Detectives at the State Department of Criminal Investigation, Yaba, are investigating a 60-year-old landlord, Kareem Ajao, for allegedly killing his tenant, Chukwuyenre Eke while he was packing out.
The incident happened on Chief Kenneth Street, Ilogbo, in the Ajangbadi area of Lagos State.
Punch Metro learnt that Chukwuyenre, a businessman, and the landlord had been having a running battle over payment of rent.
The landlord was said to have asked the Imo State indigene to leave his single room apartment.
It was learnt that the victim, whose rent expired in June 2015, was packing out from the house on December 14, 2015, when he had a confrontation with Ajao, who allegedly pushed him.
The 42-year-old, who was said to have fallen and hit his head against the ground, died.
The matter was reported at the Ilemba Hausa Police Division, leading to the arrest of the suspect.
The matter was then transferred to the SDCI pending the conclusion of investigations and the release of autopsy report.
The victim’s wife, Chinanu, 23, lamented that she was jobless, adding that the death of her husband had thrown the burden of raising their three children on her shoulders.
She said, “We moved into the house three years ago and rented a room for N1,500 per month. But every time our rent expired, the landlord always made trouble with us before we renewed our rent.
“Last year, he said he wanted us to leave his house after our rent expired in June. My husband begged him to collect the money, but he said no. He issued us a notice to quit. After much begging, he agreed to give us some time to look for another apartment.”
She said the intervening period was filled with scuffles and on one occasion, the police were invited to settle a quarrel between her and the landlady.
She said, “I told my husband to allow me go to my brother’s house in November, pending when he will find another house because of the frequent clashes. He also decided to stay with friends until we find another house.
“On December 13, my husband called me and said he had found another house. He said he would take a vehicle to our former house to pack our loads. I later got a call that my husband had been killed by the landlord.”
It was learnt that the victim had taken a vehicle to the house to pack their property when the landlord came and accused him of packing away without informing him.
They were said to have engaged in a scuffle during which the deceased died.
Chinanu said she got to the house and met her husband in a pool of blood.
Policemen from the Ilemba Hausa Police Division were said to have arrived at the scene and arrested the landlord.
The first child of the family, seven-year-old Favour, said his dad promised to buy them special caps and biscuits for Christmas and New Year.
“I don’t know what happened to my dad,” he said.
When our correspondent approached some tenants in the house where the incident happened, they declined comment and referred our correspondent to the landlady.
The landlady, who feigned ignorance, said she was not related to the suspect, adding that no member of the landlord’s family was around.
Our correspondent, however, dropped his phone number with her.
As our correspondent stepped out of the house and entered a tricycle in which the victim’s wife and children were, the landlady also stepped out of the house and saw Chinanu.
Some minutes later, she called our correspondent on the telephone with a hidden number and said, “Is it that woman (Chinanu) that brought you here? She brought you here and decided to dodge us. She is the cause of this trouble. She is the one that killed her husband.
“She had two husbands in this house before she left. When they got a notice to quit, she abandoned her husband and followed the second man, who is the father of her last child.
“It was the problem that aggravated the man’s health and killed him. It is not true that the landlord pushed him and killed him. I am just a tenant and decided to hint you on what happened.”
The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Aliyu Giwa, confirmed the incident, adding that the matter was being investigated at the SDCI.
“The landlord has been arrested and investigation is ongoing,” he said.