The thin line between love and hate resurface in Edo State recently, when in separate incidences, three women were murdered by their own lovers after their sizzling relationships collapsed. PATRICK OCHOGA (Benin) reports.
In the last two months, some developments in Benin City, the Edo State Capital, have left many in utter shock following the brutal murder of three young ladies in their prime, not by armed robbers or assassins but in the hands of their lovers.
For the family of late Mercy Okoh, 27, Mathilda Odiri, 18, and Gladys Okoh, life will never remain the same as they struggle to come to terms with the killings of their daughters.
For 19 years old, Junior Omo Shaba, a fashion designer, who allegedly killed his girlfriend and dumped her corpse by a roadside in Benin City, death was the only way to settle the emotional rift between them.
The deceased lover girl, Mathilda Odiri, 18 was allegedly stabbed to death inside her boyfriend’s room at 2, Akugbe Street, Off Sikuko road, Ogida, Benin City, last Saturday.
She was said to have gone to her boyfriend’s house where she was expected to pass the night when her boyfriend stabbed her with a knife on her right upper breast.
The killer boyfriend, now in police custody at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Benin, was said to have killed her about 11pm when she accused him of having another affair.
The police said the boy, in his statement, confessed and admitted that he murdered his lover and dumped her body on the street to cover his evil deed after an argument ensued between them at night.
The girl was alleged to have expressed resentment over her boyfriend’s returning home late that he was already keeping another girl outside.
Junior Omo Shaba, who is cooling off his feet at the Edo State Police command, was paraded last week before newsmen who wept profusely in regrets. He said he didn’t know what came over him when he used the same knife late Mathilda used to peel orange for him to kill her.
He narrated: “What happened was a big mistake, I was coming from somewhere on the day it happened at about 11pm. When I got home, I saw my girlfriend, Mathilda Odiri, at the gate waiting for me, so I took her in. She brought out some oranges from her bag for me. Because of the love I had for her, she had a spare key to my house. While peeling the orange, she started complaining that I used to keep late nights and that sometimes, I don’t even come to the house. “She complained that most times, she would come and won’t see me. She also accused me of keeping another relationship. I pleaded with her to disregard such thoughts in her mind. As we were arguing she wanted to use the knife to stab me so I collected it from her and in the process, I mistakenly stabbed her with the knife on the breast and she fell to the floor.” Continuing, he added: “In shock, I ran outside for help, luckily I saw a friend of mine called Indomie and I narrated what happened to him. He (Indomie) rushed in and saw my girlfriend on the floor bleeding profusely. He said I should rush her to the hospital that she was still alive so I carried her on my hand. As I was walked down the street, I saw flashes of torch light and gunshots were fired, obviously by some vigilantes, so I dropped her body and ran away.
“From my hide out, I called my mother that night but her phone was switched off until in the morning before I got her on phone. Someone called me in the morning that a large crowd had gathered around the corpse of my girlfriend. My father called that I should report myself to the Police Station in Aduwawa, which I did. I am feeling very bad, it was like a nightmare. I really love her, it was never my intention to kill her.” Another alleged murderer, a 30-year-old farmer, identified as Alexander Ogbeije, also killed his girlfriend, Mercy Okoh, aged 27, over late Mercy’s inability to account for N575, 000 meant for their traditional marriage. Alexander was said to have killed Mercy on July 11 inside his farm at Urhonigbe in Orhionmwon local government area and hid her corpse at the base of a plantain tree in the farm and fled. Alexander told LEADERSHIP Friday at the Edo State Police command that he was provoked to take the life of his girlfriend after she slapped him repeatedly at the farm. He however denied using cutlass to kill Mercy saying he only slapped her and she fainted.
Ogbeije, narrated how it all happened: ”I am from Abavo community in Delta State, we normally farm in Uronigbe in Orhionmwon local government area of Edo State. I was able to save money for three years after the sale of my farm proceeds. I called my girlfriend and gave her N576, 000 to keep that it was the money we would use for marriage and invest whatever was left for her provision business. ”Three days after I gave her the money, she started behaving funny. I later discovered that she had spent the money and when I asked her, she admitted using the money. Each time, I asked her, she always threatened to kill me so I reported the matter to her family. I went to the brothers to inform them about the money but instead, some thugs attacked me so I escaped for my dear life.
