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PHOTO: 34-yr-old Commercial Driver Hangs Self Over Missing Cell Phone



hanged-hung-sucide-suicidal--620x350People who knew Akin, a cab driver, could not believe he could commit suicide. But that was what he did. He hanged himself barely 24 hours after being confirmed a thief by a herbalist.
What on earth would have made Akin commit suicide?” “Did he kill himself because of the phone he

was accused of stealing?” “Was he tired of life?” “Would the juju of the herbalist he consulted drive him into this action?”

“Did he hang himself out of shame?” These are some of the questions begging for answers on the lips of Sauka, Abuja residents as they discussed in low tones the suicide of Akin a 34-year-old man yesterday.
Akin until his death, had been living in the village for over five years and was not known to have any medical problem, according to sympathisers and his neighbours. Akin was a Lagos-born taxi driver in Abuja; he was about 34 years and married. His wife and children, according to his neighbours, live in Lagos State.
He lived alone in a self-contained building attached to several others in which his neighbours live. He was said to have worked last on Wednesday with the car given to him for his cab business by one of his friends, Sanmi. One of the youths who use the vicinity where Akin hanged himself as Indian hemp smoking den had come early in the morning to smoke when he saw a body dangling from a tree. It was Akin’s. And, seeing the lifeless body of his friend, he ran to the village to inform the community.
This sparked off wailing among the people who were preparing for the day’s business. The incident has been described as the first of its kind in the land, and the residents are still dazed. Before Akin’s suicide, however, something happened between him and one of his neighbours, Mrs Loveth Chidoke.
 Akin and Chidoke lived adjacent to each other within the same compound for two years.
Chidoke was allegedly notified by a fellow woman neighbour that Akin was in possession of her missing phone. Chidoke took up the story: “Last week, I took my basin to the river. My neighbour, a woman, was at home. I left my phone in my room.
Akin was the only person who entered the compound when I left. Before I came back, he had left the house. I couldn’t run after him, because I was half-dressed; he had gone out of the compound. “I had always given him the phone which I bought not long ago for N15, 000.00 to charge.
Another man, different from my woman neighbour in the compound who saw him, confirmed he saw Akin take the phone and run out of the compound. I went to complain to the soldiers on the highway across the village.
I begged that they should help me appeal to him to give me my two SIMs in the phone so that I would put them in another phone. Later, Akin came to me and said all I was doing was a waste of time that we should go and consult a diviner over the matter; I agreed. “We went to that herbalist yesterday morning. Akin paid for my transport and the other person that went with us, including his.
The village we went is around Gwa- Gwa; (about 70 kilometres to Sauka) He paid about N400.00 for the transport of each of us. We left home around 9am and we waited for the diviner till 2pm; he went to farm.
“The herbalist told me to swear if my phone got lost; I did. The herbalist tied something on my neck, pulled my two hands to the back and tied another rope on it. He made me kneel and swear, warning me of the consequences of lying. I did everything he asked me to do with complete obedience; the rope that he threatened would hold me if I lied did not hold me. The other woman too, who claimed she saw Akin when he stole the phone did same; the rope did not tie her, as warned by the diviner.
“It was Akin that did last and the rope tied his neck and hands immediately he swore. He was still denying he stole the phone after that and urged the herbalist to do the thing again. He even vowed that the herbalist should kill him if the thing caught him the second time.
The herbalist pleaded with him that the thing would not kill him; that he should just return my phone to me since it was already confirmed it was in his custody. “The thing was carried out on him again. It was then he now agreed that he had sold the phone for N5, 000 and that the SIMs had been thrown into a river. He begged that he would sell his electronics and give me back the money. I told him he shouldn’t do that but just help me find the SIM.
Thank God the herbalist recorded everything with a camera in his house,” Chidoka concluded. One of the deceased’s closest friends, Atolagbe Ojo, said of him: “The guy is my guy. I know him in the neighbourhood here. I have known him close to two years now. I am also a Yoruba guy. I am a tailor.
Yesterday morning, he told me he would give me two clothes to sew. I begged him to give me two weeks before he would come to collect them because of the workload on me. That was how we departed. He didn’t tell me he would not go to work. I know he is married but I have never seen the wife and children he always told me he had. They live in Lagos, according to him.
I am surprised to suddenly see him in this situation.” His remains were brought down from the tree by members of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, led by Assistant Commandant Edwin Ugwuja.
Ugwuja told Saturday Mirror in an interview: “When I came to the office this morning around 7am, I was notified that somebody hanged himself here in the village. I mobilized my men and came to the scene of the incident. As it is, investigation will be carried out.
From here, we are taking his corpse to the Nigerian Air Force Base mortuary.” He, however, appealed to Nigerians that suicide is not the best option for whatever form of despondency.
“It is not the best to take your life. There are different ways of solving some issues, especially, personal issues that you have. It is not by taking your life; nobody is expected to take his life,” he urged.
One of the deceased’s friends who refused to give his name said: “It has been long that I knew Akin. I knew him in 2003 in Jabi (Abuja) Akin that I know doesn’t steal. I haven’t heard that he stole. We were living together in a room before he got his apartment. I haven’t seen him steal anyone’s property before. He was a driver; taking drop.
He got his car from someone and made returns to the owner. I am a mechanic; I came back from work on Wednesday and saw him quarrelling over a phone with a neighbour in the compound. “They threatened to take the case of the stolen phone to the police station. Later, I discovered they went to report to soldiers who control traffic on the highway.
The soldiers said they should come the following day to know who actually stole the handset. Later, they decided to consult a herbalist to ascertain who stole the phone. I warned him not to go to a herbalist but he refused. He was even abusing me, calling me all sorts of names because of my advice.
“That was how all of them began to look for a herbalist who could divine into the mystery behind the phone. And, yesterday, they went to the herbalist. All I got to know later is what you see here today.”
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