Mr. & Mrs Chukwu
He was looking forlorn but with a discernible sober demeanour. In fact, at a glance, one needs no further introduction to the seriousness of the case that brought the once robust but now, malnourished suspect into the confines of the dreaded cell at the Lagos State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Panti, Yaba. It was somehow herculean getting to talk to a suspected killer of his dashingly beautiful wife but the chance meet beside the cell did the trick.
His story: “My name is Tochukwu Chukwu. I am 35 years old from Isokara village, Ezza local government area of Ebonyi state. I grew up in Ihiala , Anambra state with my mother but my father resides in our village. He was an army captain but retired in 1992. When I finished my primary and secondary school at Ihiala, I came to Lagos in the year 1998 , where I started trading in motor parts in Ladipo main market. That was how I started my life in Lagos. I met my wife, Joy, in Lagos.”
How we met.
“I met my wife, Joy in Ladipo too, where she was serving food in January 2014. I came across her because I was the assistant chairman of Alhaji Omotayo traders Union Association, unit 6. I came across Joy when she used to serve food and some boys refused to pay money, so I used to intervene in her case. That was how I developed interest in her.
I told her I wanted her and she agreed. Later, we went to her village, Nkahala in Nkalagu, Ohaukwu lolcal government area of Ebonyi state. Then, her mother and father were alive. She is the first daughter in their family after the death of her other siblings. Her parents were very happy with me because I made her to stop serving food and get involved in my lucrative business of selling motor spare parts.
That’s how we got engaged as husband and wife and she moved into my house at number 32, Balogun Street, Oshodi . “Subsequently, early in 2016, as Igbo tradition demands, I did the traditional marriage. Unfortunately, her father died that year and she was so frustrated but I consoled her. We were planning our white wedding for January 2019 but along the line, I found out that she had a boyfriend.
I confronted her and she said the boy was just a casual friend. I was not comfortable with her explanation and I reminded her that whatever she would do now would tarnish my image because she had become my wife. She promised to change but I did not see any change. Honestly, I saw that as a challenge and vowed that I would do everything to satisfy her so that she would not have male friends. I made sure she came to my shop with my younger ones as a way of keeping her busy. In fact, if you ask my colleagues at the market, they were always taunting me for being the only person allowing his wife to freely stay in my shop.
“Along the line, I noticed that she was still answering her calls secretly and I suspected her behaviour. I confronted her again and she opened up and told me that the boy’s name is Olowu and hey met one day when the motorcycle I bought for her had a problem and he assisted her. I then advised her to be very careful.
I did not take serious action because of the love I had for her. However, early this year, she answered a call while in the shop and when I asked her the caller, she said i t was the same boy she referred to as a casual boyfriend. She told me he wanted her to see him at Maza-Maza. After noticing that she was very eager to go, I then allowed her but instructed that she must not stay more than three hours.
Night out with a lover
“Shockingly she did not come back that day. The next day, she came back in the evening and when I confronted her, she knelt down, pleading that I should forgive her. I now asked her if she loved the man and she said it was fake love; that I was her real lover. She said she slept over in a hotel with the man because it rained.
When I persistently asked her if they made love, she reluctantly agreed. That was what aroused my anger and I asked her if she would like to marry the man but she said no. I then told her that I would not marry her again.She started begging me that I should not let members of her family, especially her widowed mother to hear what she did. May be, I made a mistake by allowing her to go but it was all because of the love I had for her.When she continued begging me, I assured her that I would not tell her mother. So, I did not let anybody know about it.
Facebook and Whatasaap chats
“After this, I noticed that she was still at it. I noticed that she was always in the habit of hiding her phones whenever calls came and she was constantly busy on facebook and whatsaap. To me, I don’t engage in all these social media, all I do is to make call and send text messages. So, every night, I was trying to caution my wife again about the male friends she keeps but the calls from that Olowu kept coming. She would be on phone for over one hour.
That was when I decided to report her conduct to her mother and I travelled home for that. While at home, the mother pleaded that I should forgive her because I was all they had I have helped the family a lot especially after the death of their father. I built a house for them in the village and I am taking care of her mother and siblings in the village. After the mother pleaded with me that night, I called her only for a man to pick my call.
