Spousal feuds between lovers over money, infidelity, and sexual denial, among others, have resulted in gruesome deaths in recent times. KUNLE AKINRINADE highlights some of the cases and suggestions by experts on ways to end the disturbing trend.
It was like a scene from a horror movie on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. It was midday and Mohammed Sani was in a loved-up mood with his girlfriend, Habibat Jinadu at his uncle’s home at Damutawa village in Jahun Local Government Area, Jigawa State. About two hours later, the 12-year-old developed a mood swing, acting like one possessed. He reached for his uncle’s dane gun and shot his 15-year-old girlfriend dead.
Police spokesman, Zubairu Aminudeen Ismail, said Habibat was rushed to the hospital only to be confirmed dead.
While Sani’s motive for killing his teenage lover remains a mystery, Lawal Danladi’s killing of his wife, Zulai Lawal, followed a disagreement over the pap she prepared for him.
The 20-year-old suspect, who was paraded at the police headquarters in Minna, Niger State on March 31, allegedly beat his wife to coma before the latter finally died in a hospital.
In another instance, an argument over a missing sum of N1,500 between a 28-year-old lady, Ebiere Ezekiel, and her lover, Godgift Aboh, in February at Obele in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State ended in tragedy.
Ezekiel, a hairdresser, was said to have dated the deceased for one year before their affair ended on a tragic note. It was said that the deceased allegedly slapped her (Ezekiel) for daring to ask him for her missing N1,500 and the suspect reacted by stabbing him to death.
She allegedly stabbed her boyfriend in the stomach during the argument and he died thereafter.
Same February, one Queen Beatrice reportedly killed her husband, Emmanuel Ikujuni, for receiving a phone call from a suspected female friend in her presence.
The incident occurred at Omotosho in Okitipupa Local Government area of Ondo State.
It was said that the woman hit her husband with a plank on the head. The man was rushed to a nearby hospital, but he died before he could be admitted.
A sister to the deceased, Imoleayo Ikujuni, said Beatrice challenged her late brother for receiving a call from another lady.
“In the fight that ensued, she hit him with a plank and he died instantly. They have arrested her and she has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) in Akure for further investigation,” she stated.
Okocha had refused to allow Nkechi, 20, to go to church, but the deceased insisted, and the quarrel degenerated into a fight during which Okocha allegedly stabbed her with a knife in the neck and fled.
Okocha was believed to have suspected that Nkechi was seeing another man and could use going to church as an excuse to see the mystery man.
Nkechi’s father, Innocent Agwor, said he wanted justice.
He said: “What I am asking from the government is justice. Whatever justice that befits such a murder should be administered to him. I don’t need compensation because there is no amount of money that will be paid that will bring back my daughter.”
In a fit of rage, a resident of the Ilasan area of Lekki, Lagos, Chris Ndukwe, allegedly killed his lover, Olamide Alli, 25, with a kitchen knife before killing himself with a poisonous substance he ingested on a Sunday in June, 2020.
Olamide, who lived at Ogba, a Lagos suburb, was said to have had a complicated relationship with Ndukwe for over seven years and had two children aged seven and three with him.
He was said to have stabbed her multiple times in the head and eyes with different kitchen knives after he gagged her mouth and bound her hands.
Two kitchen knives and two bottles of insecticides were found in the house, the police said.
Forcible sex terminated the life of a young wife, Hansa’u Audu, 20 days after her wedding to her husband, Alasan Audu on April 21, 2020, at Kankarelu village in Ringim Local Government Area.
Hansa’u, 17, allegedly turned down Alasan, 30, when he wanted to sleep with her. A row ensued, following which he force himself on her and she died in the process.
The spokesman of the command, SP Abdu Jinjiri, said an investigation revealed that the suspect was not the one the deceased prepared to get married to.
To avoid the shame of having a child outside wedlock, one Mustapha Idris, 29, allegedly killed his live-in-lover, Nafisa Hashimu, 20, at Daneji village, Ringim Local Government Area of the state in April 2020.
Idris was said to have dumped Nafisa’s body in a bush after killing her.
Nafisa’s body was found in a pool of blood in a bush on the outskirts of Daneji village about 22 kilometres from Ringim town.
The state police command’s spokesperson, Audu Jinjiri, who disclosed this to
newsmen, said Idris stabbed Hashimu to death after she told him she was three months pregnant.
