The Voice Newsmagazine
Justice for the murder of Steven Osaigbovo Ekunwe; Killer gets 12 years imprisonment.
A Dutch court sitting in Breda has found a Surinamese man guilty of manslaughter and sentence to maximum jail term of 12 years without the possibility of early release in the murder of Steven Kantaga. (His asylum name in the Netherlands). He has since been recognized as a Nigerian born as Steven Osaigbovo Ekunwe, he was born on 27th of June 1971 at Benin-City, Edo State Nigeria. He was killed through knife wounds on 5th of June 2015 at Oosterhout, Noord Brabant, The Netherlands after he has been attacked.
Late Steven Osaigbovo Ekunwe
A friend of his, Ms Monique-Brigitte Klamer had for the last two years fought to get justice for the deceased and for his children as she felt he was unjustly murdered in cold blood because he is a foreigner and nobody to fight his course in the Netherlands.
According to Monique when she spoke to the Voice magazine on the decision of the court, she says it is a relief after two years of fighting to get justice for Steven. “He was a good man and a dear friend, he has children who are now without a father because someone decided to take his life”.
According to her she fought this case with all her resources, because even in death, they wanted to rob Steven of justice, the accused claimed he knifed him in self-defense, but he had no physical injury and yet he stabbed Steven 37 times even on his heart; to me that is intentional killing.
It would be recalled that the story was first heard on the fateful day of 5th June 2015 at around 8:45am in the morning, Steven had got into an argument with his roommate they shared an apartment with. The accused was alleged to have removed Steven clothes from the laundry machine they shared and when Steven demanded for his clothes, an argument ensued.
The remains of Steven being laid to rest in Holland
The roommate attacked Steven with a knife in the apartment and after the first set of stab wounds which were like three times, Steven struggled out of the house into the street to seek for help, the attacker not satisfied with the damaged done already followed him into the street and stabbed him several more times and fled the scene, leaving him for dead. By the time help got to him, Steven has lost so much blood and he succored to his injuries. The course of death was determined as result of severe bleeding.
The attacker was identified as Robbie Leeman, a 50 year old man from Paramaribo- Surinam. He initially denied his involvement but later changed his story to that of self-defense when evidences piled up against him. Throughout the trial, no evidence point to that fact that it was in self-defense.
Late Steven was stabbed once in the heart and twice in the lungs; inside his head and throat. (The pictures were presented as evidence but too graphic to be published in the media).
According to Monique, his death was horrible, the body was badly stabbed and left in the heat of 36 degrees in the summer of 2015; in fact it is too graphic that we could not open his coffin for the public to view. Monique and Dela assisted to wash him and dressed him for burial. He was buried at ’s-Hertogenbosch burial place.
The case has taken almost two years, though they arrested the accused person the same day of the crime but he has tried to use the legal system to get himself free from any responsibility to this gruesome murder.
On 17th of January 2017, the high court ruled that Mr. Leeman is liable for his death and he was found guilty of a lesser charge of man slaughter than murder. The sentencing was set for 6th February 2017 and yesterday the court delivered its judgment in favour of the murder of Steven Osaigbovo – (Steven Kantaga). Leeman was sentenced to 12 years in imprisonment although he could appeal the judgment.
According to Monique if he does appeal, she will follow the case up until justice is done for Steven and for his three children that would continue to ask questions why was their father killed? Although she is confident to still have victory and Mr. Leeman has not further lies to tell to the court.
Ms Monique-Brigitte Klamer: She has been fighting for justice
Steven was the first son of Mr. & Mrs. Ekunwe from Edo state, Nigeria. He has an elder sister and other siblings. We are told he was from a royal family where he was expected to succeed his father but that is no longer possible with his death. He was a family man with 3 children; Jayna (Holland) 14, Angel (UK) 13 and David (Holland) 13.
Children of Late Steven Ekunwe: They still have questions.
Monique says she would always remember Steven because he was a joyful and caring man, you knew when he was present in any meeting or event. He was very strict, honest, and strong from mind and body.
She appeals to his friends and those who knew him to always remember him that Africans here in the Netherlands will never walk alone despite they are far from their homeland. “His death changed me and I am yet to fully recovered from the church but I needed to do this for his children”, she concluded.