By Evelyn Usman
The peace experienced at 2nd Francis Ware house in Ajao Estate area of Lagos was Tuesday truncated following an uproar caused by the death of one Ifeanyi Eke. The lifeless body of Ifeanyi was dropped right in front of the gate of a building believed to be that of the assailant’s boss, with the aggrieved protesters spoiling for a fight . Crime Guard’s investigation revealed that late Ifeanyi Eke (29), from Owerri West local government area of Imo state , was allegedly stabbed to death by one Raphael Nwonye during an argument over off loading of goods.
It was further gathered that the duo had been embroiled in a lingering quarrel, during which the suspects threatened severally to kill the deceased. When Crime Guard visited the area Wednesday, residents complained of the high handedness of the suspect, disclosing that over four persons within the vicinity had scars of stab to show of the suspect’s brutality .
Described as a terror who usually got away with his escapades , residents said the suspects usually boasted that he could wriggle his way out of any trouble with the help of his boss who is an importer in the area. In a meeting with Crime Guard, Ifeanyi’s fiancee, Charity Okpala, who was yet to come to terms with the reality of his demise , kept shaking her head in disbelief. At a point, she muttered “is this how one dies?”.
Casting a forlorn look at this reporter , she began by asking rhetorically , “where do I start from ? Is he actually dead? You mean I wont see him any more?”. At this point, everyone around her burst into tears, trying at the same time to console her.
After waiting endlessly , she started by disclosing that late Eke hurriedly left her apartment that fateful morning, with a promise to come back to eat his food which was abandoned on the table, unknown to both of them that it was his farewell word.
News of his death
According to her “Ifeanyin came to visit me that morning . He said I should give him his favourite meal which was beans and bread. As I was setting the table, his friend Tony, came in and announced that a container had landed . My fiance was a loader. He used to offload goods from containers.
“He left without eating but promised to come back to eat. That was never to be as somebody rushed in to inform me barely one and half hours later, that Ifeanyi was lying stone dead in the pool of his blood, at Omobolanke Adeoti street, which is not very far from my apartment.
I rushed down to the scene and true to the informant’s words, I found my Ifeanyi in the pool of his blood. I noticed a deep cut in his neck and back. I called out his name severally, shook him vigorously , with the thought that he would respond but he didn’t .That was how Raphael killed my Ifeanyi like a chicken
“We were preparing to get married . He promised he was going to introduce me to his family members , while I have mentioned him to some of my family members. “, she said crying all over again.
Threat to life
She further disclosed that the suspect had reported Ifeanyi to her twice, threatening that he would teach him a lesson with death.
Recalling the genesis of the quarrel between her late fiancé and his assailant, she said “sometime last year, Raphael’s girlfriend, accompanied one of my finance’s friends(Tony ) girlfriend to his (Tony) house. Along the line, Tony and his girlfriend had an argument during which a louvre was broken, with its pieces piercing Raphael’s girl friend. I guess he (Raphael ) thought it was a deliberate act. Since then, he has had problem with Tony who is my husband’s best friend. The quarrel was extended to Ifeanyi.
Last year, Raphael came to me twice and threatened that he would kill Ifeanyi. When I confronted my fiance he called my bluff. If I had known he would make do his threat, perhaps I would have acted fast by reporting to the appropriate quarters”, she said, shaking her head in regrets.
Meanwhile, after the dastardly act, Raphael was said to have escaped from the scene. Attempt by a resident to resist him, earned the unknown resident a stab in the back, thereby forcing him to release Raphael. .
But policemen from Ajao estate later apprehended him, from where the case was transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department, Yaba.
Crime Guard gathered that while in the cell, Raphael did not show any sign of remorse. Rather , he reportedly boasted that he would stab Ifeanyi to death again if he woke up from death.
In a chat with the 25 year-old suspect, he claimed that the deceased accompanied by his friends Tony and Samuel, stormed his home that fateful day and ordered him to follow them.
He said “before then, they came to my house and seized my gas cooker and cylinder. I later retrieved them with N3,000. So, when they came and ordered me to follow them, I put up resistance. One of them, Tony lifted his shirt and revealed a cutlass that was tucked inside his pants. I told Tony to put away the cutlass and face me man-to-man. That utterance offended him and we started fighting. When Ifeanyi saw that I had overpowered Tony, he launched forward with a dagger in his hand. Immediately I rushed into the room and brought a kitchen knife which I used to stab him in the back and neck”.
Members of the bereaved family who were present , demanded that justice should be done . Their statement followed report that the suspect’s boss was allegedly boasting that he would effect Raphael’s release with N1m .
Spokes person for the Lagos State Police Command, Dolapo Badmus, who confirmed the report, stated that investigation into the incident was still ongoing, assuring that the first step of justice was the arrest of the suspect. Badmus, a Superintendent of Police , informed that the corpse had been deposited at the Isolo General Hospital mortuary .