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Accommodation palaver: Couple pluck off flat-mate’s eyes

……aggrieved neighbors accuse police of cover-up

By Ifeanyi Okolie

Tears flowed freely last Sunday at Olodi Apapa area of Lagos when a middle-aged man had his eyes plucked off during a brawl with  a couple in their apartment.  The man identified as Cosmos Okoye, a native of Uke in Anambra State was said to have lost his eyes to the couple after several threats to kill him.

The ugly incident took place on  Sunday after the victim had returned from church service at  Christ Embassy at about 2 pm while he was trying to rest.   The couple who allegedly plucked off his eyes reportedly invaded his room in the two bedroom apartment which they share with Cosmos at No. 131, Osho-Drive in Olodi Apapa.

The victim whose chances of seeing again is very slim alleged that  the couple were threatening  to kill him because they wanted him to leave the apartment for them.  It was gathered that the victim was sharing the flat with two of his friends until one of them got married.  The friend that got married whom he is accusing to be the mastermind of his present plight, was said to have refused paying his own share of the rent.

At that stage, Cosmos said their third partner identified as Emmanuel parked out of the flat, a situation that made the landlord threaten to throw them out of the flat.

• Cosmos (the victim in hospital).
* Cosmos (the victim in hospital)

Cosmos said that after their flat-mate parked out, he started sharing the flat with Emmanuel Okafor and his wife.  According to him, “ Emmanuel Okafor,  a clearing agent, his wife a banker had threatened to kill me if I failed to leave the apartment for them.  To make good their threat, the couple attacked me in my room while I was sleeping after coming back from Church service.  The husband held me firmly to the ground and the wife stabbed me with a metal
suspected to be table fork.

“After they succeed in damaging my eyes,  they simply walked away.  I then started screaming loudly when I noticed that I could no longer see with both eyes.  Neighbours rushed into my room and saw blood dripping from my eyes.

Those who could not hold back tears after seeing the pain I was going through quickly rushed to Trinity Police Station to report the case.  Coincidentally, they said that when they got to the station, they saw that my flat-mate and his wife had already got there.  Neighbours who were bewildered on seeing them concluded that they must have gone there to cover their crime”.

An angry neighbour who craved for anonymity told Crime Alert that when the couple saw them, the man told the police that what the they had  was a fight and he was the only person that fought Cosmos.

The neighbour said the man further requested to go and treat himself before the Police claiming that Cosmos injured him and without trying to ascertain the veracity of his claims, the police granted his request.  According to the neighbour, “ “He told the police in my presence that he would prefer Abbel Medical Centre along Idowu Street but when we later got there, the doctors did not allow us to see him. I want to state clearly that the police are covering him and they don’t want to bring him out for prosecution.

When Crime Alert visited the victim, Cosmos at  St. Charles Clinic where he was admitted, he narrated what he felt was the reason that made  Emmanuel and his wife inflict such injury on him.   Hear him, “All they wanted was for me to pack out of the apartment for them.

*Two-storey building where the incident took place.
*Two-storey building where the incident took place.

Though, I am not the original owner of the apartment.   It was Emmanuel’s elder brother that handed over the house to me  before he relocated to Port Harcourt and he also asked me to accommodate
Emmanuel when he had no place to stay.

“After that, Emmanuel brought another man also called Emmanuel to stay with us and I don’t know how much he gave him but I later learnt that he paid N40,000 to my flat-mate before he was admitted into the flat.
“When the land lord started complaining about it,  I kept my mouth short  because it was not my business and eventually my room mate  who got married last year, became uncomfortable with his friend’s presence and he asked him to leave at the expiration of his rent, but his friend asked to be patient while  he looked for alternative accommodation.

Unfortunately, at that stage, my married flat mate refused paying his own share of the N150,000.00 rent and that made the landlord angry with us to the extent that he threatened to evict us from the flat. . I  contacted Emmanuel’s brother and informed  him about the development and  he promised to resolve it.

“Later, they succeeded in frustrating the other flat mate out and after that, they paid their own part of the rent and pounced on me, threatening to kill me if I failed to pack out also. Initially,  I did not take the threats seriously but their persistent warnings and open threats made me suspect that there must be more to it.  Even they went to the extent of warning me not to sing again in a house I partake in paying the rent.

In fact, when I thought over all this, I started planing to look for an alternative accommodation.  That was my plan until this ugly incident took place”.

Meanwhile, the Medical Director of the hospital where Cosmas was first admitted, Dr. Wanne Charles  disclosed to Crime Alert that his chances of seeing again is just 30 per cent because his eyes were badly damaged. ” From our  examinations, the left eye is completely  damaged.

He cannot see with it again. For the right one,  we are battling to save it, even if we can,  it might likely come up with complications like Cataract. Right now, I am actually  waiting for his relations.   I might likely refer him to eye specialist.  And if the right eye ever  develops cataract, his chance of seeing again will be 30 per cent.”

Crime Alert  tried locating Emmanuel or his wife for comment. On getting to the police, we were informed that nobody was arrested since the case was a two-fighting case and both Cosmos and Emmanuel have been transferred out for treatment. And we also traced the  Abbel hospital  in Idowu where Emmanuel was said to had gone for treatment. The medical director  told us that they have not received any body with such name in their hospital.


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