The Suspect

By Evelyn Usman

Twenty-seven-year old Livinus Michael Eweje is cooling his heels at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID, of the Ogun State Police Command, for allegedly killing his cousin during a fight in Oloru village.

He is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison, except the court states otherwise.

The course of his life endeavour took a sad twist on July 21, 2021, after he landed his fist on his cousin,  Emmanuel Eba, during a fight, causing him to slump. 

Unfortunately, Emmanuel did not recover from that attack, as he was confirmed dead at the General hospital in the Odeda area of the state.

Since then, Micheal has been into hiding until he was arrested recently.

In this interview with Crime Guard, the Benue State-born suspect expressed regrets over his action, wishing he could be given another opportunity to right his wrong. 

Recalling the genesis of the misunderstanding that degenerated into a fight with his late cousin, the secondary school dropout said “I am from Obi Local government area of Benue state. After  I dropped out of school, I became a full-time farmer. My parents are farmers and we were born and brought up in Ogun state.

“Later, I started my own farm. I cultivate yam, cassava, tomatoes and pepper.  I also help other farmers for a fee. We collect as much N50,000 to clear at least five plots of land.

“Emmanuel was my paternal relative.  We grew up together in Oloru village. Our relationship was smooth until a few months back when  I started hearing rumours that I was not clearing my client’s farmland properly.

“Normally when one gets a  contract to clear a field or weed, the owner pays an advance fee. I later realized that my contractors started insisting that I finish the entire work before I get paid.

“Even  when I argued that it was not possible because I needed to feed and pay for transport, they insisted. I later found out that it was Emmanuel that was busy spreading falsehood against me. 

“I confronted him and even reported him to our elders. I thought he would stop but he didn’t.

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“When  I got another job, the owner reluctantly paid me  N10,000 advance for a job that would take up to a week to finish.  

“I went ahead to clear the farmland. But when  I called the owner who is based in Abuja for my balance, he told me he won’t pay me the balance until he comes in person to inspect the work. When I demanded to know why, he said  Emmanuel had warned him about me.

“I was so angry. I rushed home, met   Emmanuel and confronted him. Instead of apologising,  he started laughing. I told him to go and retract his statement about me if he wanted peace. He continued laughing, saying he would not.  

“I lost my cool because that was the only means of survival for me. We started fighting. I beat him up thoroughly. People around later separated us but by then he was panting. I ran away when I noticed that he was lying on the grass and still breathing like someone about to die.

“They took him to the general hospital. I was in the farm, when I heard people crying that Emmanuel was dead.

“I was devastated and I knew that if I showed up I would be lynched. I hid in the forest that day until it was dark. I  sneaked into my room through the window and took some clothes and the only cash left in my house.

“I ran to my brother’s house in Sango and told him what happened. He was the one that took me to the police station the next day.

“I am sorry and I beg for forgiveness. I know that I cannot bring back the dead. I only wanted to teach him a lesson”.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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