By Florence Amagiya
Speculations are making the rounds concerning the alleged murder of late Sylvanus Okoye, a native of Anambra state who was reported to have been stabbed to death and mutilated recently that his homosexual escapades could have led to his brutal murder.
Neighbors around his Ezemegbu drive, Okota, Lagos residence, said the deceased before his death had no girl-friend but male visitors flocked his residence every now and then before his death. The suspect, a 22-year- old, Eji Emmanuel who is now in police net, upon interrogation also claimed that the deceased attempted to rape him and he attacked him in self defense. He also claimed that Okoye had attempted severally to rape him but despite several warning against such illicit act, he persisted.
Saturday Vanguard spoke with the deceased neighbours, barbers, tailors and electricians and they expressed fears that Okoye could have been killed for his homosexual escapades.
Elizabeth, a 28-year-old popular fashion designer in the area, who hails from Ugwuanja in Edo state said: “ Mr. Okoye stopped by my shop two weeks before his body was discovered. He wanted the phone number of a PHCN guy in the area, but as usual he didn’t give me a second look. We have been suspecting his moves.
He didn’t have one female friend. But men flocked his residence and even spent nights there on a regular basis, that was enough to suspect his homosexual life. But what I cannot understand in this matter is the way the young man was killed. If the accused claims he acted in self defense; was it also self-defense to cut off his manhood after stabbing, tieing him with a strong rope to an object? I think the Eji guy has a lot of explanations to make because there is more to this killing.”
Mike Lawani, who was the deceased barber said: “Okoye used to visit the barber’s shop where l work, adjacent to the deceased compound. There were no time that he came for a hair-cut that he discussed women the way he discussed guys. In fact, he would rather give his money to men than to girls.
According to the barber: “He was obviously attracted to some younger guys in the shop and sometimes invite them home, but they never visited him because they knew what he wanted. Those who ventured returned with bad reports about him. Okoye lived alone, driving a SUV he recently won from MTN before his death.”
“The young men who visited his home said he lived an exotic lifestyle as his fridge was always packed full with all kinds of drinks and menu. The source added that even with all his profligacy, no woman was seen around him. “There was no lady around him. It is a pity that he died this way, but l think Emmanuel went too far by cutting his manhood; he was pushed to the wall.
Don’t forget that it was also reported that the late Slyvanus brother had raped this same young man in Festac and the case was reported at Festac Police Station. I guess this attempted rape brought down all the fury in the young man’s mind. We also learnt that the deceased had promised to give the young man a job but instead what he got was sexual harassment.”
Tochukwu, an electrician in the neighbourhood said: “I wasn’t around when the deceased died; I had traveled to Ibadan for a job that period, but it is a known fact that Okoye was suspected to be a homosexual in the area. This is not a speculation because he had toasted me and invited me severally to his house, but I didn’t oblige him because I knew what he wanted; my friends and neighbours till date called me late Silvanus’ boyfriend because he used to give me gifts in monetary forms. He gives to other guys also, but he was tight fisted when it comes to giving money to women. It was indeed strange that he did not mix with women like the normal guys do.”
A source added that the middle- age woman at the gate; who collected the keys from Eji Emmanuel noticed blood stains on Emmanuel’s neck, but could not raise alarm. She paid dearly for her error as she spent the last month in police detention asnwering questions on the matter.
Another source added a dimension to the story dismissing the claim of self-defense by the suspect, saying the murder of late Okoye was a case of a anger of a jealous lover. “The decease was said to have been cheating on his man’s lover. And that the event escalated that evening which led to his death.” And that the jealous lover who is also a bisexual traveled home after the incident and remained there as he was riding ‘okada’,but had calledl his girl friend staying in the Eastern part of the country with the deceased phone. He was also seen by the deceased siblings who eventually alerted the police.
Acting in self defence according to claims made by the suspect, he did not only stab Okoye, he went further to tie him with a pressing iron rope, cut off his manhood, locked him inside, gave the key to neighbour and bolted away. It was also gathered that Emmanuel deceived the woman he gave the key to after the murder; telling her that Okoye was not at home until his body was discovered two weeks after.
The body of the deceased apparently decomposed was later found in his bedroom, with stench oozing out of the flat. The brother of the decease who lived around was invited to the house by the landlord to gain access into the flat. Okoye was found in his pool of blood, tied with a pressing iron rope, stabbed on the neck, with his manhood cut off.