“Even some of their neighbours called me that my fiancée was planning to deal with me over the money. At a point, she had to send some cult boys after me. “One day, while at the farm, she suddenly appeared and started making trouble with me. I appealed to her conscience to have a rethink that the money shouldn’t separate us, the next thing, she started shouting on top of her voice and slapped me severally. It was in the process that I got angry and hit her with my bare hand and she fell on the ground and died. My plan was to marry her and even her parents were aware of my plans. It was after that I gave myself up to the police.” But for 46-year-old, Osaremwinda Idumwonyi, a father of two, who recently returned from Italy to make preparation for his father’s burial, he never knew he would end up facing murder charges himself. Idumwonyi, on return, was said to have fallen in love with 38 years old divorcee, Gladys Okoh, a mother of three. They were said to be inseparable as they were often seen hand in hand within their neighbourhood.The late Gladys Okoh, who was said to have parted ways with her husband many years ago, was allegedly stabbed with a kitchen knife thrice in her stomach inside her aged mother’s room by her lover, Osaremwinda Idumwonyi.
It was also gathered that it was based on an alleged discovery, which fuelled the man’s suspicion that she was embroiled in sizzling romantic relationships with other men.
The dastardly act occurred at 13, Ehiyoboy Street, Off Aifuwa Street, Off Upper Sokponba road, Benin City, few hours after she left her lover’s residence where she passed the night.
The suspect, now cooling off inside the maximum cell, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Benin City was said to have left his residence to commit the act.
He was further alleged to have walked passed her aged mother who was sitting by the door to launch the attack, while her efforts to rescue her daughter, who screamed in pain during the violence, failed.Trouble, according to our source, was said to have escalated when Idumwonyi was said to have discovered condom in his lover’s bag, while she was with him in his room the previous night.
A dependable source at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Benin disclosed that the suspected killer, Osaremwinda Omobude Idumwonyi, told the police that his deceased lover picked a kitchen knife to stab him during an argument and he overpowered and killed her while defending himself. However, the said knife was recovered from the suspect’s kitchen by police investigators when he was arrested and taken home for a search. Idumwonyi narrated: “What happened was regrettable. I never did it intentionally. We were living together with a promise to get married; we were serious in the relationship. One day, she said I should give her money to start business but I warned her to desist from receiving phone calls from her male friends and she promised me not to. “I pleaded with her to be patient that I didn’t have money to give to her immediately but few days later, I put my car up for sale at the rate of N250, 000 and I gave her N150, 000.
“She travelled to Lagos and used the money to buy cloths. The next day, I reported the matter to the brother that I had to sell my car because of her and now she used the money to buy clothes for her personal use.
“When I asked her what was left with her, she said N40, 000. I even had to borrow additional N50, 000 that I gave to her. “On the 5th of May, 2018, the day I killed her, I went outside to buy biscuit and mineral. When I came back, I saw her with my mother quarrelling that she heard my mother was gossiping about her but my mother denied ever gossiping about her. She immediately went into the house and parked her things that she was leaving. I had to let her go in order not to create further tension. “The next morning, I went to her and discovered that she had parked her bag with the intention of travelling, I begged her to stay. I told her that since the problem started, I had not eaten; I resorted to alcohol to ease my tension. She pushed me away that I should go and meet my mother. She said my mother was responsible for my frustrations. If I had known, I wouldn’t have returned that day.
“When I came back and saw her getting dressed to leave, I tried to stop her and in the process, we started fighting. She picked a knife close to her with the intention of stabbing me, so I overpowered her and stabbed her with the knife in her abdomen several times. It was after that I realised the enormity of what I had done. It was in the process of scaling through the fence to escape that I dislocated my limbs.”
He however added that the incident had nothing to do with the condom he found in her bag and prayed God to forgive him for killing his lover.
Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Johnson Kokumo, who paraded the three suspects, warned lovers to be weary of people they engage in romantic relationship with.
He said: “We have chosen to involve members of the public on the type of relationships they keep and whom they go out with. Some of them discover themselves on Facebook and will leave their place of abode to meet a friend they established on social media and be subjected to all manner of ill treatment, hardship and sometimes death.
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