WHEN late Mrs. Vivian Rafatu Ajibua, 61, employed one Felix Simon, 25 as a gateman in her private residence in GRA, Benin City seven months ago, she never knew that it was an employment of death.
The gateman had on Sunday, January 28, 2018 about 3am raised the alarm that fire had suddenly engulfed his boss apartment.
They rushed to the scene with buckets of water and eventually put out the fire.
Sadly, the owner and lone occupant of the apartment Madam Vivian Rafatu Ajibua a widow whose two children live abroad was found dead with severe burnt on her body inside her bedroom.
The police and relatives were contacted, as arrangement to move her corpse to mortuary was being made amid wailing and sorrow, a sympathizer sighted the gate man secretly throwing his belongings over the fence to a nearby uncompleted building.
The discovery was said to have triggered actionable suspicion which resulted in his arrest as he attempted to flee the compound.
Felix Simon’s arrest and interrogations led to the arrest of one Peter Zachariah and eight other private security guards in the victim’s neighborhood and recovery of some property stolen from her apartment.
In this exclusive interview with our reporter MIKE OSAROGIAGBON, the suspect narrates in Pidgin English his role in the barbaric murder of his employer and the setting ablaze of her room to show that her death was a result of a fire that enveloped the room.
Who is Felix Simon?
“I am from Mada village in Igon local government area of Nasarawa State. I work as a gateman in my madam’s house inside GRA, Benin City”.
How long have you been working there?
How much is your monthly pay?
“Before it was N15, 000. 00. After four months she increased it to N18, 000.00”.
Are you married?
Do you have children?
Where do you stay after work?
“I stay in the gatehouse”
Where is your madam now?
“She is dead”.
Who killed her?
“Musa and Isah”.
“Inside her room”.
“I don’t know”.
Do you know them?
“Yes, they are gatemen opposite madam’s house. They are our friends, they do help madam for small small house work”.
How did they enter the compound?
“Through the gate”.
“They just entered about 3 o’clock in the night”.
Where were you as the gateman?
“I opened the gate for them”.
“When my madam was not in the house they came and told me that they want to rob madam. I told them that madam was not at home. They left and returned in the night, Musa just slapped my face and told me to sit by the gate as they entered the house.
“After some minutes they left. Then I saw fire inside the house. I started shouting for help”.
Did you inform your madam when she returned?
Why did you not shout for help when they returned at night?
Were they with any weapon?
Why were you trying to run away when nobody pursued you from the compound?
“Oga! Na fear”.
Fear of who?
Now your madam is dead, what is in mind?
“I didn’t know they will kill her. I don’t know what came over me. This is evil”.
When our reporter visited the residence at Ugiagbe Street, Off Ogbonmwan Street, Off Ugbor Road, GRA, Benin City, last Monday the house was under lock and key.
Investigation revealed that the family who were tenants at the other apartment in the building parked out recently following a misunderstanding between them and their landlady.
It was learnt that the issue landed both parties at Ugbor police station and and later at the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) office, Zone 5 headquarters, Adesuwa road, Benin City.
The assailants were said to have secretly cut the on burglar proof at the second door to the woman’s apartment while she was away during the day as she did not notice it when she returned at night.
Sources revealed that the hoodlums took advantage of the rotational supply of electricity to the area.
The gateman was said to have hinted invaders that his madam usually wake up to cook about 3am when electricity is supplied to the area
He was further said to have informed his cliques that the best time to strike was when the woman will be cooking as she normally opened the kitchen door while cooking that period.
It was also scooped that when the hoodlums arrived the compound, they swiftly hooded and went straight to the apartment where they actually met the woman in the kitchen.
The hoodlums, Musa and Isah from Iyibadu in Nasarawa State, now at large attacked the woman.
The duo was said to have returned to the gateman to inform him that they killed the woman.
They were said to have engaged in a serious brainstorming session on the possible way to cover up their evil deed.
Felix Simon the gateman was said to have suggested that the petrol reserved for generator in the house should be used to burn the woman’s corpse inside her bedroom to give the impression that she died of inferno.
They were alleged to have gone back to the bedroom, poured the petrol on the corpse and the entire room and set ablaze.
The hoodlums allegedly watched to their satisfaction as the fire consumed the woman’s body and property in the room left with some of her cash and valuables.
It was also learnt that the gateman raised an alarm when he was convinced that his deadly “visitors” had successfully returned to their base.
Relatives of the deceased said she was the pillar of the family. A woman among them said she was with her deceased sister when the gateman called to find out whether she would returned home the previous day.
They described her death as devastating and called on the police to ensure justice is served in the case.
When the police arrived the scene about 7:43am on Sunday, sliced chicken, onions and tomatoes were seen in her kitchen as only the corpse and bedroom were burnt.
Commenting on the ugly incident, the commissioner of police in state CP Johnson Kokumo said the suspects in police net would be arraigned for robbery murder and arson.
Neither CP Kokumo nor the deceased family confirm whether she was a retired major as earlier reported in some media.