Mr Jinjiri said police preliminary investigation found that the late Nafisa was a divorcee, adding that she was certified dead by a medical doctor and released to relatives for burial.
How anger, fighting led to fatalities
Paraded at the Niger state Police Headquarters in Minna, Danladi said he never knew that his wife would die from the beating he gave her.
He said that he did not like the way she prepared the pap and in the ensuing argument, things got heated up and he descend on her, beating her mercilessly.
“I never knew she would die. It was just a misunderstanding over mere pap and I did not know that when she fainted, she would not wake up. I should never have beaten her. I regret my action,” he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun said that the suspect was arrested in Kadaura village in Yakila Gunna district of Rafi LGA, based on credible information.
According to him, the suspect had confessed to beating his wife to coma, adding that by the time she was rushed to the General Hospital in Wushishi, she was confirmed dead.
Abiodun said investigation had commenced, adding that the suspect would be charged to court.
In the case of Okocha, who was held at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos, he was quoted by a police source as owning up to the crime.
The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Okocha had confessed to the murder.
“He told us that he killed his lover because he was suspecting that she was cheating on him.
“He told us that on a fateful day, Nkechi had told him that she was going to the church but he warned her to sit at home as he suspected that she was having an appointment with another man who attends the same church with her.
“He said when Nkechi refused to obey him and insisted that she was going to the church, he picked a fight with her and stabbed her several times. We believe he was telling a cock and bull story because the message he typed in the deceased’s phone showed that he had the intention of killing her.
“He wrote that he killed her and watched her die for 45 minutes. He went further to say ‘I gave her life, but she refused to give me back. With the statements, we are convinced that he planned and executed the killing.
“The irony of the whole thing is that the two are from the same town, Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State. Preliminary investigation showed that though they had one child, they were not legally married.
“We were told that the mother of the deceased is taking care of the child. We were told that the suspect was so possessive and jealous that at one time he attempted to kill himself by drinking a poisonous substance, Sniper. We were told that it was the deceased that rushed him to the hospital where he was revived,” the officer said.
The police officer said that after committing the dastardly act, Daniel took to his heels.
“We extended our dragnets to every nook and cranny of the state. Our efforts paid off when he was picked on Lagos Island. But the question is where was he running to since the two came from the same town?
“The suspect will face the consequences of his action because we will charge him for murder.”
Jigawa State police spokesman, Abdul Jinjiri, said Audu, during interrogation, confessed to committing the crime.
Speaking during his parade, Audu said: “At about 0400hrs, I went to her (the deceased) as a husband, but she turned my request down.
“I then used force on her to satisfy my sexual desire.”
Speaking with reporters shortly after he was paraded at the state police command in Jigawa, Idris said he killed his girlfriend to avoid the shame of giving birth outside wedlock.
“I’m ashamed of how the society will see us after she delivers the unborn child out of wedlock, and thus I decided to terminate her life to stay away from shame,” he said.
Experts proffer solutions
A study recently carried out by the Domestic and Gender Violence Response Team revealed rising cases of sexual and domestic violence amid the lockdown imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
According to the head of the agency, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, about 390 cases were reported in March last year alone with an average of 15 new cases on a daily basis.
She noted that there was 60 per cent increase in domestic violence, 30 per cent rise in sexual violence, and 10 per cent increase in physical child abuse under the same period.
A relationship expert, Anthonia Egube, suggested psychological evaluation of partners in a relationship, noting that such a test would go a long way to douse the tension that could escalate to violence.
She said: “Most partners inclined to violence, whether man or a woman, usually have traits of violence in them waiting to explode at the slightest provocation. Hence, there is a need for people going into relationships to carry out due diligence by carrying out psychological fitness assessments of their partners.
“A partner who yells uncontrollably at the other partner has the ability to unleash violence on his or her partner and detecting this vice in a partner would expose the kind of character the person possesses.”
In his opinion, a marriage coach, Femi Adelowo, urge partners to eschew altercation over petty issues such as money and avoid unnecessary jealousy.
“Issues bordering on infidelity, unguarded remarks, hot arguments over money should be avoided by partners as these are harbingers of violent attacks among partners and couples.
“Also, partners should develop communication mechanisms to resolve issues affecting their relationships rather than resort to physical intimidation or attacks and violence to settle differences.”