By Joseph Onyekwere
A TWENTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD apprentice trailer driver, Tomola Ikuemeonisan, was yesterday arraigned before a Lagos High Court, Igbosere, for allegedly murdering his friend, Simeon Okoboh by stabbing him in the neck during a beach outing together.
The accused, who is at present remanded in Ikoyi Prison, was arraigned on a one-count-charge of murder but when his plea was taken before Justice Ebenezer Adebajo, he pleaded not guilty to the charge read to him in Yoruba language.
The charge reads: “Tomola Ikuemeonisan on or about the 3rd day of January, 2009 at Sakpo Beach, Badagry, Lagos in the Lagos Judicial Division murdered one Simeon Okoboh ” an offence contrary to Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Law Cap. 17, Vol. 2 Laws of Lagos State, 2003.
It was gathered that the accused and his friends, including the deceased, went to Sakpo Beach, Badagry in a bus and when they were about leaving, a fight started.
The fight was said to have been caused by another boy who slapped a female photographer, refusing to pay for a photograph he took.
This drew the attention of the accused and his friends and the fight spread.
The accused, in his confessional statement to the police, said it was another boy that broke a bottle, took a piece of it and mistakenly stabbed the deceased on the neck, adding: “It was only once that I stabbed him. The rest of our people rushed down from the vehicle and start to beat me and finally dragged me to the nearby police post.”
According to his confession, the deceased was the leader of the group that went to the beach and the deceased had wanted them to enter their bus and not to fight when he, the accused, mistakenly stabbed him because it was dark and he could not see him.
“I did not intentionally do it, he was my friend and we all moved together. The boy did not die immediately but died later in the hospital,” he added.
The matter was adjourned to November 29, 2012 for trial.
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