By Henshaw NYONG, Uyo
It was a clear case of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. That is the only way anyone can describe the act of one Stephen Onowa, 32, from Njikoka in Anambra State, who allegedly slaughtered one Daniel Bassey Solomon, from Uruan LGA, like goat with head, hands and legs cut-off, carefully stacked inside bags and dumped in the nearby bush. The satanic and shocking act took place in the early hours of Tuesday, 28th July, on Itu Road, a stone-throw to the University of Uyo.
However, it took gallant officers and men of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, less than 24 hours to track and arrest the fleeing suspect, Stephen, who absconded to his hometown in Anambra State, immediately after he committed the devilish act. Parading the murder suspect, Wednesday, July 29th, before newsmen, the State Police Commissioner, CP Gabriel Achong, stated unequivocally that no one, no matter his status in the society, can commit a crime in Akwa Ibom and go away with it.
The Akwa Ibom Police boss, who described the incident as terrible, despicable and horrifying, said the State Command will soon charge the suspect to court for murder. He wondered how a minor misunderstanding over money would degenerate to such a level where human life is wasted, and reiterated the resolve of the police to ensure a zero tolerance for crime.
Explaining how the suspect was apprehended, Achong hinted that when the police got wind of the crime, he deployed his men to the scene of the incident; Itu Road, for an undercover operation, adding that with the help of their tracking device, his men were able to trail the suspect, Stephen, to his location where he was picked up.
“I don’t know whether some people are animals or whether they are worried by instinct. A human being (Stephen) invited somebody working for him (Daniel) to his house because they had misunderstanding over money. He invited the guy to his house, when they finished talking, the guy went to sleep and he carried a machete and removed his head. It did not end there, after removing his head killing him, he carried the same machete, removed the two hands, removed the two laps, carried the laps and the hands, put it into his bag, went and dump them somewhere, carried the remaining part of the body into a ‘Ghana- must go- back’ and dumped it in a gutter. He carried the head in the dustbin and went and dump in the bush, and went and throw the hands and laps somewhere else”, Achong explained.
Fielding questions from newsmen, the suspect, Stephen Onowa, HND graduate of Federal Polytechnic, Oko , who has worked in Akwa Ibom for over 4 years in a Company (name withheld) said he decided to butcher Daniel, an indigene of Nwaniba village in Uruan LGA, for allegedly failing to refund a loan of N750,000(seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) he gave him to run his business. According to the suspect, both of them lived on Itu Road. This is the reason the alleged murderer gave for slaughtering the late Daniel (a professional barber) like a goat ready for sale: “I am here because of my boy (Daniel Bassey Solomon). He used to serve me in my shop. I was angry with him to the extent of carrying machete. What happened is that I borrowed the sum of Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N750,000) from the bank and gave to him to run a Salon business. So when I demanded the money back, and also asked him to show me the shop rent, the receipt and other materials for the salon, he refused, that is why I did what I did’’.
According to the Police, the remains of the late Daniel had been deposited in the mortuary. In another development, no fewer than ten armed robbery suspects and two cultists are in the police net and are currently confessing to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) their involvements in various crimes, ranging from cultism, armed robbery, rape and so on. They were also paraded Wednesday, with their guns, bullets and other weapons nabbed with them.
Meanwhile, CP Gabriel Achong, has assured the people of the state of adequate security of their lives and property, urging them to be of help to the police by giving useful information to them. He warned criminals in the state to desist or be ready for serious battle with the police.