A London teenager on trial for the fatal stabbing of a University of Northampton student tried to flee to Nigeria after the attack, a court heard on Friday, October 13.
Ogechi Eke, 19, and Melvin Lebaga-Idubor, 19, were accused of murdering Kwabena Osei-Poku, also known as Alfred, on April 23.
The prosecution alleges that the killing resulted from a drug turf war and that Lebaga-Idubor stabbed Osei-Poku after the two men had an altercation over a quantity of cannabis.
After the stabbing, Lebaga-Idubor fled to his friend’s student flat, where his clothes were burnt in a barrel in the garden. He then escaped to London via taxi and Paris via the Eurostar.
In France, Lebaga-Idubor tried to book multiple flights to Lagos, Nigeria, but missed the initial flight and the following one was cancelled. He was eventually persuaded by family and friends to return to the UK, and was arrested at St Pancras Station on April 25.
In a pre-written statement to police, Lebaga-Idubor said that he had acted in self-defence after being attacked by Osei-Poku. However, the prosecution suggests that Lebaga-Idubor returned to the UK because he ‘missed his flight to Lagos, by which time his whereabouts was known to the police’.
Eke, described as ‘the most popular drug dealer’ at the University of Northampton, was arrested on campus at 1.15am on the night of the stabbing. He denies murder and stabbing anyone that night, and says that he was only trying to ‘diffuse’ the situation between Lebaga-Idubor and Osei-Poku.
The defence is yet to deliver opening statements. The trial continues.