42-year-old trader murders customer over N10 cigarette

The police in Lagos have arrested a 42-year-old man, Alli Mustapha, for allegedly killing one of his customers, Idowu Maliki, in the Ikotun area of Lagos State.

It was learnt that Mustapha had a shop at Imope Compound in Ikotun, where he sold petty goods to people in the community.

The Niger State indigene was alleged to have sold a stick of cigarette to the deceased on Saturday, March 7, which the latter refused to pay for.

When the victim returned to the shop some minutes later, an argument ensued between him and the suspect.

In the ensuing scuffle, our correspondent learnt that Mustapha hit Maliki’s head with a long stick and he slumped.

Efforts to revive him failed as he was later confirmed dead at the Igando General Hospital.

In his statement to the police, Mustapaha admitted to committing the crime, adding that the deceased had first hit him.
He said, “I don’t know the man’s name, but he comes to my place to buy things. On the fateful day, he came to buy a stick of cigarette. He did not pay for it.

“He returned few minutes later and wanted to enter my shop. I refused to allow him. But as I tried to stop him, he took a stool and hit me with it.

“Then he started looking around for other things to hit me and that was when I quickly grabbed a long stick which I usually kept in my shop to protect myself, and hit his head with it.”
It was learnt that the victim was first rushed to a private hospital, but was rejected before being taken to the Igando General Hospital.

The police arraigned Mustapha on one count of murder before an Ebute Meta Magistrate’s Court.

The offence was said to be punishable under Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.

The magistrate, F.J. Adefioye, asked the Investigating Police Officer, Sergeant Olaniyan Rasak, to give the facts of the case to the court.
Rasak said, “On that day, the deceased bought cigarette from the defendant without paying. Few minutes later, he returned to the man’s shop and along the line, argument ensued.

“The deceased punched the defendant on his nose. The defendant then picked a stick in his shop and hit him on the head.”
The police prosecutor, Iyobosa Onaiwu, asked the court to remand Mustapha in prison.

The defence counsel, Beauty Otighi, asked the court to prevail on the prosecution to speedily duplicate the case file for legal advice and ensure the 30 days window period was not exceeded.

The magistrate, Adefioye, said, “The defendant is hereby remanded in custody pending the Directorate of Public Prosecutions legal advice. The case is adjourned till May 25, 2015.”

Credit: Samson Folarin/Punch Metro