‘Where Is The Love,’ a popular R and B song by Black Eyed Peas in early 2000 didn’t make much sense as it does today, because truly, the very essence of being in a relationship is missing in our families today. It is gradually becoming a norm in our society that one spouse kills the other without thinking of the consequences. The situation is getting messier by the day and people are beginning to ask, ‘At what point did the crack on our family values first set-in?’ ‘How long has it been there without our knowledge?’ EMMA OKEREH and DANIEL UDECHUKWU in this report tell the story of Mrs Victoria Johnson’s bitter end in the hands of her ‘supposed’ heart-throb.
This is certainly not another ‘Tale By Moonlight,’ it is a true life story of a man, who resort to slaughtering his wife as the best option of settling a dispute between them, one month to their white wedding.
The sad incident which occurred at One-man Village in Karu LGA of Nasarawa State, took neighbours of the couple by storm as the assailant perfected his murder plans and kept it under wraps such that, no one heard the whimper of the dying woman as life was painfully snuffed out of her.
LEADERSHIP WEEKEND investigation reveals that preparations to their white wedding were in top gear, when Mr. Johnson, a taxi driver, yielded to the temptation of killing his wife, a staff with a popular mortgage bank in Abuja and whose traditional marriage was performed a month before she was killed.
The couple who were both Igala from Kogi State were said to have just moved into the neighbourhood and had been living like cat and mouse ever since.
From our findings, it was sad to note that, a few days before she met her death late last year, Mrs. Johnson was said to have been discharged from the hospital after being treated for the injuries she sustained in one of their fights.
On that fateful Friday she was found stone-dead in her room neighbours told LEADERSHIP WEEKEND that Mr. Johnson left for work very early in the morning as he usually does, but later called on his landlord’s son, who also lives in the same compound with the couple, to check on his wife to know why she was not responding to his phone calls.
The boy was said to have gone to their one-bedroom apartment and found the main entrance securely locked. He put a call through to the suspected assailant, presently cooling off his heels at Keffi Prison, of his findings, but he was instructed to go to the back door of the apartment which ostensibly served as the exit for the assailant.
The boy did as was instructed, only to find Mrs. Victoria Johnson, lying in the pool of her own blood on the floor, stone dead, her hands bounded together and some money stuffed between them.
It is not clear what really led to the gruesome murder, but a reliable source said that Mr. Johnson collected the sum of 250,000 naira from his late wife, who promptly told him it was depositors’ money and must be paid back on time to avoid putting her in troubles at the office.
He however assured her of prompt refund of the money before the depositors would demand for it. Contrary to his promise, as the said date of payment approached, Mr. Johnson could only raise the sum of 50,000 naira as he was under pressure to meet up with wedding preparations and offset his debt simultaneously. This supposedly led to a dispute between them which eventually degenerated to the assasination of Mrs. Johnson.
Another account from one of the Johnson’s neighbour said she was killed by hired assassins. LEADERSHIP WEEKEND further learnt from the source that before her throat was finally slashed by the assassins, sponsored by her husband, she was asked to say her last prayers and she was able to speak with her younger sister on phone in her local dialect, whom she informed of the unfolding event.
All efforts to unravel the story from the local police station and New Karu Divisional Headquarters did not yield the desired result. However, impeccable sources from Keffi Prison said that Mr. Johnson is awaiting trial in the prison.
Reacting on the causes of the increasing rate of killings amongst spouses as experienced today in the country, a marriage counsellor and chaplain, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Pastor Obarido T Okochi, identified lack of forgiveness and conversion as the two major sources. “Most people are not sincere with their conversion. They see their spirituality as clothes they wear at one point and remove at the other. They don’t see spirituality as their skin that can never be removed.
“People find it difficult to forgive the other. They find it difficult to wink at events that hurt them and forgive their partner,” he said.
On the major elements young people are to look out for before taking marital vows and avoid being victims of domestic violence, he said: “I always tell the youths to articulate what they are looking for in their spouses before taking the marital vows. Some don’t know what they want from their spouses before going into marriage, while some compromise what they want.
“Before going into marriage, you have to make a list of what you want in your future spouse under the ‘negotiable’ and ‘non-negotiable’ qualities. For instance, if one of the qualities you desire from your spouse is that he or she must be a graduate and it falls under the non-negotiable, you must not compromise your stance.
“Give priority to the quality you desire in your spouse and I always advise that godliness should come first, that doesn’t mean that physical attributes is not important.
If your spouse meets the first five elements you desire with respect to their priorities in your list, then you can go ahead, ” Pastor Okochi admonished.
As we await the commencement of Mr. Johnson’s trial, we beseech millions of other spouses who are at the verge of resorting to Mr. Johnson’s form of justice to explore other avenues as ‘he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.’