What would make a man murder and dismember his close friend and business associate?
A graduate of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, Steven Onowa, is now colling his heels in the cell of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, after he cold heartedly butchered and dismembered the body parts of his close friend and business associate, Daniel Bassey, an indigene of Uruan Local Government Area of the state, over a minor disagreement.
The ugly and gruesome incident which happened at Itu Road, Uyo, the state capital when residents of the area learnt how the Anambra State born Onowa who ran a barbing saloon managed by the deceased, had committed such a dastardly act on a man who was his friend as well as dating the victim's sister.
The suspect who confessed to the crime, said he had called his victim on phone for an urgent meeting in his house, where he served him beer laced with poison and after the deceased dosed off, Steven tied him up and stabbed him to death.
After stabbing Bassey to death, Onowa used machete to chop off his hands, head and two legs. He packed the parts in a sack, pulled it out of the house to the major street of Itu Road.
But apparently tired of evacuating the corpse to a safer place, he was said to have abandoned the deceased in the sack, removed the parts he had chopped off and dumped them at different locations.
He then escaped but with the aid of a GSM tracking device employed by police investigators, he was later apprehended.
Describing how he carried out the cold-blooded murder, Onowa said:
“It was at about 3.00 am that I decided to kill him. I gave him the first cut, the guy got up; I gave him a second one and he died and I butchered him to parts.
I killed him out of anger. But, I am not a ‘ritualist’ and I don’t belong to any cult group. I regret my actions. I have no intention to sell his body parts to ritualists.”
He also claimed that he got angry and killed his victim for daring to raise his voice at him over his N750,000 he had refused to account for.
“We had reported the matter to SARS about two years ago and he agreed on a time frame to pay up the N750,000.
Till today, he has refused to pay the money, so when I invited him to my house that day, he started shouting and getting angry with me, so I killed him. I am not dealing in body parts. I only cut him to pieces to be able to carry him.”
The state Commissioner of Police who paraded the suspect at the police headquarters, confirmed that from his confession, there was a hidden animosity between the two for over two years.
What further annoyed angry residents of Itu Road, according to a neighbour, is the fact that Onowa was having a relationship with one of the deceased sisters
A resident said angrily:
"What is more painful is the fact that the suspect, apart from being a close friend of the deceased, was also having an affair with one of the late Dan’s sisters.
It was as a result of such close relationship that led Onowa to opening a barbing salon for his Bassey along Urua Ekpa Road."