20/11/2010 12:49

OKADA RIDER DIES DURING SCUFFLE OVER N1,500 DEBT

Tragedy struck at No. 9, Mayowa Street, Egbeda, Lagos, when a commercial motorcyclist, Sebastian Asuquo, fell off the stairs and died during a scuffle that ensued over the recovery of a debt of N1,500.

Asuquo, who died on the spot after hitting his head on the floor, fell off the stairs with his wife, simply known as Iya Victor, who broke her limbs.

The incident was said to have occurred in the early hours of Thursday during an altercation with one Bassey Okon and his wife, who resided in an uncompleted one-storey building in Lagos.

Correspondent learnt that Iya Victor, who is now at the intensive care of a hospital, owing to the degree of her injuries, had borrowed N1,500 from Okon’s wife, whose name could not be ascertained. She was unable to pay the sum at the previously agreed time.

There are, however, two versions of how the couple, who had four children, fell off the stairs during the scuffle that occurred in an attempt to recover the debt.

A version, given by a neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that Iya Victor and her husband fell while she was trying to mediate in a fight between Asuquo and Okon, who were exchanging blows as a result of the earlier altercation between the two women.

The neighbour said, “Iya Victor had borrowed the sum of N1,500 from Okon’s wife. Her inability to pay the money sparked off a quarrel between the two women. Later that night, Asuquo and Okon started fighting over the same issue. It was while she was trying to settle the fight between both men that Iya Victor fell off the stairs with her husband. Asuquo sustained head injuries. He lost consciousness and later died at a nearby hospital and his wife broke her limbs.”

A neighbour, who equally craved anonymity, gave another version. “It was Asuquo who was trying to make peace between his wife and Okon’s wife. He didn’t realise that his feet were at the edge of the stairs. In the process, he fell off, taking his wife with him. 

A man, who identified himself as her brother-in-law, said, “Talking about this incident serves no useful purpose. It wouldn’t bring my brother back.”

The uncompleted building, which acts as a temporary abode for some families, had no protective railings.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the Lagos Police Command, Mr. Frank Mba, confirmed the incident, admitting though that there were conflicting versions of the death of the okada rider. Mba said, “An incident took place at that address that led to the death of Asuquo. However, there are conflicting versions of the circumstances that led to his death and the conflict is the focus of police investigation. We have a suspect in custody named (Bassey) Okon and the case has been transferred to the homicide section of the state Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, for further investigation.”

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