Domestic homicides, or murder by an intimate partner, is gradually assuming an alarming dimension in Nigeria, with reports of the death of one or both partners in the resultant fisticuffs. .
Investigation revealed that women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner, be he, her husband, an ex, or boyfriend, than anyone else.
Sometimes, innocent children who did not beg to be brought to the world end up having their lives snuffed out of them by either of the partners, apparently to erase memories of the bitter days.
Investigation by Crime Guard revealed that between January and June 2020, more than 40 cases of domestic homicides have been recorded in the country, with about six in the month of June alone, in Lagos State.
Investigation further showed that in most cases, anger, jealousy, depression and abuse of drugs have been the propelling force behind these unwarranted deaths.
One would have expected that cases of domestic homicide would be witnessed among youths due to their display of youthful exuberance. But no!
Just few weeks ago, in Ohobo-Afara community in Umuahia area of Abia State, an air of gloom and despondency settled over the community following a bizarre incident which left everyone stunned.
The villagers woke up to find the lifeless body of 83-year-old Alhaji Isa Uwagam, in his apartment. Their shock was not in his death but the circumstances surrounding it, as he was alleged to have been strangled to death by his 73 -year-old wife, Rose, during a misunderstanding which degenerated into a fight.
A version of the account alleged that the late Isa had grabbed a machete to scare his wife during the fight, but that the latter overpowered him, causing the machete to fall off his grip. Rose , said to be huge, reportedly pinned him by the neck and strangled him to death in the process.
However, another version of the account claimed the deceased might have slumped and died out of exhaustion during the quarrel.
Many also wondered if it was possible for a woman of about 73 years to muster the strength to strangulate a man.
Another question on the lips of villagers is what could have warranted couple of that age , who are supposed to be counselors and mentors to young couples , to have engaged in a fight that went awry.
Love goes sour
Love is one of the most profound emotions known to human beings. Unfortunately, some persons got entangled in it but ended up realising too late that it was a death trap.
In Nigeria and elsewhere in the world, the story is the same. One moment, it feels like both parties could not do without each other and in another moment , one of the parties ends up in regret, that is , if life is not snuffed out of him or her , either due to anger induced by jealousy , or frustration of not getting a reciprocal feeling from the other.
An incident that left Nigerians stunned was that involving an ex-Director General of the Imo State Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Thoephilus Okere, 82.
He was alleged to have stabbed his wife to death at their residence in Ngor Okpala local government area in Imo state, on May 22, 202.
The exact cause for his action could not be ascertained. But the Police said the victim died while being rushed from the village to the hospital.
In one of the recent murders in Lagos, the suspect identified simply as Mojupa, blamed his action on Tramadol.
The 33-year-old man, alleged to be a ritualist, allegedly murdered an unidentified lady in his apartment at 2, at Corporation Estate, Mile 2, Amuwo Odofin, last month.
The victim whom he claimed was his girlfriend, had visited, only to have life snuffed out of her at about 3.45 am, on July 2, 2020.
During the investigation, he told detectives at the State Criminal Investigation , Yaba, that he was contacted by an undisclosed man to kill his girlfriend, apparently for money rituals.
Before carrying out the act, he said he took some dose of tramadol to embolden him.
Three weeks later, one Tunde Oyediran, was arrested by the Police in Osun State for allegedly matcheting his wife, Sarah to death with a cutlass.
He was alleged to have used the same weapon to kill two children living with them.
Apparently to cover up, the suspect, who resides around ‘Wednesday Market’ in Inisa, Odo-Otin Local Government Area of the State, inflicted matchet cuts in his hand and stomach before raising the alarm that his family had been attacked by unknown individuals.
However, during investigation, the Police suspected foul play.
The most recent incident occurred on August 1, 2020, in Sagbokoji Island, Apapa area of Lagos, after a lady allegedly stabbed her lover, Auwal Suleiman , to death during a scuffle.
