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A 20-year-old apprentice, Chibuike Ijeoma, has allegedly killed his stepbrother, Ifeanyi, after accusing the deceased of sending hoodlums to beat him up.
Despite attempts by the 18-year-old to explain that he didn’t send anyone after him, Chibuike, who worked in the Alaba International Market, was alleged to have smashed a bottle on the ground and stabbed his brother.
Ifeanyi was rushed to a private hospital where he was confirmed dead.
Policemen from the Ajangbadi division were said to have arrested the Imo State indigene, after which the case was transferred to the State Department of Criminal Investigation, Yaba.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Chibuike and Ifeanyi lived in the same room with their parents on Sonowo Street, in the Ajangbadi area of Lagos State.
Ifeanyi’s mother, who was the second wife, had reportedly separated from his father and remarried.
Our correspondent was told that the victim had a disagreement with the suspect last Wednesday, which was resolved by their father.
Chibuike said his stepbrother had accused him of stealing an earphone that morning.
The suspect said, “He said I took his earphone, and I told him to pick it on the windowsill. He warned me not to touch it again. I pushed him for daring me and we started fighting. My mother, father and uncle heard the noise of the fight and came to intervene. We didn’t stop until my mother hit us with broom. The matter was resolved that morning.
“I left for my shop at the Alaba International Market. When it was around 5pm and I was about to close, I decided to check on my boss at his workplace. He told me two boys had come to look for me and they said they would beat me. My boss asked me to wait.
“Some minutes later, the boys showed up and I told my boss that I have never seen them before and they said they didn’t know me either. They said my brother, Ifeanyi, informed them I was planning to beat them, which was why they came for me.”
He said he denied the allegation and his boss settled the dispute and sent the boys away, telling them to maintain the peace.
Chibuike, who got home around 7pm, explained that he saw his brother and confronted him for sending hoodlums to him.
He said, “I asked why he would send boys to beat me up when he knew I was his elder brother. He said I should allow him to tell his side of the story, but I didn’t listen to him. I was angry and broke a bottle. I stabbed him in the leg.
“When I saw he had started bleeding and was losing consciousness, I called for help. My mother came and used a cloth to tie the wound, to stop the bleeding. We rushed him to a hospital close to our house, but he was rejected. He was confirmed dead at a second private hospital.”
The suspect said he regretted his action, adding that he didn’t mean to kill his stepbrother.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the mother of the deceased had sworn to pursue the case till the end, calling for justice for her slain child.
But the families are said to be discussing, with a view to resolving the matter amicably.
It was learnt that the remains of the victim had been deposited in a mortuary pending the release of autopsy report.
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the incident, saying the police were still investigating the death.
“The case is under investigation,” she said in a text message.