An oil worker with Halliburton Nigeria Limited, Bankole Charles, must have thought he was playing with an ordinary woman when he met Loretta Odikagbo, on Badoo, a dating site on social media, and started a relationship with her.
Little did he know that the affair would end his life when the same lady led some men to his house to snuff life out of him when she found out that he was married with children.
The 28-year-old Okadigbo met the deceased who is from Ondo State on the site in 2013 and they kicked off a relationship without knowing he was a married man and had hopes of getting married to him till she found out that he was already taken and in a fit of jealousy, organized his murder.
The breakingpoint cane when she found out that Charles was married and when she confronted him, he owned up to it but promised to buy her a car as compensation but when he failed to fulfil his promise, Okadigbo enlisted the help of one Ime Francis Moses, an Akwa Ibom indigene and another man who is still at large and stormed his Woji, Port Harcourt, Rivers State residence, and ended his life.
Odikagbo, an Ordinary National Diploma holder in Marketing from the River State Polytechnic (RIVPOLY), and Moses, a university drop out, are now languishing in the cells of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), after they were arrested following the murder of Charles.
The SCID team traced Odikagbo to the residence of her other boyfriend whom she was putting up with at Rumukpokwu, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area on December 10, last year.
Odikagbo confessed to her crime:
“I was arrested over the death of my boyfriend, late Charles Bankole. I conspired with my friend and took my in-law to his house to harass him so I could get some money from him, which led to his death, but I was not there when he died.
I was at the Automated Teller Machine (ATM). There is a third person that can tell the story of how he died but unfortunately, he has not been arrested. So, he is not here now. This story can’t be complete if the third person is not arrested.
I am 28 years. I met Bankole on the internet. I initially did not know that Bankole was married; overtime I discovered. He actually promised to settle things with me. He talked about buying a car.
When I hinted this to my in-law (Ime), he said he had a way to help me get what I wanted from him and I conceded to the idea.
On the agreed day, I moved into Bankole’s house and waited for them there. He came with another of his friend. I opened the door for them. They came in.
His junior started tying Bankole up. Ime was holding a torch which they came with because this happened in the night and there was no electricity supply and it was raining heavily.
At a point, I decided to go to the ATM with his (Bankole’s) card to withdraw some money from his bank account. One of the two men decided to go with me. So, my in-law (Ime) was left behind with Bankole who was still alive when we left.
He (Ime) later met me at the ATM point to get some money from me. He informed me that he called a taxi driver to carry some things from Bankole’s house. I told him that I was going because it was already late at night.
I was arrested on December 10, brought here (at the SCID), and showed picture of lifeless body of Bankole. I don’t know who killed him. The relationship lasted for over a year. I am not so certain because we related a long time on the Internet before we met in real life.”
On her reaction that the late man was married, she said:
“I was not actually angry, but he did not just tell me he was married. We never discussed marriage.
At a point, we were serious with the relationship but when I discovered his marital status, I was disappointed and decided to pull out to continue with my life but he insisted on buying me a car instead to calm me down. That was what happened.
I feel so terrible and primitive. I am guilty of the crime. Bankole was my first Internet boyfriend; I am not used to meeting people on the Internet or Facebook. I blame my action on hanging out with wrong friends.”
But the Eket-born Ime gave a different account on how Charles died, making it clear that it was Loretta that actually killed him.
Hear his account:
“Loretta called and informed me that her boyfriend owed her some money, which he was supposed to use and settle her out of their broken relationship but he was turning her up and down.
I promised to help her get the money out from the man. On the day agreed, she called me and picked me up at my street junction, from where we proceeded to pick another boy she had earlier called for the job, but the boy came and declined going with us.
On our way out from the boy’s junction, we met another boy who I know that loads taxi at the junction there. I called him and she explained to him what she wanted to do that night; he agreed to go with us.
When we got to the man’s house, she went in while we stood under the staircase of the one-storey building he shared with other occupants, waiting for her instructions. I was holding a torch light which she gave me money to buy and a holding a car window winder, which looked like a gun, while the boy was holding a rope and cellotape she brought.
After a while, she came and opened the door for us. We got in through the kitchen, where we stood before she called us to come to the bedroom where she was with the man.
When we stepped into the room, I pointed the torch light on the man and told him that he befriended our sister for such a period of time, and pushed her out empty and without shelter, no settlement.
The man pleaded that we should wait, that he was going to settle her. At that point, she started to slap the man all over his face and used the tape to tape his mouth, after which the other boy tied his legs and hands.
It was then she asked the man for his ATM card and pin; she got them and went to the ATM point with the boy, while I was left with the man in case the pin failed. While they left for the ATM, they carried the man’s phone and laptop.
After a while, she came back to me at the man’s house. I asked her to come let us go, she said, ‘no’, that the man knows her very well, that if we should leave him at this junction, he will definitely come after her, and that when he gets her, she will mention my name. She asked if I will like to be arrested, I said ‘no’.
She now went to the man’s kitchen and brought polythene bag which she wore on the man’s head and sat on it. As the man was struggling, I held his head until the man was motionless.
She gave me N28, 000 only. I feel very guilty for the action.”