London returnee owner of a Lagos hotel killed by her workers
A London-based owner of a Nigerian hotel was found dead in a bedroom after five workers drugged fellow staff with poisoned noodles in a robbery plot, police in the country have said.
Mother-of-four Abimbola Olusola, 56, was found tied to a bed by her son at the hotel near the Nigerian city of Lagos, according to relatives.
Tunji Omikunle, the hotel’s manager, was also found dead.
He had gone to bed before an evening meal of instant noodles laced with a powerful sleeping drug was served to unsuspecting staff, but was woken when one of the plotters tried to snatch keys from his pocket.
Mr Omikunle was strangled in the ensuing struggle, according to Lagos police chief Edgal Imohimi, before the robbers battered down Ms Olusola’s bedroom door, ransacked her room and left her for dead.
She moved from Nigeria to Hackney more than 30 years ago to raise her family and returned to Lagos last year to oversee the Etashol hotel. Its royal suite costs £120 a night.
Her daughter Melisa Whiskey, a renowned Afrobeat singer signed to BMG, paid tribute on Instagram. She said: “My life will never be the same, I will never be the same. She was the most determined and hard-working person I met in life.”
She also appealed for information to track down the suspects, saying: “My brother … found her dead body. This heinous crime cannot go just like that.”
Ms Olusola’s sister Abiodun Teriba added: “She was a hard-working mom, a mother-of-four and was living in England for over 34 years. She decided last year it was time to go back home and settle, in just one year she was murdered like a goat.”
Police in Lagos yesterday arrested Vincent Ehizojie, 35, in connection with the killings and are still looking for four other suspects.
Mr Imohimi told reporters: “According to the prime suspect, all the conspirators agreed that they had no future in the company because they believed the deceased was miserly.
“They therefore agreed that she must be robbed of her hard-earned local and foreign currency being a London returnee.” He said that after killing the hotel manager, the gang forced their way into Ms Olusola’s bedroom.
“They met an obviously shocked woman in the room and bound her hand and leg. By the time they were through, the woman died,” Mr Imohimi said. “The gang stole her money (about £100), jewellery and other personal effects … [but] they abandoned the loot in the hotel.
“An investigation has established a prima facie case of conspiracy and murder against the suspects for the murder of the deceased person.”