Slain engineer: Widow faults ritual claim, 123 motorcycles seized

"The motorcyclists beat my husband to a pulp, put tyres on him and burned him as if he was an armed robber."
Slain engineer: Widow faults ritual claim, 123 motorcycles seized

Grace, the wife of a late sound engineer, David Sunday, has demanded justice after her husband was lynched by motorcyclists, who attacked him and his colleagues in the Lekki area of Lagos State.

Our correspondent, who visited the widow at her parents’ house in the Ejigbo area of the state on Monday, noted that the couple had two boys – Samuel and Emmanuel.

The 36-year-old woman, who spoke amid tears, said her husband was murdered in cold blood.

She said, “My husband was setting up for a show inside Beer Barn (an entertainment facility), while two of his colleagues, Frank and Philip, who mounted a motorcycle, had an argument with the motorcyclist. They agreed on paying N400 and gave the motorcyclist N500 to collect N100, but the motorcyclist said he did not have change.

“So, they gave him N300 and told the motorcyclist that they always played at Beer Barn and promised to give him his change later. The motorcyclist refused and that was how the fight started. When the fight became intense, people came inside to call their colleagues, including my husband, and they rushed outside to help.

“But when they found out that there were many motorcyclists outside, they ran back to the venue; the manager of the venue sent them back and claimed not to know them. While others were lucky to escape, the motorcyclists caught up with my husband and as the attention was on him, some good Samaritans quickly rescued his two colleagues and rushed them to a hospital.

“Aside from Frank, Philip and my husband, there were other colleagues who also sustained injuries during the attack. The motorcyclists beat my husband to a pulp, put tyres on him and burned him as if he was an armed robber.

“How much do I earn to take care of my children alone? A marriage of nine years ended just like that! My husband went to work; he did two jobs just to take care of us. He was a hardworking man that was caring, loving, and ready to do any handiwork because he was a craftsman.

“I felt bad when I heard that they wrongly tagged him and his friends Yahoo boys or ritualists. I want justice and help from the government because of my children.”

Our correspondent also observed people including friends, family and church members commiserating with the widow.

Contacted, the manager of David’s team, the Legacy 360 Band, one Mr Bode, said he had nothing to say as investigation into the incident was ongoing.

The management of Beer Barn, in a statement on Monday, confirmed that David was hired to provide musical entertainment for its patrons.

The leisure hub said the first hint of trouble was a commotion at its entrance which was marked by a mob trying to force its way in.

The statement said, “We requested to know what the issue was and members of the mob replied that somebody from our facility had used a charm to hit one of its members, who was presumed dead.

“While we were engaging the mob, David, who was alleged to have used the charm, came out of our facility and was forcibly taken away from our premises by the mob, which insisted he was a Yahoo boy (Internet fraudster) trying to use the victim for a money ritual. Our internal security men couldn’t stop them in spite of their best efforts.

“Outside our facility, some members of the irate mob made up of commercial motorcyclists surrounded the car in which the founder of the live band and three other band members were locked. There were three naval officers around the car and they told us they were trying to resolve the matter that led to the commotion.

“Noticing that the military men were not making any headway in their efforts to bring the situation under control, we called the Rapid Response Squad because the number of angry motorcyclists was increasing. The RRS team arrived, but said the crowd was too big for them to control.

“At the time of their arrival, nobody had died. The victim of the altercation with the band boy had also regained consciousness. In a further attempt to prevent any untoward occurrence, we called the Divisional Police Officer of Maroko Police Station. But before his team could get to our facility, the mob had already burnt David and was on the verge of doing same to his colleague, Philip Balogun, when policemen from Maroko arrived and dispersed the crowd by firing in the air.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Lagos State Taskforce, CSP Shola Jejeloye, on Monday, led a team to the axis to carry out a raid on commercial motorcyclists operating illegally in the area.

The operation, which lasted for about four hours, led to the arrest of 10 Okada riders and seizure of 123 motorcycles plying the Lekki-Epe Expressway, Admiralty Way, and its environs for operating on restricted routes and constituting a nuisance in the state.

Jejeloye said, “The murder of Mr David by the suspected Okada men is a painful and tragic incident, hence the need to intensify our activities in the axis and in the state to ensure that the menace of Okada is brought to a complete halt and also prevent a reoccurrence of such an inhumane and barbaric act.”

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement, called for calm, adding that four arrested suspects had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Yaba.

“Lagos has no room for savagery and anybody found to have been involved in this barbarism will surely face the law.

We condemn and will not condone any kind of jungle justice, no matter who the perpetrators are,” he added.

Omotosho claimed to have spoken to the deceased’s family and offered the condolences of the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who assured that justice would be served.

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