A preliminary investigation by the police has shown how Systems Engineer and winner of 2018 IBM competition, David Nketim-Rex, was killed.
Top police sources as well as a relative of the deceased told The PUNCH on Monday that David was shot by robbers on a motorcycle along Jibowu Street in the Jibowu area of Lagos State, last Friday..
David, who was the son of Dr. Yetunde Nketim-Rex, a senior lecturer at the English Department in the University of Lagos, was said to have been dropped off by a cousin named Nicholas around 8pm.
The deceased was said to have walked down to Jibowu Street near Finicky Restaurant which has no functioning streetlights.
While waiting to board a vehicle that would convey him home which is close to WAEC bus stop, he was said to have been using his Samsung phone and this caught the attention of the hoodlums.
An attempt by the hoodlums to snatch David’s phone was resisted and this was said to have infuriated them as one of them brought out a gun and shot him at close range before fleeing with the phone.
A source said, “The incident occurred around 20.00 hours on January 15, 2020. The cousin of the deceased, Nicholas, said they closed from work and they were on their way home. But he said he had to do something and then dropped off David at GUO Transport who was going home.
“From preliminary investigation and from what some eyewitnesses said, a guy alighted from a motorcycle and attempted to snatch David’s phone. A scuffle ensued and the man shot him at close range and fled with the phone.”
A relative of the deceased, who confirmed the preliminary report, said it was when Nicholas arrived home and didn’t see David that the family began to fear that something had gone wrong.
They were said to have launched a manhunt for David and found him lying in a pool of blood.
He said, “When Nicholas returned home, he didn’t see David. He said that Nicholas ought to have arrived because he dropped him off at GUO and should have arrived at home within a few minutes because their home is a short distance from where he was dropped off.
“They called his phone but it was switched off. It was at that time that they began tracing him. On getting to Jibowu Street, he was found lying in a pool of blood and policemen were there.”
The relative, however, said the police failed to act on time because David had not yet been confirmed dead when the policemen arrived.
He said the policemen had already declared the spot a crime scene and assumed that David was dead.
But the Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said David was already dead when they arrived at the scene.
He said, “On getting to the scene, policemen met his lifeless body but relations insisted that he was not dead. So, police took him to Military Hospital, Yaba but the hospital said they could not treat him and then referred him to LUTH.
“He was accepted at LUTH and he was confirmed dead. The family returned to police to get extracts at the station for mortuary. So, the allegation of the police abandoning him is not true. The incident is unfortunate and we sympathise with the family but we did what we could.”
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the case had been transferred from the Sabo Police Division to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti.
“The policemen at Sabo said armed robbery and homicide cases are not handled at police stations. So Panti has taken over the investigation,” a relative said.
David, according to a 2018 statement by IBM, had beaten 17,000 others from around the world including finalists from Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Nepal and the United States to emerge as the co-regional winner of the annual Master the Mainframe competition, organised by AngelHack and IBM Z Academic Initiative.
The deceased, who was described as a tech wizard by friends, bagged several certificates and accomplishments before graduating from the Department of Systems Engineering at the University of Lagos in 2019.
Friends have continued to mourn him on social media.
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