A Warri, Delta State-based businessman, Kingsley Agbaire, who allegedly killed his business partner, broke down as the deceased’s body was being exhumed on Wednesday and asked the victim’s ghost for forgiveness.
A video posted online on Thursday showed Agbaire in handcuffs, crying out to his victim, identified as 51-year-old Lawrence Okoh, a Port Harcourt, Rivers State-based auto parts dealer, as security agents worked to extract the corpse of Okoh in a shallow grave where it was dumped in Warri.
Agbaire said “Lawrence, forgive me o. It was the devil that pushed me into killing you.”
He also begged the police to loosen his handcuffs so that he could beg his victim, but this request was rejected for fear that he might escape.
Agbaire said in the video that his business relationship with Okoh started few years ago when he was working in Lagos and dealing in auto parts.
“He used to bring parts to me which I supplied to companies. We have done business together before that amounted to N4m,” he said.
The relationship continued normally, until August 2, when Okoh reportedly took some auto parts to Lawrence in Warri, Saturday PUNCH learnt.
On the night of August 3, after making the delivery which was worth about N1.6m, Agbaire and an accomplice allegedly paid a visit to the house the deceased stayed in anytime he was in Warri.
While in the house, Agbaire said they smashed a bottle on his victim’s head and he died without putting up much of a fight.
According to him, Okoh could not raise the alarm because he was already weak.
After the murder, Agbaire and his accomplice reportedly dragged the body of the deceased to an uncompleted building beside the house and buried him in a shallow grave.
Asked if nobody saw them when they went into the house, Agbaire said he was not sure but that some children playing in the compound might have seen them.
“The children know me. I usually bought them biscuits anytime I came here,” he said.
In the video, security agents did not take long to unearth the body after Agbaire pointed out where they buried the body. The remains were then packed in a white casket as Agbaire shook his head and appeared to sob.
He said Okoh did him no harm and that “it was the devil that pushed me into killing you.”
Trouble first started when Okoh’s wife, Nneka, reported him missing after making many attempts to reach her husband on the phone.
She reportedly called her husband’s line but was said to be switched off. When she and other members of the family contacted Agbaire too, he disconnected the calls.
Agbaire would later confess that he broke the deceased’s SIM cards at a point.
The police said they were contacted because of suspicion that something might have happened to the deceased.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that when Agbaire was finally tracked down and arrested by the police, he first said that the last time he saw Okoh was when he left his house in annoyance due to disagreement over the quality of the parts he supplied.
The police said after more than two weeks of investigation and failure of Agbaire to tell them the whereabouts of the deceased, he finally confessed to the police how they killed him.
He also claimed that his accomplice identified as Kennedy was the one who did the actual killing and had fled to Ghana.
The spokesperson for the Delta State Police Command, Celestina Kalu, who confirmed the story, said the police are still on the trail of the fleeing accomplice and that investigation was still ongoing on the case.
She said Agbaire would be charged to court soon.