A 27-year-old man, Emmanuel Anikwe, on Tuesday appeared before an Ogba Magistrates’ Court for allegedly poisoning his United Kingdom (UK)-based lover, Prof Alexia Thomas.
Emmanuel, the professor’s cook, Priscilla Okogba, 26, and Uche Ogbonnaya, 43, are standing trial before Chief Magistrate Olufunke Sule-Amzat.
The prosecutor, Nosa Uhumwangho, said the defendants committed the offence with others at large, on June 19, at 37, Ahmed Onibudo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Uhumwangho said Emmanuel and Prof. Thomas, 47, were lovers, adding that the complainant had started processing a UK visa for the first defendant to enable both of them relocate abroad.
He alleged that Emmanuel plotted with his 52-year-old mother, Ifeoma Anikwe, now at large, to kill Thomas and defraud her of her property and savings.
Uhumwangho alleged that mother and son hired Okogba to work in Thomas’ home as a cook.
He said unknown to the professor, Okogba was Emmanuel’s girlfriend.
The prosecutor alleged that Okogba poisoned Thomas’ meal and she went into coma for over six hours.
“They also threatened to kill her by shouting at her that she would be dead if she did not leave Emmanuel alone,” Uhumwangho added.
He said before that, Emmanuel, his mother and Okogba had connived with Ogbonnaya to kidnap Thomas for a ransom.
“The kidnap plot failed because the professor was with some aides, who due to their appearance, they mistook them for security operatives,” Uhumwangho said.
The defendants pleaded not guilty.
Chief Magistrate Sule-Amzat granted them N200,000 bail with two sureties each in the like sum.
One of the sureties, she said, must be related to the defendants and employed. He must also show evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
The case continues on October 21.
•Credit (except for amended headline): The Nation.