The police in Ogun State have arrested a 19-year-old apprentice welder in the Agbado area of the state, Kehinde Adeoye, for the murder of his friend, Lukman Olawunmi, aged 17.
City Round learnt that Adeoye and Olawunmi, who was learning how to make cans, had an issue over an umbrella and a sum of N200, which resulted in the tragedy.
It was gathered that a man had brought the umbrella to Olawunmi about two weeks ago for repairs.
The deceased was said to have taken it to Adeoye, who worked with his father at a nearby welding workshop.
Our correspondent gathered that Adeoye collected N200 to repair the umbrella and promised to fix it the following day.
Adeoye was said to have failed to repair the umbrella while the owner kept disturbing Olawunmi.
He reportedly met with Adeoye around 7pm on Tuesday, asking him to return the umbrella and the money immediately.
City Round gathered that Adeoye got enraged and put up a fight with Olawunmi during which he allegedly hit the deceased with a voodoo ring.
Olawunmi was confirmed dead on arrival at a private hospital in the community while Adeoye was arrested by a police team from the Agbado Police Station led by the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Sunday Omonijo.
The deceased’s mother, Rasheedat, was inconsolable when our correspondent visited the community on Wednesday as sympathisers were there to express their condolences.
A relative of the deceased, who identified himself only as Femi, said Olawunmi was a kind-hearted child any parents would wish to have.
“He was a very nice child. He was friendly and honest. His boss would give him money to keep for some days. Before that day was over, he would give the money to his mother to do business and make some profit. Then he would return the money to his boss when he was ready to use his money. The mother sells pepper and onions,” Femi said.
Olawunmi’s uncle, Pastor Abiodun Gabriel, described him as an easy-going boy, adding that he was shocked when he received the news of his death.
“He was the only child his mother had for my late younger brother. I learnt they were fighting over an umbrella and N200,” Gabriel added.
Olawunmi’s boss, Solihu Bamgbade, said he was close to his house that Tuesday evening when he received a call that his apprentice was in a coma.
He explained that he was at the shop when the umbrella was brought for repairs, adding that he told Adeoye to fix it on time.
He said, “Lukman (Olawunmi) started learning how to make cans last year and he was very brilliant. He was very friendly with customers. Two weeks ago, a man brought an umbrella to our shop for repairs. He charged the man N500. The man begged him that he could only afford N200 and he accepted it.
“I asked him when he started repairing umbrellas and he said he would give it to Kehinde (Adeoye). I warned Kehinde that he must do the work on time. When I saw Kehinde the next day, I asked him about the umbrella and he said he had not repaired it.
“Last Thursday, the man came for the umbrella and Lukman led him to Kehinde’s father’s shop. They did not meet him at the shop. That was the last I heard about the matter. I left Lukman in the shop around 6.30pm on Tuesday. I was on my way home when I received a call that he had been rushed to the hospital.”
The suspect, however, denied beating his friend with a voodoo ring, claiming that Olawunmi was first to slap him.
Adeoye, who hails from Abeokuta, added that he retaliated and Olawunmi slumped.
He said, “We were close friends and we usually introduced customers to each other. The umbrella was the devil that caused all this. When I could not repair the umbrella, he came to our shop to collect it and the N200 he gave me. I told him to be patient and I promised to give him the money and the umbrella later that evening.
“He slapped me and I slapped him back. He fell and I poured water on him. I was the one who rushed him to the hospital. I did not use anything to hit him. We were not fighting; we were playing.”
A doctor at the hospital, who wanted to be identified as Dr Emmanuel, said Olawunmi was brought in dead, with a small cut on his lips.
He said, “As of the time he was brought in, there was no respiration, no pulse, his pupils were dilated, fixed and did not react to light. He was certified dead on arrival.”