Money is the root of all evils, as they say. Nothing could better illustrate the saying than what transpired recently between Olu Opadeji and his bosom friend, Sesan Aster.
Aman, Olu Opadeji, is currently on the run after allegedly stabbing his friend in the neck over disagreement in the sharing of the proceeds from a joint business venture they both carried out recently. Opadeji, 36, is a native of Iludun, Osun State. He deals in home furniture at Alaba Rago area of Lagos State.
Sesan Atser, a father of two, is his close business associate and friend. It is said that both Atser and Opadeji underwent their apprenticeship under the same master at Alaba International Market area in the Lagos State. Both friends reportedly graduated at the same time in 2011.
Atser and Opadeji, after graduation, decided to open a workshop together where they had been putting their learnt skills into practice. Anytime there was demand for a particular item, they both reportedly pulled resources together to finance the business and share the proceeds that come out of it.
This, the two friends had been doing since 2011 until Wednesday, 1 May, 2013, when a business transaction between them went awry. It was reported that a senior government official in Abuja asked the two business associates to supply him some furniture and other home appliances in the nation’s capital.
The items requested by the customer was valued at N5.9 million, but they only needed N3.7 million to see the deal through. It means that if they were able to raise money to supply the items, they would be left with a balance of N2.2 million as their gain from the deal.
The government official reportedly did not extend to the two businessmen any advance payment, but insisted that they should raise the money, supply the items to his new house in Abuja after which he would pay them. On their own, Atser and Opadeji could only muster N900, 000 and left with a balance of N2. 8 million.
Of the N900, 000 raised by the two friends, Atser alone coughed out N600, 000, while Opadeji contributed the balance of N300, 000. Opadeji was reported to be the one contacted by his uncle for the deal before he brought in Atser. It was to this same rich uncle of his that Opadeji ran to who reportedly stood surety for them to get the bank loan with which they were able to carry out the business.
The uncle was able to help them raise N3 million loan from the bank. With the loan from the bank, Atser and Opadeji successfully carried out the task and delivered the consignment on schedule.
True to his promise, the man paid the N5.9 million worth of the contract to the two business associates, and they also refunded the bank loan without hesitation. Then came the time to share the profit, and as agreed, both friends removed their respective personal contributions towards the business, leaving them with the balance of N1.3 million.
That was the beginning of trouble between them. It was reported that while Opadeji demanded a sharing formular of 60 per cent to him and 40 to Atser (apparently because he, Opadeji, brought the deal), Atser would not want to hear of that.
The latter reportedly insisted that they share the money equally. When a consensus could not be reached, Opadeji reportedly shared the money as he deemed fit, but Atser refused to take his share from his friend. He thus left for his house that day.
On the following day which was Wednesday, May 1, 2013, Opadeji reportedly took Atser’s share to his house in Amukoko area of the state. It was reported that at the time Opadeji got to his friend’s house, he only met his wife at home.
With Atser’s wife, Opadeji reportedly dropped the envelope containing the money and left for his Ijora-Badiya home. Moments after Opadeji left for his house, Atser came in and the wife showed him what his friend brought for him.
Upon opening the envelope, Atser reportedly went wild and quarrelled with his wife for collecting the envelope from his friend. Atser wasted no time but immediately went on the trail of Opadeji, hoping he would still see him around the area.
But he was wrong. When he could not see his friend, Atser reportedly jumped on a commercial motorcycle and headed for the home of Opadeji.
Atser did meet Opadeji at home. He reportedly threw the envelope at Opadeji and a heated argument reportedly ensued from there. Eyewitnesses say it was at the heat of this hot argument that fight ensued between the two friends.
Before people could separate the fighting friends, Opadeji reportedly rushed into his living room and came out with a doubleedged knife, with which he stabbed his friend in the neck. It was reported that Atser soon went into coma as blood gushed out of his body. Opadeji’s neighbour, identified as Rabiu, told reporters that efforts to separate the two friends were unsuccessful until he stabbed his friend.
“I have known the two friends for a long time now and that day when I saw them arguing between them, no one around really felt concerned to intervene because we thought it was a minor issue. Until we saw Olu rush to his room and came out with a knife. We tried to stop him stabbing his friend, but he overpowered us and stabbed the young man,” Rabiu said.
Another female neighbour, who preferred anonymity, also said that those around begged Opadeji to settle amicably with his friend, but he turned deaf ears to their appeal.
According to the middle-aged woman, “Both friends are well known to me. They used to buy drinks from me. So when I saw them quarrelling that day, I rushed there but before I could ask what was wrong, I just saw Olu rush inside and came out with a knife and his friend with it. People around tried to stop him but they could not hold him down. As a woman, there was little I could do at the time,” the woman said.