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Renewed appeal over personal trainer’s murder after months of ‘total silence’

Abraham Badru was shot dead in March near his home in Hackney, east London as he went to get drink from the boot of his car.

(Metropolitan Police/PA)
(Metropolitan Police/PA)

Detectives investigating the murder of a “hugely popular” personal trainer are facing “total silence” with even his friends failing to speak to police.

Abraham Badru, 26, was shot dead on March 25 near his home in Hackney, east London as he went to get drink from the boot of his AMG Mercedes.

Six months on and despite a £20,000 reward on offer, no arrests have been made and investigators still know little about parts of his life.

The personal trainer received a police bravery award in 2009 after stopping a gang rape and giving evidence against the attackers despite receiving death threats.

His family believe he may have been killed as revenge, but his love life and business interests are other lines of inquiry.

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh told the Press Association: “Abraham was a hugely popular young man. There were 200 to 250 people at his funeral.

“People have not come forward and there are big gaps in his life around his girlfriends, around his business interests that he was involved in.

“The answer lies within his friends because they would have known if something was adrift or wrong or out of the ordinary.”

Tributes on Ferncliff Road in Hackney, where Abraham Badru was shot dead on March 25 (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

He set out a detailed timeline of Abraham’s movements in the run up to his “well-planned” murder:

– The night before he died, September 24, Mr Badru went to a restaurant in Chelsea, Restaurant Ours, with a group of nine or 10 people for a friend’s birthday meal between 10pm and midnight.

– The group then left and drove in convoy to a nightclub at the Arbor Hotel, after which Mr Badru spent the night with a woman.

– The following day the Liverpool fan visited his father, who is a politician in Nigeria, and they ate in Nigerian restaurant 805 in Hendon.

– After leaving his father’s house, he visited another woman for 20 minutes on his way back to the home he shared with his mother Ronke.

– During the journey he called a girlfriend and the pair had a conversation for more than 40 minutes. They were still on the phone when Abraham was shot.

Mr McHugh said: “There seems to be an assumption that ‘my information isn’t important, someone else will make the call’. That is where we are missing gaps in his life, critical bits of the jigsaw.

“We don’t know what was going on totally in his life. One of those girlfriends, I would imagine they might be sufficiently close to him that they would have noticed a change in behaviour or a nervousness.”

As well as a lack of information from his friends, there has been no “chatter on the street” about the killing.

Ronke Badru, Abraham’s mother (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“We’ve just got a distinct void of intelligence,” Mr McHugh said. “That is where our problem comes from. One is a lack of intelligence coming from the community on the why and the who did it.

“On the other side of it there is a void of people coming forward, Abraham’s friends and people who knew him to say what was he doing on that night, what was his life like, who were his girlfriends. That’s two significant bits of our jigsaw that are missing.

“Look at Abraham’s mum Ronke, the pain that she’s in six months on, and your lack of a phone call is just compounding the pain that the family is going through.

“What is really frustrating is that there are a lot of friends out there for Abraham, he was a very well liked guy and people have not come forward.

“It’s implausible that people don’t know why this has happened. People will have been talking in and around that cluster of friends. Somebody knows the answer why and who the gunman was.”

So far the team has taken more than 163 statements and viewed more than 200 hours of CCTV, a painstaking process where a short clip can take hours to analyse.

Investigators have stressed they can receive information through third parties such as teachers, probation or charity staff, or Crimestoppers.

People will have been talking in and around that cluster of friends. Somebody knows the answer why and who the gunman was Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh

Mr McHugh said officers would be “very discreet” with any information received.

They are hoping Abraham’s friends will publicise the hunt for his killer on social media and encourage potential witnesses to come forward.

“It is heartbreaking when you look at Ronke and family and they just can’t understand why aren’t all his friends rallying around and coming up with the information,” Mr McHugh said.

“Then you look further at both the criminal community and the local community and there is a silence out there on Abraham’s murder.

“It’s a total silence. We need to find a way to try and unlock that information.”

Police believe Abraham’s killer, who may have been lying in wait, was riding a white bike.

He is believed to have emerged from an alleyway near the scene of the murder in Ferncliff Road, shot him twice and then escaped via another alleyway.

It is not known how the murderer knew where he would be, as he had changed his plans at the last minute.

Anyone with information can call the incident room on 020 8785 8099 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Press Association


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