The 24-year-old suspect, identified simply as Nkechi, moved into her lover’s apartment last year. Residents said there had been quarrels between the duo, over accusation of cheating on the part of the suspect.
During a routine quarrel last Saturday, Nkeci allegedly made for the kitchen knife and thrust it into Suleiman’s neck. He bled to death before a boat that would convey him to the hospital arrived.
Between January and July 2020, there had been over 40 cases of domestic violence that resulted in the death of either one of the parties or both.
On June 5, 2020, in far away Japan, Police in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, arrested a 73-year-old woman alleged to have killed her ailing 83-year-old husband.
According to the Police, the suspect, Teruko Ikeda, admitted to strangling her husband Yoichi, with a face mask string by 12:30 a.m. One of her children, Ikeda, was said to have alerted the Police.
Back home in Nigeria, same month, a jealous lover identified simply as Solomon, allegedly stabbed his girlfriend, Patience Zakkari , to death, in her apartment at Gwallameji area of Bauchi state.
Reason? He accused her of picking a call from another man.
Shortly before she breathed her last, Zakkari, a National Diploma , ND graduate from the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, managed to narrate what transpired between her and her once upon a time lover, to a friend of hers.
She said they were engaged in a verbal altercation , when a call from a man whom she described as a casual friend came in.
This sparked up a renewed rage, as her jealous lover, according to her, started beating her and in the process, stabbed her with a knife in the back and abandoned her to die.
Though she was rushed to the hospital by her friends where she was treated, she died a day after, due to complications from the stab.
In February 2020, another bizarre incident involving a teenager , occurred in Shagamu area of Lagos. In this case, an 18-old girl, Idowu Abosede, was arrested for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend to death during an argument over N3000.
The suspect was said to have spent the night with her boyfriend, Alliu Ibrahim, on February 26, 2020. When leaving the next day, she attempted to collect N3000 from Allu’s shirt pocket, but the latter stopped the move, claiming that was all he had.
An argument according to her ensued, during which she said her boyfriend rushed for a kitchen knife and in the process of struggling it with him, it pierced into his chest . Alliu, bled to death.
In March 2020, another news of a 22-year-old man, Daniel Okocha who allegedly stabbed his live-in-lover, Nkechi Agwor , to death in his apartment in Egbeda area of Lagos, greeted the nation.
The incident occurred on a Sunday, while the deceased was preparing to go to church. But Okocha prevented her from leaving the house, accusing her of going to see her boyfriend. Like in other cases, it resulted in a quarrel which degenerated into a fight during which Okocaha stabbed 20-year-old Agwor in the neck and fled the scene.
He was arrested two days later by detectives of the State Criminal Investigation Department. Though he described his action as a mistake but a message in his phone indicated that the motive could have been a premeditated one.
From the text message, it was discovered that he watched her bleed to death. The text message read, “ I killed her and watched her die for 45 minutes. I gave her life but she refused to give me back”.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect and his deceased lover were from the same community in Ubulu, in Aniocha-South Local Government Area of Delta State and had one child who is with the deceased’s mother.
Poisoned over bareness
Love for 45-year-old Mary Olotu, was nothing to write home about. Unfortunately, she could not live to share her ordeal for the world to learn a lesson or two.
This is because she was allegedly poisoned by her bricklayer husband, Damilare Olotu, over her inability to bear him a child. Though she had a child from her previous marriage.
Her 47-year-old husband, married a second who bore him two children. The younger wife was said to have insisted on moving into Olotu’s home in Ibuji, Ifedore council area of Ondo State where he lived with Mary, but she (Mary) kicked against the suggestion, only to be allegedly poisoned.
Wife killed over breakfast
Again in Akure, the Ondo state capital, a 45-year-old hunter, Ojo Toki, was arrested for allegedly shooting his wife, Adesewa, over a disagreement on his breakfast, in Ibule Soro area of the state.
