Tragedy struck on Sunday in Tarkwa Bay, on the Lagos Island area of Lagos State, after a 30-year-old Beninoise, Samuel Francis, stabbed to death 35-year-old Clement Houme, during a scuffle for a birthday pig.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Samuel had been contracted by a relative of the deceased, identified as Victoria, to kill the pig for her birthday celebration.
On arriving at the Abule area with his brother, Jeff Francis, the deceased was reported to have challenged them on where they got the pig from.
Huome reportedly accused them of stealing the pig.
Our correspondent learnt that an argument ensued among the three men, and in the ensuing scuffle, Samuel stabbed the victim with the knife he brought to slaughter the pig.
Houme was said to have died from his injuries.
Samuel, who was also injured, was first treated before he was arrested by policemen from the Tarkwa Bay Police Division.
Samuel, who was transferred to the State Department of Criminal Investigation, Yaba, told our correspondent that he never wanted to kill the victim.
He explained that Huome had first attacked his brother, Jeff, with broken bottles, adding that when he tried to restrain him, the deceased stabbed him in the hand.
He said, “I have my family in Cotonou, but I came to Lagos in 2010 to hustle. I was in my house on Saturday when I was called to kill a pig meant for a birthday celebration.
“The next day, around 6am while I was still on the bed, the people called me on the telephone that I should come. I called my brother, Jeff, to assist me.
“When we got there, we were given the pig by a man. It was around 6.30am that Huome came and started quarrelling with us. Before we knew what was happening, he broke two bottles and stabbed my brother in the head. As I tried to restrain him, he came after me and cut me in the hand, as well. When I could not handle it again, I stabbed him in the shoulders with my knife.”
Samuel said he ran to the police station to seek refuge from the deceased and a mob that came to attack him.
He said the police took him to the Lagos Island General Hospital, where he was admitted for a week, before his eventual arrest for the crime.
He said, “The man’s family has already said they were no longer interested in the case, but the police said it had become a government matter and there was nothing that could be done.
“I have nobody to help me in Lagos. My wife has left me for another man. Our six-months-old baby is now with my grandma in Benin Republic and I came to Lagos to make money; but see where I have found myself?. Who will help me now?”
The suspect was, however, arraigned on Wednesday before an Ebute-Meta Magistrate’s Court on two counts of murder.
The charge read, “That you, Samuel Francis, on September 13, 2015, at about 06.30am at Abule Area, Tarkwa Bay, Lagos Island, Lagos in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: murder.
“That you did unlawfully kill one Clement Huome, aged 35 years, by cutting him with machete in his chest and his left hand.”
The police prosecutor, Sergeant Daniel Ighodalo, said the offence was punishable under sections 231 and 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.
The defendant’s plea was not taken.
The police, in a remand application, said the defendant had confessed to the crime, was identified by witnesses and arrested with a weapon.
The prosecutor subsequently asked the court to remand him in prison, pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
“We have a request for remand, based on Section 264 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State.
The remand will enable us to obtain legal advice from the DPP,” Ighodalo said.
The magistrate, Mrs. A.O. Ajibade, agreed to remand the defendant in prison.
The case was adjourned till October 23, 2015 for legal advice.