November 23, 2016

Muslim Cleric Stabs Landlord To Death In Lagos

An Islamic cleric, Alfa Ganiyu Umaru, is being detained by police for allegedly killing his landlord in one-storeyed building at Agbotikuyo bus stop in Ipaja area of Lagos.

This is just as relatives and friends of the 45-year-old landlord, Tajudeen Popoola, said they had yet to come to terms with the reality of his death.

Umaru, who hails from Ilorin, Kwara State, and Tajudeen were said to have been at loggerheads for some time over Umaru’s alleged immoral behaviour.

He was said to have criticised the cleric for drinking and performing rituals, telling him that such acts contravened Islamic doctrines. It was said the criticism usually resulted in exchange of words.

The matter came to a head when late Tajudeen returned from a football viewing centre around 8pm on Sunday and reportedly met Umaru and his friends drinking alcohol in front of the building.

The landlord, according to Punch, rebuked the cleric, leading to an altercation after which they both retired to their respective apartments.

The deceased’s brother, Azeez Popoola, said Umaru came to Tajudeen’s apartment a few minutes later and attacked him with a shard of broken glass. He said:

"Alfa usually quarreled with my brother because he used to correct his excesses. Any time they had a disagreement, he would threaten to kill my brother. On Sunday, he made good his threat.

“Everywhere was dark that evening. He sneaked into the passage where my brother was resting on a bench. Alfa didn’t know I was resting at a corner in the passage. I suddenly heard my brother scream and before I knew what was happening, blood was gushing out from his neck while Alfa fled.

“I went after him and with the help of neighbours, he was apprehended and the shard was recovered from him. We rushed my brother to the Ile Epo General Hospital; but before we got there, he had lost a lot of blood. He died a few minutes later. Alfa stabbed him in three different places in the neck.”

Azeez, who described Tajudeen as a diligent mechanic, said he had never fought the suspect although the cleric owed him two-year rent.

“He is a widower. His only daughter lives in the East. The daughter and our ageing mother had not been informed of his death,” he added.

It was gathered that the cleric's wife and children had fled immediately the incident happened.

Tajudeen’s friend, David Aluko, said, “I am devastated. I can’t still believe that my friend is gone forever. The whole thing still appears to me as a movie. We both returned from the viewing centre that day and he told Alfa to stop drinking outside the building.

“Alfa said Tajudeen’s comment embarrassed him and he threatened to kill the landlord. I was discussing with people outside when I heard Azeez shouting upstairs that Alfa had stabbed his brother. Tajudeen was kind to everybody.”

A tenant, who identified himself only as Quadri, said Tajudeen was generous to him and other tenants, urging the police to ensure that Umaru faced the full weight of the law.

He said, “I live in his house in Dopemu. The last time I paid rent was 2014. I explained my challenges to him and he said I shouldn’t worry. He helped people a lot. There were occasions he gave tenants money from the rent they paid.”