The deceased had packed out of her matrimonial home following a disagreement. However, after one year of living separately, their families resolved the issue. Part of the settlement process agreed upon by both families was that the deceased should be preparing food for her husband from her brother’s house, where she was .
But on one of the days when her husband came for his food, an argument over the deceased’s failure to prepare his breakfast broke out. The hunter was said to have shot her in the neck with his Dane gun, killing her on the spot.
Another killed over bag of garri
A farmer, John Ogunji, 45, was also arrested by the Police in Ondo for allegedly killing his wife, Christiana Ogunji, in Okitipupa area of the state, during an argument over sharing of a bag of garri (cassava flour). Problem started, after the farmer suggested that the bag of garri be shared equally between them.
Refusal by the deceased, who insisted that the bag of garri should be kept in the house since they were one family, was seen as an affront by her husband who allegedly hit her with a plank in the head. She slumped and was confirmed dead at a private hospital she was rushed to.
Defiant driver killed
Cases of domestic violence that resulted in death are numerous in Ondo state. Another instance was that of a driver, identified simply as Felix who was stabbed to death by his lover Fasilat, in the ikare akoko area of the state.
The incident occurred in a guest house. After the attack, the lady abandoned him to fate. But he quickly put a call to one of his friends whom he informed that he was being taken to the hospital, where he later died. Relatives of the deceased accused him of ignoring an earlier warning by a prophet who told him to desist from illicit love affairs.
On May 19, 2020, in Itas-Gadau community, Bauchi State, an 18 –year-old girl was arrested for allegedly stabbing her husband , Salma Hassan, to death.
The newly wedded bride allegedly committed the act when her husband wanted to consummate the union.
In her case, she blamed her indulgence on ignorance, saying she did not know that sex was part of her marital obligation.
According to her: “I never knew that sex is a marital obligation. On that fateful night when he approached me for sex, I refused him because I have never been involved in it. I honestly thought he wanted to defile me. He later got angry and was trying to force himself on me with slaps and beating, then I picked up a knife to scare him away but he kept coming. I didn’t know when I stabbed him with the knife in his chest.
“ I wouldn’t have done what I did if I knew better,” she said.
In Jigawa, a mother of two, Hauwa Sani, was allegedly stabbed to death by her husband of eight years, Abdul Hassan, in Jahun Local Government Area of Jigawa State.
Spokesperson for the State Police Command, Abdul Jinjiri, said Hassan stabbed Hauwa eight times with a knife which led to her death. Preliminary investigation according to him, revealed that the suspect acted based on the influence of drugs as he had been addicted to substance abuse for a long time.
Jinjiri said Hassan fled the scene after committing the crime but was later arrested and Would be arraigned in court soon.
Last month, 26-year-old, Shagbada Erigga was arrested by the Police in Oyo State for allegedly killing his girlfriend, Happiness Winifred, 30, for refusing to have sex with him.
He invited late Happiness, a mother of three, to his home to spend the night with him on June 21, 2020. However, trouble started after she refused to have sex with him.
Erigga confessed to have punched her in the neck, thrice, causing her to slump. Thereafter, he dumped her corpse inside a well, where a resident who had gone to fetch water , raised the alarm on discovering the bloated body, three days later. He however claimed that he mistakenly killed her.
A new dimension to domestic homicide surfaced recently , with the perpetrators committing suicide, apparently to evade arrest or to escape the consequences of their actions.
A vivid instance was the alleged killing of a 17-year-old girl, Tope Ajibade, by her commercial motorcyclist boyfriend, Ayorinde Igbasan, in Ayeka new site, Okitipupa area of Ondo State, Monday.
The commercial motorcyclist who accused the teenager of double dating, claimed he had done everything possible within his capability to make his girlfriend happy.
Sensing he would lose her for another man, he lured her to the area where he allegedly stabbed her during an argument.
