The dismembered body found in a New York City apartment on Tuesday was said to belong to the founder and CEO of Gokada, Fahim Saleh. His gruesome demise was confirmed Wednesday in a tweet posted by the Gokada handle.
“We are deeply saddened to inform you about the sudden and tragic loss of our founder and CEO, Fahim Saleh, Fahim was a great leader, inspiration and positive light for all of us.
“Our hearts goes out to his friends, family and all those feeling the pain and heartbreak we are currently experiencing, here at Gokada,” the post said.
It was a tale of horror coming from Fahim’s Manhattan condo on Tuesday afternoon. When his sister went to check on him, after not seeing or hearing from him for some days, she found Fahim’s body dissected with an electric saw which lay beside his remains, local news reported.
Fahim was said to have bought the condo in 2019 for $2.25 million. The New York Police Department (NYPD) who answered his sister’s 911 call said the police don’t have a motive yet.
“We have a torso, a head that’s been removed, arms, and legs. Everything is still on the scene. We don’t have a motive,” said NYPD spokesman Sgt. Carlos Nieves.
According to local reports, a surveillance camera caught Fahim walking into the elevator for his seventh floor condo, and there was a man wearing a hat, gloves and mask hurrying after him. The police said the killer was a professional.
Fahim became popular among Nigerians when he started the motorbike hailing company, Gokada that ensured faster movement in traffic prone Lagos. But motorbike hailing was banned in January by the Lagos State Government, putting Rahim’s Gokada business in Nigeria to a halt.
Apart from Nigeria, Fahim is also popular in Bangladesh, his country of origin, where he co-founded the ride-hailing company Pathao, which is popular in Bangladesh and Nepal in 2015.
The 33 years old was known for his love for gadgets. He created his first company, prankDial.com while in high school at 16, a prank calling website, before he moved into venture capital.
In his story on Medium, Fahim shared three lessons that helped him get even: “When you’re serious about a project, you need to find others who will take it seriously also; focus your energy on one or two ideas; at the end of the day, you need to make sure it’s something you’re truly passionate about.”
It is not clear what the motive behind his murder is, but he is believed to be targeted.
Those close to Fahim said he is a cool, gentle and inspiring personality who has shown leadership in his capacity as a tech founder and CEO.
The co-founder of Pathao, Hussein M Elius, told Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper: “Fahim believed in the potential for technology to transform lives in Bangladesh and beyond.
“He saw the promise in us when all we had was a common purpose and a shared vision. He was and will forever remain, an incredible inspiration for Pathao and our entire ecosystem.”
As Fahim Saleh trends on Twitter, Nigerians are telling their stories about him.
“A great loss. Had a conversation with him about a month ago on their new B2Bdelievery, amazing guy and extremely friendly,” Shina Charles Memud wrote on Twitter.
Unfortunately, this tragic event is happening at a time when Gokada is struggling to find its footing. After the ban by the Lagos State government, the company has been exploring other strategies to stay alive. Pivoting with logistics companies was a top choice on its menu of options.
Fahim Saleh’s sudden death has thus thrown Gokada’s existence into oblivion. The company said “all updates and changes will be communicated…, as it unfolds.” Without Fahim in the helm of affairs, the expectation offers little hope.