….â€œI beat him to death ‘cos he was stealing”
By Evelyn Usman
The 24-year-Old lady, Janet JamesÂ that recently beat her half brother to death in Lagos has made startling confessions on why she cut short the life of the 8-year-old boy.Â Â Janet, a cook with an Indian family at Number 15, Adeola Adeleye street, Ilupeju was residing with her brother who arrived Lagos in October last year,Â when the ugly incident took place.
Her brother, Silver Effiong was said to have last been seen on Monday last week in the one-room apartment they occupied but the next day, his remains was discovered in a company premises at Number 44, Egbeyemi street, Ilupeju, a distance away from his home.
The incident that signaled the ladâ€™s unexpected journey to the land of the great beyond, reportedly started barely one month after his arrival in Lagos, following severe beatings and inhuman treatment he received from his blood sister, an action that was reported to the police.
Perhaps, if Silver had known he would not live to endure the dehumanizing treatment, he would have gone back to the village.
Rather, Crime Guard gathered that each time sympathizers and neighbors advised him to go back home, he would respond by saying he would rather endure the situation than go back to face the harsh condition back in the village, expressing hope that his sister would change someday.
But that aspiration for change was his greatest undoing, as it came with his extermination.
In this interview with Crime Guard the late Silverâ€™s half sister , Janet James attributed several factors to her action, highlighting stealing as the worst aspect.Â She was however, full of remorse when she spoke with Crime Guard, regretting every action and wished that the hand of the clock be turned back for her to make amends.
Journey to the village
â€œI left the village for Lagos in year 2006 but got a job as a cook for an American family in year 2007 before my present place of employment. I traveled to the village last October having saved a reasonable amount. On reaching the village, I met my mother who was suffering, as she could not cater for her children.
Then I decided to take Silver to Lagos to, at least ,send him to school. But when I was leaving, I was told he used to steal and was cautioned to handle him with care.
That was how I brought him to Lagos to relieve my mother of the enormous burden, being her first child. I must state here that Silver is my half brother, as we do not have same father.
Crisis, crisis in Lagos
â€œOn reaching Lagos, I enrolled him in a private school where he started from primary two. But then,Â he started manifesting his pilfering tendencies by stealing meat from the pot and misbehaving. I used to beat him so as to correct him.
I called my uncle to report him and he said I should send him back to the village. But anytime I told him I was going to send him back,
he would start pleading , promising to change but he never didâ€.
Crime Guard gathered that on one of the occasions, Silver was beating to stupor, with marksÂ all over his body. The Police was immediately invited by curios and angry security men in the same compound , leading to Janeâ€™s arrest.
At the station, she was said to have shown a sign of remorse where she was instructed to immediately send the lad back to the village, a directive she took for granted as she reportedly hid Silver whenever some policemen came to ascertain whether she kept to her own part of the bargain.
.…..Finally he died
Janet who was described as an â€˜industrious ladyâ€˜ by her employer, went about her normal duties on Tuesday. In fact, her facial expression never suggested her devilish deed earlier that day. The presence of stern ~looking policemen aroused the suspicion of Janetâ€™s employer TuesdayÂ morning.
Janet, on her part , wore a calm disposition, informing the policemen that
her kid brother had been taken to Victorious Army church for prayers, following an undisclosed ailment, when asked about his whereabout. But when taken to the station, she was shocked to realise that her deed had been exposed.
Said she, â€œ I did not mean to kill him. It all happened on Monday morning when I caught him stealing meat from the pot. When I came back at night I beat him with these sticks(raising up two sticks, one used to turn garri and the other, a little pestle used for pounding pepper) I hit himÂ all over his body. But he did not die on the spot.
Then it was about 8pm. Later, he stood up to go and urinate and came back inside. But when I woke up around 2am, I noticed he was foaming from the mouth. I called out to him several times without response, a situation that was unusual of him. I shook him but he did not respondâ€
Why I had to dump his body
AT that point, it dawned on me that he could be dead. I cried but did not raise my voice in order not to alert anybody. I was awake until 5am and decided to take him out of the compound because I was afraid the police would be invited and I would be arrested.
Strapping him at the back, I walked out of the room but was asked where I was going by the security men at the
gate. I told them he was sick and I was taking him to the church. I walked a long distance until I came close to Times Insurance company. I thought I could just drop him there because the company was no longer functioning. I then threw him over the fence and walked back home. On my way home, I began to cry and regretted ever raising my hand on himâ€
Asked what she would have told her parents if the body had not been discovered , she said, â€œ I intended calling them on phone later that day to say he had left the house without informing me of where he was going to. I never intended informing the police of his whereabout because I thought it would raise suspicion.Â I also decided to throw him far away from the house to
avoid his identity being known and traced to my house.
But I did not know the police already had his identity registered in their head when they discovered him.
â€œNow I regret ever going to the village to pick him . I regret not taking him back after being asked to.Â In fact, I regret being born in the first place, for it would have been better if I was not born at all than live the rest of my life with this guilt.
Please tell the world that I am not a witch as some people are already saying, it was just a mistake . I thought I could change him with iron hand. Now I regret, above all, not heeding my madamâ€™s advice that beating will not change himâ€, lamented Janet.