Not done, he also slit his neck with the same knife. Residents who heard the teenager’s cry for help rushed both of them to the Okitipupa specialist hospital where the girlfriend was confirmed dead having bled to death. The suspect was treated and thereafter transferred to Ondo State Trauma center for further treatment.
Another unforgettable scenario was that of the bizarre incident in Lekki area of Lagos, last month, where 25-year-old Alli Olamide’s lifeless body was found in the pool of her blood, beside her lover’s, at road 5, House 16a, Victory Point Estate.
She had gone to visit her lover, late Chris Ndukwe, 39, with their two children of ages three and seven respectively, and her 22-year-old relative, who discovered their lifeless bodies the next day.
While Homicide detectives at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, are still trying to unravel the root cause of the deaths, Crime Guard gathered that late Olamide had fears of imminent danger.
She had confided in some of her close friends that she would not want to marry late Ndukwe, because of his excessive anger.
An initial plan for the lovers to tie the nuptial knot in October 2018, was cancelled because she had a second thought over the decision. Plans for a rescheduled wedding in August 2020, was ongoing when tragedy struck.
In a whatsapp text message and a voice note to one of her friends, the mother of two , sounded confused about her decision to marry late Ndukwe.
She however , confided in her friend that she would rather have a broken relationship than a broken marriage.
In the voice note posted on social media, late Olamide was heard saying, “ We have had an up and down relationship. We have broken up and got back together. This time around, we are supposed to do everything ( wedding) next month (October 2018) but I am not sure, I don’t want children to be the only reason to get married.
“We have been having issues. Not sure we really know each other. Yes, we have been together for years but a broken relationship is better than a broken marriage”.
Perhaps, if she had followed her instinct, she would have been alive today. Surprisingly, her lover committed suicide after stabbing her to death, leaving their two children to face the challenges ahead of them , without their parents’ guide.
Another case of Domestic Homicide occurred in Aga, Ikorodu area of Lagos, a month earlier, where a man , Enifeh Akupa Omomo,allegedly murdered his wife and their six-year-old son. Thereafter, he committed suicide by hanging himself in his one-room apartment on 12 Eruga Street.
Residents revealed that late Omomo had always threatened to kill his wife and son over allegations of infidelity on the part of his wife.
An argument, which reportedly ensued, degenerated into a brawl between the couple in the early hours of a Friday, during which the woman was heard shouting for help.
However, by the time neighbors went to the apartment to settle scores between the couple, they were thrown off balance at the sight of the 38-year-old woman and her son, Glorious, in a pool of their blood. As if that was not enough, residents said the lifeless body of Omomo was found dangling from the ceiling fan.
A similar incident occurred in Ondo state, as a 47- year- old Taxi driver stabbed his former wife, Amudat Oluwafunmilayo Lateef to death and thereafter committed suicide by hanging himself.
The marriage was blessed with five children before things fell apart between the couple who lived at Omoniyi quarters along Agbogbo area, along Owo-Benin-Akure expressway.
LASTMA official too
One of the latest cases of domestic homicide was that which involved an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA ,Emmanuel Mekuri . He allegedly stabbed his lover, Patricia Ogunshola , with a knife during a fight in their apartment at Zoo area of Araromi , Morogbo area of Lagos, two weeks ago.
Thereafter, he was said to have stabbed himself with the same knife in the stomach.
Both of them were rushed to the hospital by neighbors who were alerted. While Ogunsola, 37, survived the stab, Mekuri, 47, was confirmed dead on reaching the hospital.
A blood stained knife according to the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Elkana Bala, was recovered from the scene. Preliminary investigation, he said, revealed that the couple started cohabiting in February, 2020, but were not legally married.
He added that there was a protracted argument between them that degenerated into physical assault purported to have arisen from allegations bothering on infidelity on the part of the man.
Several other cases, most of which are in court abound. From the foregoing, it is obvious that domestic homicide accounts for a number of deaths in Nigeria and elsewhere in the globe.