I now remembered that there was this rumour in our vicinity that whenever I travelled, a man came to sleep over in my house. In fact, I heard that one Yoruba woman even quarrelled with her over that. That was why I secretly decoded her secret code and what I saw baffled me. When I picked Olowu, her boyfriend’s number, what I saw were romantic messages like; ‘my lover, my mummy,’ the nakedness of my wife and the Olowu doing some whaatsaap chatting.I also found out that there were many lovers on the phone. I showed all these to her mother who pleaded that I should exercise patience.
Confrontation in Lagos
“Then, I came back to Lagos and confronted her again. Instead of explaining to me or being apologetic as usual, she flared up. She was so confrontational that I would have beaten her silly but in my family; we do not raise our hands on women. If you do that, you must offer a goat in sacrifice At that stage, she locked the door against me when I wanted to leave the house. She knew that I could not engage her because I had an accident on my left eye and leg and I could not use them well. So, she was trying to overpower me and we were struggling at the door. She kept on uttering and shouting on top of her voice that I should beat her I insisted that she should allow me to go. At that stage, she went for one of the kitchen knives we had in our two-room apartment and was threatening that I must not leave.
The final kill
“While we were both struggling, she was holding me in the waist and I was trying to push her out and open the door, she fell on the floor and started shouting. I stopped to see why she was shouting and I found out that the knife has passed through her back and she was bleeding heavily. I couldn’t shout , I couldn’t leave her at that spot to run out , I tried to stop the bleeding but all of a sudden, she became weak and slumped on the floor.
When it happened, I didn’t know what to do. I rushed downstairs , brought a big bucket . Because it was then I noticed that she had died, I didn’t know how to tell people that she had died, that she was the one that killed herself. I put her body inside a mini drum. I was confused; I just went to take alcohol to think of what had just happened. I left her in the mini drum. I just dropped her like that and closed it. I went into the market at Ladipo. It happened about 1pm or 2pm. I went there because I didn’t know what to do or who to tell, I was there until it was late. I came back and did not know what to do; should I just bring her out and start shouting that see what happened. Later that night, I brought her inside the mini drum to where they sell water and started shouting. I didn’t know how to say it, I just said that I came in to bath and I saw my wife this way.
“To my surprise, the people who came were those I had problems with before , that did one or two things with my wife , they stay close to the house where they would smoke and drink. They started shouting that they would kill me today , not even allowing me to say anything. That I killed my beautiful wife. In the process, they broke my hands and knees, they took me to the police station, and then Panti.
“Lest I forget, since we got married in 2016, we were expected to have had children but anytime we wanted to make love, she insisted on using condom. I told her that since we were married, we were supposed to have a child. We have been together, since 2016. I paid her bride price. Later, I found out that she was taking contraceptive and I confronted her with that but she denied.
“I loved my wife so much in spite of the fact that she was cheating on me. I know that wherever she is now, she knows that I loved her so much and did everything for her and her family. I have the heart to forgive her and everything that she did because not every man would have the heart to forgive her. If I see her again, I will tell her to forgive me. Though I did not kill her, it was a mistake and this is the handiwork of the evil one. ‘What somebody does not know shouldn’t kill him.’ It is spiritual.
Honestly, I regret her death. To think that I cannot see her again will taunt me for life. I will miss her greatly. I plead with government to allow me to go and bury my wife. While I was in the cell, she came to me in a dream and we were talking about how we met and I was asking her a lot of questions. When I woke up, I started crying.
“You know what? I am an Anglican but she did not go to church with me. If you go to where I trade, they will tell you that I am a disciplined man. People were jealous of me because I married a very beautiful woman. I am not the party type but she liked going out a lot. Each time she clamoured for us to go to parties, I refused. I even advised that we should rather drink and merry at home but she always looked forward to going out. I heard people saying that I cut her body parts into pieces, it is not true. I kept her body intact inside the mini drum and the police still have everything intact in the mortuary.”
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