Gabriel Enningand Eric were best friends; they have been living and working together since 2011 when they arrived Nigeria as illegal immigrants from Ghana.
We gathered that it was hard to find one without the other nearby. Their closeness attracted the attention of their neighbours and co-workers who eventually began to refer to them as soul mates.
The unexpected, however, happened on March 12, 2012, when a fight broke out between the two over a missing mobile phone and 22-year-old Eric lost his life in the process.
Enning, who is presently in police custody, told us that he still found it difficult coming to terms with the tragic incident.
Narrating what transpired on that fateful day, the 23-year-old Ghanaian national said, “Eric and I have been living in Nigeria for about six months now. We both hail from Oda, Ghana, but we came to Nigeria to seek greener pastures.
“We work at Mannies, a company which manufactures ice cream and yoghurt. The company also provides accommodation for us so we both lived and worked together at Isheri-Berger, Lagos.
“On that fateful day, early in the morning, while we were preparing for work, Eric complained that he could not find his mobile phone and went berserk. He went to complain to our boss but our boss told him to wait till we all returned from work to settle the matter.”
Enning said after returning from work at 4pm that day, Eric accused him of stealing the mobile phone which led to an altercation.
He said, “I told Eric to wait till our boss and our colleagues returned from work but he refused. Eric went ahead to lock the door of the room and held my trousers, shouting that I should produce his phone.
“Eric picked up a hand trowel and put it against my neck, threatening to injure me if I did not give him back his phone. I didn’t know why he was so sure that I was the one that stole his phone.
“He then attempted to dispossess me of my money which was in my pocket but I resisted him. A struggle ensued and he suddenly picked up a glass bottle and hit me in the mouth, causing me to lose a tooth.”
We learnt that Enning became infuriated after losing his tooth and the friends started fighting.
Enning told our correspondent that after fighting for a while, he forced the door open, went outside and picked up a piece of metal which he used to hit his friend.
“I hit Eric’s hand with the metal but he was tried to collect it from me but the metal fell to the floor. I picked it up again but this time I used the metal to hit him in the back of the head. He suddenly fell to the floor and started bleeding profusely,” he said.
With the help of some bystanders, Enning said he quickly rushed Eric to a hospital where he gave up the ghost.
He said, “When Eric and I were fighting outside, some people were outside watching us but they did not understand what was going on because we were speaking our native Ghanaian language.
“When he collapsed, they helped me to put him into a vehicle which we used in transporting him to a hospital where he died.
“I never knew life was so fragile, I never intended to kill him, we were like brothers,” Enning said with an emotion-laden voice.
Enning was immediately arrested by policemen attached to the Isheri Division, from where he was transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.
The spokesperson for the state police command, Mr. Joseph Jaiyeoba, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent on the telephone, said the police would be diligent in its investigation.
Jaiyeoba warned members of the public to settle disputes amicably rather than resorting to violence.
He said, “People should always keep calm and settle disputes amicably because a single moment of anger could push one to commit heinous crimes which could land one behind bars.”