The remnants of a decomposed body of a man found in the bedroom of his house after four years has left residents of Apete in Ibadan in shock.
The deceased have been unveiled as Aderemi John Abiola.
OYO Police Command after discreet information announced that they have also located his family.
A statement by the police in Oyo State said family members of the deceased confirmed that the deceased’s name was Aderemi John Abiola and that he was last seen around 2018.
The statement signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Adewale Osifeso, said the discovery was a result of “solid partnership and provision of credible information to the Oyo State Police Command.”
Oyo Police Command said: “Anchoring on the strength of solid communal partnerships and provision of credible information to the Oyo State Police Command, on Sunday 04/09/2022 at about 1400hrs, representatives from the Landlord/ Landlady’s Association of Idi-Orogbo, Adeosun, Life Forte Area, Awotan, Apete, Ibadan reported a case of suspected sudden and unnatural death at Apete Divisional Police Headquarters.
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“In swift coordinated response to the information provided, the Divisional Police Officer and a team of crime and forensic detectives approached the three-bedroom block residence of the deceased and found his remains glued to his beddings lying upward with no visible signs of struggle at a glance.
“Preliminary findings from residents of the community and the driver’s license found in his wallet revealed that the deceased was indeed Aderemi John Abiola and was last seen around 2018, a fact corroborated by family members of the deceased when contacted by detectives of the Command attached to the SCID.
“Furthermore, the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Police Command, CP Adebowale Williams while appealing to well-meaning members of the public for assistance regarding the provision of useful information has also directed the immediate transfer of the case to the Command’s apex investigation body, the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).
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“In furtherance of the above, the scene has since been cordoned in the interest of public health and safety to enable the completion of the investigation aimed at demystifying the possible cause of death.
“Lastly, the case is actively monitored with the assurances of detailed updates provided accordingly, please.”
The late Aderemi John Abiola was said to have been seen by neighbours four years ago during one of his occasional trip to Ibadan from Portharcourt in Rivers State where he resides at the time.
Though he told about two of those he used to communicate with of his intention to go to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and be back for Ileya ceremony in 2018 but no one saw him during the festivity.
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Calls to his phone lines were not going through other. After it was noticed that the weeds in his compound had grown bushy, the community landlords were said to have decided in a meeting to find a means of getting access to the premises to clear the bush.
However, they were said to have jettisoned the idea because of the implication in the law.
From then to 2021, till 2022 is getting to the end, the residents of the community who did not know his whereabouts decided again to go and clear the bush.
The cause of his death is yet to be ascertained but residents in the area said none of them in the area knew about the incident until this week when the community decided to enter into the compound to cut the overgrown grass inside his compound which has become a haven for snakes and rodents.
It was gathered that the Abokis who were contracted for the job of cutting the grass in the deceased compound were told to jump into the compound since the gate of the house were locked from behind only for them to find the car of the house owner is in the premises and has been covered with grass.
According to eyewitness , after managing to cut down the bush, they peeped at the window of the building and saw the skeleton of the decomposed corpse on his bed with a phone in his hand.
Officers of the oyo state police command are currently carrying out a comprehensive investigation into the incident.
A bottle of Astymin, packets of Bicarbonate of soda, vitamin C, Coartem (an antimalaria) and herbal tea covered with dust in his room.
It was evident from his skull and exposed teeth that he was gaptoothed in front. Also, his boxers could still be seen around his waist while the top he must have worn had been eaten by his rotten flesh.
Only a tiny piece remained by his side.
His plasma TV was still hanging on the wall and his wardrobe still had his clothing and other items. Mr Abiola, whose date of birth was discovered to be October 1, 1955, reportedly moved into the house in July 2017, but was not in close relationship with other residents except formal greetings whenever their paths crossed.
Mysterious. No news of B&E. No sign of struggle. No murder weapon in sight. Posture seems relaxed. Diagonal placement of pillow on bed suggests he most likely had a rough/hectic day, came home, dropped on his bed to relax (like we all do on such days), slumped instead and died.
Known as an engineer who was based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with his family before moving to Ibadan, he was said to have lived in a couple of areas within the city before constructing the house in Adeosun Community.
He was also known for his frequent travels to Port Harcourt to do his engineering work whenever the need arose.
The central chairman of Adeosun/Idi Orogbo Landlords’ Association, Mr Oluwafemi Omilana, said that late Mr Abiola always paid his dues.
“But we noticed that he didn’t associate with others and he came to landlords’ meeting just once. His house has a high fence and was constructed at the back with big space in front to the gate.
“We started noticing his absence in the community, although he didn’t mostly stay at home. He used to travel to Port Harcourt in Rivers State. He was an engineer. His compound had become so bushy that snakes were just being seen crawling from there into the house beside him. At a point, we had a meeting and decided to go over the fence to clear the bush.
“On Sunday, we came there with the owner of the house beside him, paid some labourers to clear the bush. When they cleared the front of his building within the compound and could see the house clearly, they saw that the window was open. They peeped in and saw that the man had died a long time ago, with only his skeleton on his bed.
