The suspect, Clement Itoro, a 29-year-old suspect who was apprehended by police for allegedly killing Vanguard Journalist Tordue Salem, has claimed that he hit the deceased with his car and fled because he thought he was a thief.
Itoro, a commercial driver, who was paraded by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, at the headquarters of the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in Abuja on Friday, explained that he knocked down the deceased in the FCT’s Mabushi area.
Salem, a Benue State native who writes for publications and covers the House of Representatives, was last seen on October 13, 2021, in a circumstance that generated a national uproar.
Salem’s body was discovered twenty-nine days after he went missing, on November 11th.
Mba informed reporters that Clement was apprehended following an investigation conducted by the Force Intelligence Bureau.
He said Clement, who was driving a 2004 Toyota Camry with the license plate BWR 243 BK, admitted to hitting Vanguard Journalist Salem around 10:00 p.m. on the night of October 13, 2021, in the Mabushi area of Abuja, but fled.
During the parade, the suspect, Itoro, acknowledged running over an unidentified person at around 10:00 p.m. on the same day Tordue Salem went missing.
He claimed, however, that he did not stop to help his victim because he was afraid of being assaulted by armed robbers in the Mabushi neighborhood, where the accident occurred. He claimed that the Mabushi area is notorious for criminal activity and that he was afraid of being attacked.
“Until the next day, when I noticed a damaged phone on my windscreen, I thought it was an armed burglar.” I tossed away the phone because it was no longer functional. “Everyone knows where I knocked this individual down because it’s a criminal spot,” he claimed.
Itoro went on to say that after a few kilometers of driving, he came across a police checkpoint and informed the authorities on duty that he had hit down someone.
He claimed that the officers urged him to drive to the Wuse Police Station to report himself, but that he refused and instead drove straight to Good Friends Garden, where he always parks his car before returning home to his bed.
Mba explained how Itoro was apprehended, saying that detectives from the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) initiated an investigation into Late Vanguard Journalist Salem’s disappearance, which led them to his phone, which was discovered in Good Friends Garden, Mpape, Abuja.
“An apple fell on the car’s windscreen after Clement crashed Tordue, the victim’s smartphone,” he claimed. On the other hand, the accused dropped the phone outside Good Friends Garden, where he parked his car regularly. The iPhone was picked up by some guys working in the garden, and some of the iPhone’s components were sold.
The youths also began using the Sim for phone conversations, according to the police spokesman, which allowed the authorities to locate the phone and led to Itoro’s final arraignment.
Late Salem’s body was discovered at about 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 11, 2021, in the Wuse General Hospital Morgue in Abuja, according to him.
He claimed a Keystone bank debit card, a Union Bank debit card, an ID card provided by Vanguard Newspaper, an NUJ ID card, and a temporary ID card from the National Assembly Media Corp, all bearing the late journalist’s identity, were discovered during a check of the late journalist’s body.
The media who attended the march, however, were unsatisfied with Mba’s explanations and wondered why the management of Wuse General Hospital (where Salem’s body was discovered) did not report the occurrence for so long, given that paperwork belonging to Late Salem was on him.
In response to journalists’ questions, Mba stated that after all the facts of the case have been obtained, the police will address allegations of carelessness on the part of the hospital administration and even the police officers at the Wuse Checkpoint on the night of the accident.