By Esther Onyegbula
Life for Chiemeriem Benjamin, who had a dream of becoming a banker, has come to a temporary halt as she accidentally killed her childhood friend, Lawrence Oloruntobi, during a minor disagreement.
Chiemeriem told Vanguard: “Lawrence is my friend; we grew up together and have lived in the same environment from as far back as I can remember.
“On that day, I was just not in the mood to talk with him. When I came out in the morning, he tried to make some jokes, which we would ordinarily laughed about. But I told him I was not interested in such.
“I went out later that day and on my way back, I saw him forcing my younger brother to play in a stagnant body of water in front of our compound.
“My brother was crying out for help, because he did not want to be dragged into the water. I quickly walked up to Lawrence to stop him. He took it personal and told me he would slap me.
“Out of anger, I told him that even his mother would not dare slap me. He then went in to get a cane, which has always been his tradition whenever we are having a misunderstanding.
“I also rushed into our room to grab a knife. But my elder brother and a neighbour, called Iya Ayo, intervened and settled the matter.”
According to the 17-year-old, Senior Secondary 1 student, “about two hours later, Lawrence came back to meet me, threatening to deal with me. We started exchanging words, which later culminated in a fight.
“I went in and grabbed another knife just to threaten him.
“Unfortunately, while my elder brother, who intervened again, was trying to plead with Lawrence not to fight with me because I am a girl, I angrily stabbed Lawrence in the chest with the knife.
“It was only after my action that I realized what I had done. I started calling out for help because I was very scared.
“Few neighbours, who were around, responded and we quickly rushed him to a nearby hospital, but it was too late. He died.
“Sincerely, I never meant to kill him with the knife. I only wanted to threaten him, but I just do not know how and why I stabbed him.”
Vanguard learned that the case, which is currently being investigated by operatives in the homicide section of Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, would soon be charged to court.