The family of a bar attendant on Surulere Street, Dopemu, Lagos, Ikechukwu Eguzouwa, has been thrown into mourning after his tragic death in the hands of a customer, Akeem Bakare, during an argument over payment for a bottle of alcohol.
According to Punch, Bakare had ordered for the drink to cool nerves during the Russia 2018 World Cup match between Nigeria and Argentina when the incident happened.
The deceased’s colleague, Abel Daniel, was said to have approached the attacker after the match requesting the money for the drink.
It was learnt that an argument broke out when the tricycle rider claimed that a friend, who also visited the facility, had paid for him.
The ensuing altercation was said to have drawn the attention of Eguzouwa, who rushed out from an office to the scene of the incident.
While he was trying to make peace between the two young men, Bakare allegedly smashed a plank he aimed at Daniel on the victim’s head.
He was said to have fled the bar, leaving Eguzouwa, who later died at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, in a pool of blood.
A source in the area explained that the case was reported to the police at the Dopemu division and the suspect was arrested the following day.
He said, “Bakare came to the bar that evening and he was served a bottle of beer worth N250. After taking the drink, one of the bar attendants, Daniel, approached him for payment. He said he had no money. This led to an argument between the two of them.
“Out of anger, Bakare picked a plank with the intention to hit Daniel but he missed his target and smashed the head of Eguzouwa. The victim bled to death at LASUTH.”
In a chat with Punch, the father of two, admitted to have taken a bottle of beer at the bar but insisted that an old friend of his, who came to the place that evening, paid on his behalf.
The Ilesha, Osun State indigene said Daniel challenged him to a duel in the course of the altercation and picked a metal to attack him.
He said he opted for the plank in self-defence, adding that he accidentally slammed it on the victim’s head.
Bakare said, “I live on Taiwo Lane, Dopemu and I am a tricycle rider. I usually go to the bar to have fun. Earlier in the afternoon, I was there with some of my friends to drink. I returned there some minutes before 7pm to watch the match between Nigeria and Argentina.
“I met a friend whom I had worked with at a company in Ikeja some years ago. He bought a bottle of beer for me and asked Daniel to add it to his bill. After the match, Daniel walked up to me and asked that I pay for the drink. I told him the man had added my bill to his.
“He started dragging my phone with me. I kept the phone in my pocket and we started fighting. He picked an iron and threw it at me. I also hauled a plank at him which hit one man (Eguzouwa) on the head.”
The 34-year-old stated that he went home after they were separated not knowing he had inflicted a grievous injury on the deceased.
He said he was on his way to the bar the following morning when some residents informed him that Eguzouwa was in a critical condition.
“I was not drunk and I did not mean to kill him. It was a mistake. I was almost at the bar when the police arrested me,” he added.
Confirming the incident, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, said the Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, had directed that the suspect be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for further investigation.
Oti said the CP enjoined Lagosians to embrace dialogue in resolving issues rather than resorting to violence, adding that the suspect had been charged to court.
He said, “A police team led by the DPO went to the scene and arrested the suspect. The victim was rushed to LASUTH where he was confirmed dead. His corpse had been deposited in the hospital’s morgue for autopsy. The Homicide Section of SCIID, Yaba, is investigating the case.
“This case shows how fragile human life can be and the need for people to settle their disagreements peacefully without resorting to violence.”
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