The Cross River State Police Command has arrested a man, identified as Ekemini Bassey for allegedly killing his father, a retired University of Calabar lecturer, Prof. Nathaniel Bassey, to claim his N40m gratuity.
Ekemini’s brother, Odiong Bassey, is also wanted by the police for being an accomplice in the alleged murder.
Punch Metro learnt on Saturday that the duo had been having a running battle with their late father, who was not pleased with their recent negative behaviours.A family source, who pleaded anonymity, said Ekemini and Odiong, who are university drop-outs, had been making frivolous financial demands on their late father.
Punch Metro further learnt that the retired lecturer was said to have complained to some of his colleagues that his children were intimidating him into borrowing money to meet their demands, which did not go down well with him.
Police sources told our correspondent that things, however, became tense in the house after the boys got clues that their father was due to be paid N40m.
One of the sources said, “Ekemini confessed that they got some clues that their father, who was teaching on contract basis after his retirement, was about to be paid his benefits and gratuity of over N40m and they decided to kill him so that the money would be paid to them as the next of kin.”
The sources added that Ekemini confessed during interrogation that they stabbed their father three times in different parts of the body and stuffed his mouth with old newspapers so that he would not cry for help.
It was learnt that penultimate week, Ekemini and his brother killed their father and tactically dropped a knife beside him to create the impression that their father committed suicide out of frustration.
Luck, however, ran out of the brothers after Ekemini hired an ambulance to convey the father’s corpse to Nsit-Ubium in Akwa Ibom State for burial. He was accosted by security agents, who were brought by some senior staff of the university.
A source at the university said, “On getting wind of the death of the lecturer, the university security authorities swung into action and arrested Ekemini while his brother took off to unknown destination.”
When Punch Metro visited the state Criminal Investigation Department in Calabar, it was learnt that Ekeminin was being interrogated and as at the time of filing this report, Ekeminin was still with the police interrogators for his role in the alleged murder of his father.
UNICAL’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. James Utsalo, said, “Well, we cannot comment on the matter because it is a criminal case and police are handling it, so we are still awaiting the official report. Besides, the autopsy report is not out; when it is out we will know what killed him.”
The Officer-in-Charge, Homicide unit of the State CID, Mr. Joseph Inuyashi, confirmed the incident, saying investigation on the matter was ongoing.
He said the police were still on the trail of Odiong, who is on the run.