NOUN staff Arrested in Benue for allegedly killing his colleague Over N70000
A 31-year-old employee of the National Open University of Nigeria NOUN in Benue state, Ikon Danasabe, has been arrested by the Nigerian Police Force for allegedly hiring the services of his fellow cult members to kill his colleague, Francis Atache, over N70, 000.
Vanguard reports that soon after Francis was gruesomely murdered and his body dumped in a bush in August 2020, an investigation into the case began. In the course of its investigation, the Benue state police command obtained information that Ikon and late Francis had a face-off over a certain N70, 000. Ikon was arrested by the police, but was placed on the Makurdi Correctional Center’s holding charge because he denied any involvement and there was no evidence to prove the claim that late Francis was indeed killed.
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The Inspector General of Police was asked about the matter by the family of the deceased, and a team from the Force Intelligence Response Team, IRT, led by Deputy Police Commissioner Abba Kyari, was then assigned to begin an investigation into the matter. The crack team deployed to the state capital of Makurdi visited the site where the corpse was discovered as well as the NOUN research centre where Atache and Danasabe worked. It was during the investigation that Ikon was found to be a member of the dreaded Aye Confraternity and he had a feud over the sum of N70,000 with Atache.
The operatives also discovered that when he refused to pay him the said sum, Ikon invited his cult members to help him kill Francis. Ikon, who then confessed to committing the crime, was then presented with these facts.
Ikon said in an interview,
I’m a staff member of NOUN, Branch Markudi. I have a BSc in public administration. I’m 31 years old. Over five years, I started working with NOUN, as a senior clerical officer, as I used my diploma to apply for the job.
I applied for school studies while at work, where I got my BSc from NOUN. A junior clerical officer who served with me was Francis Atache. If I have produced information for students to go to the bank and pay their school fees, I usually give him the money to go and help me pay it.
I was preparing to go to Nassarawa on that day, and I gave Francis money to help me pay for my monthly Alhaji-organized donation. We will usually receive the money back with interest after several months or years. I informed him he would be given a paper that would serve as a receipt and show my balance if he paid the money.
I asked for the paper when I came back and he promised to bring it to work the next day. When I asked for the paper the next day, he gave me one excuse or another. After two days I didn’t hear from her, I called her again and she asked me why I gave money to Francis who wasn’t trustworthy. I reported it to his elder sister who was also working in the same office.
Then Francis began threatening me with a pistol. I also reported to the director about the matter. I told him that if he wanted to participate in a fraternity fight, after office hours, we should do it outside.
I later reported the case to the vigilante in our city, and for two days, he begged. Two days passed, and a week later, I called the guards to inform him again. The next day, Francis met me and told me that I ought to bring proof that I had given him the money. He made it clear to me that he wouldn’t pay me for my money. ” He said he was
In order to help him cope with Francis, Ikon said it was at this stage that he approached his cult members.
” I was bitter because I knew he was not going to give me the money at that point. I approached members of my cult and asked them to oversee his movement. There was a place near Bishop’s farm where we typically went to relax and smoke.
My cult members who spied on him got details on August 5 that he was going to buy marijuana and smoke there. I chose that venue to challenge him because people would believe that it was a cult battle if anything were to happen and would not take it seriously.
When he and his friends went there, about 15 of us went there to meet him. My boys asked him to surrender the money he had with him, and I faced him with the issue. At that point, he had more than N70, 000 which he wanted to use to buy marijuana that he would sell in the boys’ town.
He declined the money to surrender. In the meantime, I brought an axe as we came, and the others came with their weapons.
We began fighting when he declined to bring in the money. He stood up and went after me, and my boys hit him from behind with a stick and he fell down. He had begun to bleed and stopped moving.
Theywere all horrified and ran away from him. I ran home and picked up some of my clothes and left the house. I received reports that the police had identified the body. Unfortunately, we didn’t cover it, so I was found and detained. I didn’t expect that he would die like that.
I was remanded in custody after a few days in police detention. I had assured them, meanwhile, that I was innocent. I was surprised when the police arrived on August 29th and picked me up. Any of the boys who witnessed the incident were arrested. I had no choice but to say the truth to them. Initially, I denied it because they had no proof.
I used a stick, not an axe. I was initiated into the Aye fraternity by one Ernest in 2009. Aye means Emancipation of the African Youth. To win respect, it is common for any youth to join one cult group or the other. That was why I trusted Francis so much to give him such money to make payment for me. We still relate to other cult groups.
I just tried to threaten him as we typically did as members of the cult, but he died in the process. I was not the one who hit him with the rock, but when my guys were beating him, I pinned him down on the ground.