma.’ I lifted her legs and straightened them on the floor by the three-sitter in the sitting room. I noticed blood stained her dress and the knife I used.

“I pitied her as she called my name so I went to put on the air conditioner so that it would blow directly at her body. I left for her room, which I ransacked to pick some trinkets and clothes. I went back to the living room to pick her phones and N10,000 from her purse which was there.

“One of the security men close by heard her when she screamed in pain after I stabbed her, so he came to knock on the gate to enquire what was wrong. But I dismissed him by telling him not to mind my boss, as she was only scared by the sight of a cockroach.”



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