An Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Wednesday remanded in Kirikiri Prisons’ custody a trader, Chinonso Eweren, who allegedly beat his neighbour to death over a dead rat.
Eweren, 19, of Old Ewu Road, Mafoluko in Oshodi, Lagos State, is being tried for a breach of the peace, assault and murder.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Magistrate A.A Adesanya refused to grant bail to the accused but ordered the investigating police officer to duplicate and forward the case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPPs) for legal advice.
He, therefore, ordered that the accused be remanded in prisons’ custody and adjourned the case to July 13.
“Based on the sensitivity of the case, it is difficult to grant bail to the accused. Bail will be at the discretion of the court.
“The case file should be documented and duplicated. A copy of it should be sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPPs) for legal advice,” he said.
The prosecutor, Insp. George Nwosu, told the court that the accused committed the offences on Feb.27, at his residence.
He said that the accused, unlawfully, assaulted and caused the death of his neighbour, one Mr Ebuka Agbo, over an argument on a dead rat.
Nwosu said that the accused and Agbo had an argument that emanated over a dead and smelling rat lying at the accused person’s verandah.
“The accused claimed that his neighbour, Agbo, threw the dead rat on his verandah.
“The accused ordered Agbo to pick the rat but he refused, claiming that he was not responsible for the act.
“With annoyance, the accused threw some punches at Agbo as well as hit him on the head with a big stone.
“The victim fainted following the heavy bleeding from the injury sustained in his head from the stone.
“The landlord and other co-tenants quickly rushed him to the hospital,” he said.
According to the prosecutor, the victim died two days after the incident at a general hospital.
The offences, Nwosu said, contravened Sections 166, 171 and 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 221 prescribes a life-jail term as penalty for offenders.