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How landlady’s son chopped off tenant’s right hand in Lagos

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Evelyn Usman and Kingsley Ndimele

For Koya Arowosegbe, life will never be the same again, owing to the loss of his right hand during an attack by his landlady’s son at their Agboro, Iyana-Ipaja abode, last Thursday.

The father of two and motor mechanic, who currently lies ill on the hospital bed in Agege area, Lagos with his right hand still in bandage, still finds it unbelievable that one of his hands had gone. He till hopes and prays that he would wake up to discover that his present condition is just a dream.

The chopped hand

The incident that led to his being confined to the hospital bed, started last Thursday, following his attempt to stop his landlady’s son from disconnecting another tenant’s electric wire from the pole.

Crime Alert gathered that the landlady of number 10, Olayinka street, engaged one of her tenants who owns a container shop in an argument over the latter’s failure to pay the balance of N100 for Power Holdings Company of Nigeria Plc bills. When the son of the landlady arrived later, she complained bitterly to him, leading to his attempt to disconnect the shop owner’s wire from the pole.

As soon as the landlady’s son identified as Ganiu Azeez, climbed the ladder to carry out his threat, Koya reportedly rushed out of his one-room apartment to complain that the disconnection had resulted in the fluctuation of power in his apartment. But his complaint was waved aside, apparently owing to a cold war which Crime Alert gathered, had been existing between the tenant and the landlady.

This reportedly resulted in a fight between him and Ganiu, before they were separated. Unknown to Koya, that was not the end of the fight, as Ganiu reportedly dashed into the room to get a cutlass and in Koya’s attempt to defend himself, the instrument landed on his right hand cutting it off instantly, to the astonishment of all who were apparently amused by the fight.

Rejected At Government Hospitals

Koya, an indegene of Arigidi local government area of Ondo, who was bleeding profusely from his injured hand, was said to have been rushed to three different government hospitals that night, where he was rejected owing to the on-going strike. Unable to hold on any longer, he slumped owing to loss of blood, before he arrived Mayfair hospital, a private hospital in Agege, where doctors battled till the next day before he regained consciousness.

He Attacked Me First

However, in this interview with Crime Alert, Ganiu who reportedly went into hiding immediately the incident occurred but was later arrested, claimed 28-old Koya first attacked him.

On what led to the fight, 30-year-old Ganiu explained, “when I got home that night, my mum told me that the saloon woman refused to pay her balance of N100 from PHCN bill. We gave her bill of N700 but she told my mum she would only pay N600 instead of N700. This led to a fight between Iya Mutiya (shop owner) and my mum.

Immediately I dashed out of the house and climbed the pole to disconnect Iya Mutiya’s wire, just then , Mr Koya Arowosegbe rushed out of his room and started fighting me, saying the disconnection had affected the boiling ring they were using and that the wires in his room also got burnt.

Not yet done, he went and took a wood and landed it on me. He picked the cutlass to cut me but I dodged it with a wood he initially hit me with and the cutlass fell down. Then I ran to pick the cutlass. As he was coming close to me again, I hit him with the cutlass in the hand.

I only used the cutlass to defend myself and did not mean to cut off his hand. It was not until people started shouting that his hand was cut off , that I realized what I have done. Out of fear, I ran to the next compound to hide till the following morning when policemen came and arrested me. It was a mistake, said the Owu, Abeokuta, Ogun state- born father of a three months old baby.

He Lied— victim’s wife
Countering his claim, Mrs. Mayowa Arowosegbe said her husband never used any object on Ganiu. Rather,the pregnant woman explained, “ My husband never attacked him as he claimed. After they were separated, my husband started going to our apartment. Just as he was about entering into the room, he noticed Ganiu was running towards him with something in his hand.

As Ganiu wanted to hit him with the object, my husband raised his hand to prevent the object from hitting him on the head, only for the object to land on his hand. Before my eyes, my husband’s hand started dangling. That was when we discovered it was a cutlass he used. Had my husband known it was a cutlass, he would have run into the room and lock himself up. We have been living in that compound for two years now without any problem.

My Pains
Tell me, where does my husband, a mechanic begin from ? We were managing to feed when he had two hands. Now tell me, what will he do with just one hand? And to think that it is the right hand is so painful”, cried Mrs. Mayowa Arowosegbe. Another thing that pained me was that after Ganui had done the deed, his mother collected the cutlass from him and stood right beside my husband who was on the floor, nodding her head as if she had been expecting that all along.

I am Not The Cause
On her part, the shop owner Kola went to defend, Mrs. Adia Ahmed, denied being the centre of controversy in the incident. Rather, she claimed she was not around when the incident occurred, let alone instigating Kola against Ganiu as wildly claimed by residents of the area.

Hear her, “ I rented the shop about three years ago. Then my PHCN bill was just N200. Later it was increased to N500 and then N700. Recently, I realized I was not paying same amount with other tenants and when I approached my landlady, she said it was because of my drier and refrigerator .

So, when this last bill of N700 was given to me , I paid N500 first and then N600. I concluded within myself that I was only going to pay N600 since that was what other tenants pay. But that Thursday when my landlady came to my shop to demand fo the balance, I promised her I was going to pay and even pleaded with her to give me time because customers were not coming as expected.

That day, I closed around 6.30pm. It was when I came back the next day that I learnt somebody’s hand was chopped off the previous night and everyone was saying I was the cause. How am I the cause?

The State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo, according to the command’s spokesman, Mr. Frank Mba, had directed that no stone should be left unturned in ensuring that justice was done promptly.

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