A 35-year-old businessman, Kelvin Nwabuno, who was shot alongside his friend, Abdulahi Animashahun, 30, and a student, Charles Edet, 18, has faulted the reported release of the suspect, Kingsley Enageghe.
He also alleged that some persons who claimed to be acting for Enageghe threatened him over the matter.
Enageghe, who is the Director of Queens Victory Guest House, Ijeshatedo, Lagos State, allegedly shot the victims on Thursday, January 5, at the facility.
Nwabuno was said to have lodged in the guest house and complained about a faulty television in his room.
The hotelier reportedly returned his money and asked him to vacate the room.
In the heat of the argument that followed, Enageghe allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Nwabuno, as bullets also hit Animashaun and Edet, who were at the scene.
Enageghe was later arrested and moved to the State Criminal Investigations Department, Yaba.
Nwabuno, however, claimed that the police released the suspect without taking him to court, adding that the guest house, which was shut, had also been re-opened.
He said, “The police told us that they would keep him in their custody to give room for negotiations. We initially demanded N14m compensation and he said he had nothing to pay. He later offered to pay N1.5m, but we asked him to pay N6m. The last he said he could pay was N4m but that was not enough for the three of us.
“So, we concluded he should be charged, but to our surprise, the police released him without informing us. In fact, his guest house which was shut because of the incident has been re-opened and now in operation. Since we were expecting the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to charge him, my lawyer went to Panti (SCID) on Tuesday to confirm if they duplicated the case file and sent it to the DPP only to discover that the case file was not duplicated.
“He confronted the leader of the team in charge of the case and the man said they were waiting for us. It seems the police have compromised. That man is not supposed to be out of police custody.”
Nwabuno said a man called and threatened him for rejecting the suspect’s offer.
“The leader of a motor park in the area called and started threatening me on the phone. He said he knew the IG and the state police commissioner, and that if we decided not to yield, he might use his power against us. I told him that he knew nothing and that there was nothing he could do. I reported him to the OPC chairman in the community who called and cautioned him,” he added.
The victims’ lawyer, Solomon Odubanjo, demanded the prosecution of the hotelier.
He said, “I was not aware of the suspect’s release. It was Kelvin (Nwabuno) that called me. Then I called the IPO, who also confirmed it. He said it was a bailable offence and that his health was bad and he was taken to a police hospital. They said since we are trying to settle, they should release him to go and prepare himself on how to get money to sort the victims and also take care of himself.
“The proper thing to do was to inform us about his release; but the police appeared to be acting in his favour. That is why we have decided not to discuss anything concerning money with them again. We just want the man to be prosecuted.
“The suspect initially wanted to settle out of court but what he offered was small. So, we decided that the case be taken to court. Since we have noticed the stance of the police on the matter and how they are going about it, we decided to see the head of DPP in the Ministry of Justice for prosecution. A letter has been sent from the AIG Zone 2 to the SCID, informing them that the matter should be handed over to the DPP for prosecution. Even though they want to settle out of court, we want them to charge him first.”
The suspect’s family lawyer, Michael Opete, said the hotelier was in touch with the victims.
He said, “He was released on health grounds and he is still in touch with the victims and their families. I am not aware of the threat claim.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, could not be reached for reaction as calls made to his telephone were not answered.
He had yet to reply to a text message sent to him as of the time this report was filed.
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