Family of Suliu Ambali, 45-year-old commercial bus driver, whose life was cut down in his prime by another neighbor, is demanding justice.
The Kwara-born Ambali was punched with a ring allegedly laced with charm by a young man identified as Daduro Afefe at about 4:30p.m. on Sunday, May 24, at Okemorosun, off Magbon Town, Badagry in Lagos State.
Suliu, who went to work on the said day, had returned to join friends celebrating the Eid-el-Fitri. A call for help came shortly after his arrival, as a woman cried to the men that her aged husband was about being beaten by the said Afefe, a terror in the community.
Suliu and his friends rushed to rescue the man, who was identified as Baba Rotimi, a member of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN). Unfortunately, Afefe who was said to be on a mission to kill, took out the ring, and aimed for Suliu, who had admonished him not to insult or attempt to beat Baba Rotimi. In reaction to his warning, he punched Suliu in the stomach, who died instantly, while Afefe, who knew the gravity of the offence he had committed, fled the area.
A friend of the deceased, Atolagbe Adetoyi, who witnessed the whole drama, said he is still in shock. Adetoyi told newsmen: “The fact that my friend is gone still seem like a dream. I am yet to believe it. We went to the rescue of the old man, Baba Rotimi. We asked what happened and we were told that Afefe sat in a tricycle, smoking weed with his friend. The rider told them to excuse him as he was about to resume business, but they refused.
“The rider who is also not a troublesome man, as we call him pastor, came to called Baba Rotimi, as an elder, to intervene in the matter and it was while he was trying to caution the boys that they started raining insults on him and threatened to beat him up. We ordered the boys to leave the old man, and warned them against their unruly behaviour. This didn’t go down well with them, as they tried to pick a fight with us. Suliu called Afefe, warning him to desist from causing trouble.
“The matter was settled and we went back to where we were sitting and continued our discussion. Suddenly, Afefe appeared from nowhere, he went to Suliu, and was about to punch him when one of us blocked the punch with his hand. Immediately, the man’s hand became numb and stiff. Since then, the man has not been able to do anything with that hand.
“The second punch landed on Suliu’s stomach, and he immediately fell to his knees, with face down. When we raised his head, he was weak; it was as though all the blood in his body had dried up. He died immediately, while Afefe who knew what he had done ran away. We searched every known place to find him but to no avail. We were however lucky to get his accomplice and we handed him over to operatives of Morogbo Police Station.”
Although his body had been released to the family for burial, family are friends are demanding that the police arrest the fleeing killer and bring him to justice. Distraught wife of the deceased, Silifat Ambali, who described her husband as a peace-loving fellow, caring father to his two children, and a loving husband, said she wants justice.
Meanwhile, it was gathered from residents that Afefe is a suspected cultist, who only comes to the area to hide after committing heinous crimes elsewhere. A resident who does not want his name mentioned, said: “We are now leaving in fear in the area. Boys, who have taken to smoking weed, are always at different corners. We fear for our lives and that of our children. If you decide to inform the police, after they are arrested, they are released and they return back to the area.”
Culled from The Guardian