Tragedy struck at Olorunfunmi Street in Oworo area of Lagos, on Thursday, following the murder of a 32- year-old man, Lawal Afolabi Kunbi, allegedly by a debtor, in a bid to evade repayment.
Late Lawal Afolabi Kunbi (left) and his mother
Kunbi, a business administration student of Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, reportedly received a telephone call from a private security guard, identified simply as Aliu, who lives on same street with him, to come and collect N32,000 owed him.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that the deceased, who owned a provision store, sold his motorcycle to Aliu, in order to raise money to pay his school fees, about a month ago.
However , after receiving the call, Kunbi dashed out of his shop to Aliu’s apartment, adjacent to his shop, obviously optimistic he would pay his school fees after all.
But, unknown to Kunbi, who was said to be preparing for his wedding in December, Aliu allegedly had a sinister motive up their sleeves. The bridegroom to be simply disappeared, forcing members of his family to conduct a search for him through out Thursday night.
The search party found the lifeless body of Kunbi around 9am on Friday behind Aliu’s compound, throwing the entire community into mourning. A source said the victim’s five fingers had been chopped off, while marks of violence were apparent all over his body. There also a rope tied round his neck, suggesting that he could have been strangled. The question on everyone’s lip was, who could have killed Kumbi?
Meanwhile, five suspects have been arrested by the police in connection with the incident. One of the suspects is Aliu.
Early that Friday, Aliu was allegedly seen fetching water from Kunbi’s compound. The number of times he went to fetch water reportedly arouse the curiosity of residents, necessitating the brave ones to ask what he was doing with the unusual volume of water he was fetching. Not satisfied with his explanation, some of the residents, it was learnt, forced their way into his apartment,where they allegedly discovered, to their shock, blood stains all over the place. The suspect was said to have been using the water to clean up the blood stains in his apartment, apparently to cover up his track. Also, shattered louvres were reportedly seen all over the apartment. Consequently, the residents descended on Aliu.
An eye witness told Sunday Vanguard: “When we searched through Kunbi’s telephone, which he left while he rushed to answer the call of death last night (Thursday), we discovered that the last caller was Aliu. When confronted at first, Aliu denied seeing him, insisting rather that a search team be raised to look for him.
What gave him away was the blood stain that was trailed, right from where Kunbi’s body was dumped, to Aliu’s apartment. We also saw a white cloth stained with blood, on the floor and the key of Kunbi’s shop in Aliu’s apartment. When he discovered that the game was up, he pleaded that we should not kill him and disclosed that the plan to kill Kunbi was hatched by his friends”.
We searched for victim – Landlady
Owner of the building, where Kunbi resided, who also spoke to Sunday Vanguard anonymously, said
‘’I leased out one of my shops to Kunbi two years ago. He was a jolly good fellow and full of wisdom. That was why I always made out time to advise him about life. However, one thing about him was that he kept secrets. Perhaps if he had told one about this, we would have mediated on the payment.
“That fateful night, I sent my daughter to go and lock the gate, only for her to come back to say Kunbi’s shop was still opened at that odd hour. I decided to come down myself to lock the gate and still met the shop opened. I was surprised because it was very much unlike him . He never kept late nights nor lived a frivolous life. I decided to go downstairs to lock the gate myself , with the intention that he would call when he returned. A boy told me he left the shop at about 8pm and, when I asked where he went to, he could not provide answer. I decided to call him on the phone, only to discover it was ringing right in his shop. Two hours later, I called the boy who said he saw Kunbi going out, to find out if he was back but he said no. At that moment, I knew something was wrong and informed my husband.
To my shock, after my morning devotion, I went out only to see a crowd watching a lifeless body that was covered with nylon. On further enquiry, it was the body of Kunbi!”.
At about 1pm, that Friday, some policemen, from Alonge Oworo Division, arrived the scene with the suspects, who were taken to the apartment where the heinous crime was allegedly committed. All of a sudden, a crowd that had gathered descended on the suspects, to the amazement of the policemen, attempting to carry out a jungle justice. But the move was stopped by the firing of tear gas by the policemen.
Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Joe Offor, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation was still ongoing.