A hairdresser, Ms Patience Oamen, on Tuesday told an Ikeja High Court how her 38-year-old brother, Nelson Oamen, allegedly stabbed their 78-year-old father to death with a broken bottle.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nelson, a carpenter, was arraigned on July 10, 2019, on a charge of murder, contrary to Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2011.
Led in evidence by lead state counsel, Mr M. T. Adewoye, Patience, the seventh of eight children fathered by the deceased, Mr Sunday Oamen, alleged that Nelson killed their father in their apartment on Abesan Estate in Lagos State.
Giving evidence as the first prosecution witness, Patience said that the defendant who is the fourth child, had a cordial but sometimes strained relationship with their father because of the deceased’s refusal to give him money.
“He used to ask our father for money, and our father used to give him some of the times; sometimes, our father would not give him; when that happened, he would fight with him and abuse him.
“On the day of the incident, our mother who sells foodstuff, was downstairs with me, our mother cooked a meal for our father and took it upstairs for him to eat.
“Between 12p.m. and 1p.m., while our mother and I were downstairs, I saw my brother hurriedly coming downstairs with his clothes stained with blood. I called his name but he ran away.
“The door to the house was locked and I was wondering how he opened the door. I took the keys, opened the door and saw a pool of blood,” she told the court.
The witness said that she immediately ran downstairs to call her mother, and both ran upstairs to check on her father and noticed he had been stabbed.
“He had been stabbed all over his stomach and neck with a broken bottle,” Patience testified.
Patience told the court that the case was reported to the police and three days later, Nelson came to the police station to confess that he stabbed their father to death.
The hairdresser also testified that due to Nelson’s conflict with their parents over money, he stole and sold a prepaid meter belonging to the family.
She added that Nelson smoked hemp.
According to Patience, the deceased sponsored Nelson’s only child’s schooling as his spouse fled her matrimonial home due to domestic violence.
While being cross-examined by defence counsel, Mrs E. B. Ogogo, Patience said that though she was not in the apartment when the alleged murder took place, she knew it was her brother who committed the offence because she saw him with bloodstains on his clothes.
Ogogo noted that in Patience’s two statements to the police, she said that she suspected that her brother committed the murder but never said that she saw him fleeing the scene.
“I saw him on that day but I forgot to put it down in my statement. I was not myself that day because of the shock; that is why I did not remember.
“My brother said that our father’s spirit was hunting him, that was why he went to the police station to confess. I was also shocked when I heard that,” Patience said.
The deceased’s son-in-law and the second prosecution witness, Mr Clement Shobade, said in his evidence that he enjoyed a close relationship with the deceased.
He said that the deceased had on several occasions reported the defendant to him and he advised Nelson to be of good character.
“I am married to Stella, one of the deceased’s daughters. Many times, Nelson would go to the father and mother to request for money and would threaten to kill them if they wouldn’t give him money.
“The father stopped giving him money as the father said he sponsored Nelson to learn carpentry work and bought him several carpentry equipment.
“The father felt threatened by Nelson and changed the locks of the house and told family members that whenever they wanted to come in, they should knock from outside.
“My father-in-law had a partial stroke and problems with his sight,” he added.
Shobade said that when he got to the deceased’s residence on the fateful day, he saw a pool of blood and the corpse of his father-in-law on the floor.
On cross-examination, Ogogo asked Shobade about the position of the corpse.
“The body was said to be found on the bed; you found it on the floor. Is it possible that the body would have been moved?” she asked.
Responding, Shobade said, “Yes, it is possible.”
According to the prosecution, Nelson committed the offence on Sept. 18, 2015, at Block 272, Flat 4, Abesan Estate, Lagos State.
The prosecution said that the defendant was 33 years old when he allegedly committed the murder.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case until April 6 for continuation of trial.