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Members of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Lagos Chapter have called on the Inspector-General of Police, to order the re-arrest of a murder suspect; Mr. Olugbenga James who was reportedly discharged by a Lagos Magistrate Court through what is suspected to be a conspiracy between some police officers at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti and the judiciary.

Addressing pressmen in Lagos on Saturday at a rally by the Ijaw youths who were protesting the illegal discharge of James by Magistrate Court 1, Sabo Yaba on May 5, 2020, the IYC Chairman; Comrade Henry Oyobolo said Olugbenga James who is the Chairman, Landlords Association at Victory Estate, Iba Lagos reportedly shot 23-year-old Steven Duobra Legbe, a popular footballer of Ijaw extraction in the area at night on April 18, 2020.

The IYC chieftain who was at the event with the deceased father, Mr. Benson Legbe, their family lawyer; Barrister Paul Kurekure, eye witnesses at the scene of incident and many others, gave a narration of the incident and wondered why the young man who was already getting set to travel to Europe to pursue a career in football could be murdered gruesomely without a reasonable cause.

The IYC Chairman speaking on behalf of the family said Legbe had gone out in the night of April 18, within the Victory Estate when he was accosted by Olugbenga James and some other residents who reportedly were on vigilante activities. According to them, Steven Legbe was well known in the Estate as he was said to have friendly personality and outspoken disposition.

For some reasons yet to be fully established, Olugbenga James was said to have threatened Legbe on that same night of 18th April, with a vow kill him.

According to two eyewitnesses who attended the rally, the threat had come as a surprise since there was no known misunderstanding between the Chairman and the young footballer. The only incident, they would remember was what they called mild challenge during which Legbe in his usual outspokenness was said to have asked Olugbenga James while he should convert some stimulus packages donated to residents of the area to his own instead of sharing to others.

Olugbenga who was said to be a “terror” to most residents of the area as he often paraded himself as a former military officer, while threatening Legbe a few hours before he was eventually shot to death, had earlier openly boasted that he would kill the footballer and nothing would happen.

At about 4 am, the same April 18, 2020, Olugbenga James was said to have gotten hold of the young man during vigilante activities and hit Legbe’s head with the helmet.

As the footballer forcefully extricated himself from the clutches of James and made effort to walk away, the terror looking Landlords chairman reportedly snatched a gun from one of the vigilante men and shot Legbe in the chest.

Sequel to the pandemonium generated by the sudden firing of a shot at the footballer, the Chairman was said to have quickly taken the body in a vehicle to an undisclosed place thereby making it difficult for the family to have easy access to him.

According to the IYC spokesman, when he was alerted and he eventually arrived the scene, angry youths of the area were in the tensed mood to attack Olugbenga James’ residence but for the quick intervention of the Commander in charge of Area E Command, FESTAC who assured the footballer’s father that the young man was receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital. Little did the family know it was all a ploy to allow tempers to calm down when the commander knew that he was already dead.

Father of the deceased was eventually made to see the suspect in police custody about three days after the incident during which the police told him that his son’s corpse was in the mortuary.

The incident which was initially being handled by the Iba Police Division under Area E Command was transferred to SCID where one Yemi, a police officer was assigned the job as Investigating Police Officer (IPO).

Joining the IYC Chairman to explain further, lawyer to the Legbe family, Barrister Paul Kurekure said that sequel to the arrest of Olugbenga James and Isiaka Oluwaseun in connection with the killing and their subsequent transfer to SCID for further investigation and prosecution, a remand application with a two-count charge was filed at Magistrate Court 1, Sabo Yaba Lagos on May 4, 2020. Count one bordering on conspiracy to commit murder, a felony while count two centered on the actual murder of Mr. Steven Doubra Legbe on the night of April 18, 2020.


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