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Epileptic, Friend Nabbed for Murder of Cab Driver

If market competition and inflation had not forced distillers to package dry gin in sachets of N50, perhaps Tunde Odutola would be alive today.
Daily Times gathered that one cheap drink too many at Onipanu bus stop along Ikorodu Road, Lagos, led to an argument between cab driver, Tunde Odutola and one Esther, daughter of a bear parlour operator, on Sunday April 19th, 2015.
And in a bid be their brother’s keeper, Lucky Nnaeto, a commercial motorcycle (okada) operator and his friend, a barber from Edo State, Friday Williams, ended up at the State Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at Panti Street, Yaba, for the murder 39 year old Odutola.
The late Tunde had bought and drank one sachet of dry gin for N50 as appetizer, and proceeded to order a plate of Eba from a food vendor next to the drinks vendor, and that was when trouble started.
Friday Williams, one of the duo soon to be charged for murder, narrates the sequence as it happened.
“What actually happened was that I went to the bus stop that morning to buy a sachet of dry gin from a local vendor. I was there when Tunde, the taxi driver, came and he also bought and drank his gin. He was already drunk when he ordered for a plate of eba; immediately he was served, Tunde asked Esther, daughter of the woman who sells drinks at the bus stop, to vacate her seat so he can sit and eat his breakfast, but she refused.
“Tunde started abusing her till she began to cry. People cautioned him, but he attacked a man on crutches and that was when I intervened. He slapped and rained blows on me; there was blood all over my face and I decided to go home and take care of my wounds.”
Daily Times learnt that though the barber, Friday William, was epileptic, he managed to contain his condition and headed home to treat his wounds.
“It was on my way home that I met my close friend, Aneto; since he knew I am epileptic, he asked if I’d had the usual epileptic seizure; I told him it was nothing related to my ailment but that I was beaten up by a taxi driver. Upon my explanation, Nnaeto went to meet Tunde and insisted he gives me money to treat myself. Tunde however gave me N500 to treat myself and I left.”
33 year old father of one, denied having anything to do with the death of Odutola. He claimed he only threatened to deflate his tires and nothing more.
“I am a commercial bike opera“ tor. I was working when I saw Friday with blood all over his face and dirty clothes. I asked him if he had suffered his usual epileptic attack. He said no, that he was beaten by a taxi driver.
“He was still explaining the incident when the taxi driver drove into the street possibly to continue with his attack. I quickly approached him and insisted he apologised to Williams and threatened to deflate his car’s tires if he refused to take Friday to the hospital or at least give him money for treatment. He then said he had N500 to part with and I pleaded with Williams to accept it. So I left to continue with my job. But to my surprise when I was returning to our street, I saw the corpse of the taxi driver lying on the roadside.
“Although while I was leaving, I noticed some guys were trying to harass him, but I did not take it seriously. And I can specifically remember one Tope who lives in the neighborhood was among them. I am innocent. I did not mobilize anyone to kill him.”
But the story of eye witnesses had it that it was Williams while on his way home, heard what Tunder did to his bosom friend, Nnaeto, and upon his explanation, it was alleged that Aneto and a few others confronted Odutola and lynched him.
The duo were however arrested by the Onipanu police division in connection with the murder and subsequently transferred the case to the State Criminal Investigation Department Panti Street, Yaba.
Pleading his innocence, Williams said, “It is none of my fault that Tunde was killed, because I did not ask anyone to fight or beat him up on my behalf.”
A source at the state CID told Daily Times that investigations are ongoing to determine whether the suspects mobilised the mob that lynched the 39 year old Odutola or not.

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