“Immediately, I called the Divisional Police, Apete Division. When we got to the entrance to his apartment, we discovered that it was locked from the inside. We forced it open and saw his skeleton on his bed, with his three phones. One was by his left hand, one was at the back of his head and connected to the wall socket and the third one by his right side. The police have tried to source for his contacts so that we can reach his family but the phone lines had become invalid. There was a phone number we found on one of his identity cards and I called it, but the person called and those with him were just laughing. It seemed they found the enquiries we were making strange. We have the feeling that the number has been re-allocated to another person.
“We have not been able to trace any member of his family. We also made efforts to get needed information from those who worked for him as bricklayer, welder, mechanic, but they told us that Mr Abiola was not the type to disclose his family information to anyone. He used to be alone. We learnt that he and his wife had a disagreement in Port Harcourt and separated. That was why he decided to move into the house he built at Adeosun without letting anyone know where he was.”
Mr Omilana said that the skeleton had not been removed because the community does not want to risk anything.
“The environmental officials were with us but they said that we should do it but get approval from the environment authorities. Now, we want to try and trace the family as much as we can. Mr Abiola had once told one of those who worked with him that his mother was living at Agugu. We want to go there and trace the area to get his family. If that is not successful, we will get the approval from the Ministry of Environment and do the necessary,” he further said.
The secretary of the landlords’ association, Pastor Olusola Bobade, in his contribution said that the deceased moved to his house in July 2017.
“He was coming from Port Harcourt then to construct the building. We initially exempted him from paying development fee but he started paying in January 2018 and was consistent. In October same year, he paid in advance for the rest of the year. The way I perceived him was that he was quiet and didn’t like to relate. He paid all community dues but used not to attend meetings. When we didn’t see him, we were calling his line but it was not going through,” the secretary stated.
A furniture maker, Mr Mohammed Ademola, who also lives in Adeosun and helped the deceased to do some furniture works, including doors and wardrobe, told Nigerian Tribune: “It was in 2018 I did all the work for him. Even, I was the one who did the carpentry work on the building he started constructing beside the main one for tenants that would be home whenever he would need to travel and also be his companions.
“Shortly before Ileya celebration that year, he said he wanted to travel to Port Harcourt and would not spend more than two weeks. He said that he would be back to celebrate Ileya in Ibadan. We were expecting his return but the day after Ileya, my friend, a plank seller who supplied him the ones used for the building he was constructing, noticed that we didn’t see Mr Abiola. His gate has a key that would not reveal if he was in or out, so we didn’t know if he was back or not. We were thinking that he was further engaged in his work or got sick in Port Harcourt. And none of his family members knew where he was living. He had said he would let them know later.
“After a while, the chairman of our landlords’ association went to the police station but was told to hold on and still watch for his return so that it would not lead to litigation on trespassing.
“It happened that the owner of the land beside his own moved in. Snakes were creeping into his house from Mr Abiola’s bushy side, so he notified the community and we decided to clear the bush. The gate was broken on Sunday and we saw that it was locked from inside.
“That was what raised concern in me that he must have been inside when we thought he was still away. After clearing the bush in front, I noticed that the window of his room was open but the curtain drawn. I prayed silently that the situation would not be negative. I collected a cutlass from one of the labourers and used it to cut off part of his window net. As I peeped in, I was shocked when I beheld his skeleton strewn on his bed. I quickly called others outside to notify them. That was how the news spread.”
Mr Ademola also confirmed that the deceased was not known with any of his family members.
“The little I got from him was because I was doing some jobs for him. He told me his village was at Lalupon area and his mother was in Agugu where he used to go to give her money every month. He was an Ibadan indigene. He also told me his family has a farm but he refused to be active in it so that he would not be seen as wanting to get something from it. He was just telling me that we would know his people very soon. I never thought that we would likely know his family this way.
“He told me two of his children are in the United States of America. He once called one of the children, a female, in my presence and they spoke for a long time while I kept working. So he had people but we don’t know them. He told me he had a storey building with four flats in Port Harcourt where his wife was staying.
“He also told me he had high blood pressure and used to taking his medication. Even while working, he would leave where dust was raised or smoke was coming, saying that at his age, he would not like to breathe such in as his health could not sustained such. So, he used to take care of his health.” Mr Kazeem Raji, another man that had interaction with the late engineer when he was alive, burst into tears when he was about to speak.
After gaining composure, he said: “I used to address the deceased as Brother Biola. I knew him over 20 years ago. I helped him when he was constructing his house at Adeosun. I knew him through the master that I did apprenticeship with. He and his friend then, whom I addressed as Brother Bunmi, used to go to Cotonou, Republic of Benin together. At a time, we didn’t see him again. I saw him again about 15 years after. Even, I was the one who helped him to purchase his Golf car.
“He used to travel a lot and would sometimes drop one of his phones, at home. The last time he travelled and didn’t see him, I thought he was still away. He had obtained visa to travel to the USA and he informed me about It, so I thought he had travelled out of Nigeria. That was my belief until this shocking discovery.”
He said his wife is an Igbo by tribe but that they had separated; it is difficult to trace his family.