Date: 25 Mar 2018
Abraham Badru was shot outside his house in Ferncliff Road, Hackney.
He was shot in the chest with a shotgun as he got out of his AMG Mercedes car just at 11.11pm on 25 March 2018. He had been speaking to a woman on the phone at the time and had got out to get a drink from the boot of his car.
He died at the scene.
He had earlier been out shopping and had collected a takeaway and seen his father. It was known that between 10:20pm and 10:40pm that he had called on a woman before heading off home. It was determined that during his journey home that he had called another woman with whom he had a 44 minute conversation with and whom he had been on the phone to when he was shot at 11.11pm. The woman that he had been on the phone to at the time said that she heard a number of loud bangs and then the sound of screeching tyres.
His mother said that she thought that he might have been shot in revenge for testifying against a rape gang. The case had involved a girl that had been raped on the Frampton Park Estate, South Hackney, in 2007 for which Abraham Badru received a police bravery award. The case was heard at the Old Bailey and he had been 14 years old at the time. However, it was later heard at his inquest in February 2022 that all of the gang rape suspects had alibis for the night of 25 March 2018.
Abraham Badru was the son of a Nigerian politician and had seen him earlier in the day he was murdered.
An 18-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder in November 2018 but no further developments were made in the case. However, the police said the arrest of the woman was the result of a separate line of enquiry and not linked to the rape case.
A 20-year-old man was later interviewed under caution in September 2019. The man had been in a London prison for an unrelated crime at the time of his interview.
The police noted that there were at least five potential witnesses that had been in the street at the time Abraham Badru was shot that had not come forward.
Four of them were detailed as:
The police noted that they were looking to speak to a man and a woman who were in Ferncliff Road just before the murder. The police said that they were both white, the woman wearing a three-quarter length Puffa-style coat and the man wearing shorts.
They said that they were also interested in speaking to a black male that was seen soon after the shooting running from the scene and getting on a white bike in a nearby alleyway. He was said to have been wearing a black Puffa-type jacket and to have had a rucksack. His bicycle was said to have had no lights. The police later said, 'We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw a male cycling in the area around the time of the murder on a white bicycle, this could be the killer'. It was thought that he had gone off towards Downs Park Road and then turned right into an alley into Langford Close.
The police said that they thought that the gunman had arrived minutes before Abraham Badru and had then lain in wait for him. However, it was noted that Abraham Badru had not been planning to return home that night.
The police said that they were also interested in hearing from a woman that had called the police incident room in June 2018. They said, 'The caller was ringing on behalf of a friend who I believe holds really important information and could have seen something vital at the time of, or immediately after, Abraham's murder. If you're that person please call us back'.
The police said that they were investigating whether his murder was connected to any of his relationships, noting that he had several. They said, 'But we also have a significant number of gaps in the jigsaw of what is known about Abraham himself. For instance, we believe Abraham had a number of girlfriends and we are keen to know who they were'.
The police added that they were also looking into his business interests for potential lines of enquiry.
However, they were also considering that his murder had been a case of mistaken identity in gang related activity.
The police noted that they had recovered Abraham Badru's laptop which they thought could be significant.
In September 2018 the police said that they had taken 163 statements, followed up over 600 lines of inquiry and viewed 200 hours of CCTV footage.
They also said that they thought that the answer to his murder lay in the community. A detective said, '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'.
The police added that they had come up against 'total silence' in the case, both from potential witnesses as well as from his friends who had refused to speak to the police.
A timeline of his movements before his murder was also built up:
It was noted that Abraham Badru had not been planning to go home that night but had changed his plans and the police said that it was not clear how the gunman had known where he would have been there at that time. The police added that they thought that it was possible that the gunman had been watching Abraham Badru's house in the days or weeks before the murder. The police said, 'What seems out of the ordinary is that Abraham was with family earlier in the evening and he hadn’t planned to come home. It was a change of plans. How did the killer know that he was going to be there?'.
A Detective Chief Inspector said, '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. We’ve just got a distinct void of intelligence. 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 was doing on that night, what was his life like, who were his girlfriends. That’s two significant bits of our jigsaw that are missing'.
He went on to say, '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'.
He also said, 'He doesn’t have anything in his lifestyle that we are aware of that would suggest that he is mixing or engaged in the kind of criminality that would cause this kind of action to be taken'.
At his inquest in February 2022 the police said, 'We still haven't, to this day, identified any links to the murder or any motive.We couldn't find anyone who had a particular grudge or vendetta against him. It has just been a wall of silence in relation to the murder investigation'.
In 2007 Abraham Badru had seen a 14-year-old girl being raped at knife-point at a party on the Frampton Park Estate and had stopped it. However, during the rape trial Abraham Badru received death threats and had to be taken each day to the trial at the Old Bailey by the police. His house was said to have also been pelted with eggs. The trial had resulted in nine people being convicted, one of them being sentenced to life imprisonment. After the trial Abraham Badru went to Bristol in 2009, aged 16, to study for his A-Levels and after completing a Masters degree in 2015 at the University of Gloucestershire he worked as a sport development officer for Bristol City Council but later returned to London in 2016 to live with his mother where he worked as a personal trainer. However, after returning his car was vandalised, its mirrors and windscreen being smashed and wheels stolen and he was desperate to move away again. It was said that he had considered moving out of Hackney but thought a housing application would be refused elsewhere and so had started to save money to buy a home of his own which he planned to move into later in the year. It was heard that he had even bumped into one of the attackers involved in the rape case who had since been released from prison in a nightclub and had had to run away.
His mother said, 'He was wearing caps to cover his face and any time he wanted to go out I would have to go out and check if there was anyone in the compound or in the garden and then he would go'.
At his inquest she added that Abraham Badru was bombarded with terrifying messages including the one that said 'you're dead meat'.
Abraham Badru had been a football coach and personal trainer and had played for Almondsbury FC as a striker. He was described as a Liverpool fan. He was also the son of Dolapo Badru, a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives. There had been between 200 to 250 people at his funeral.