Twenty-six-year-old Onyinyechi, who allegedly stabbed her husband to death, while the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly polls were in progress, now seems set to raise the number of children born in prison custody by convicted mothers or inmates awaiting trial.
This prospect that stares the tall, beautiful light-complexioned pregnant lady in the face has added to the already heavy heart of co-tenants of the house where she resided with her deceased husband at 81 Military Zone junction in a densely populated area of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Lagos.
Since the tragic incident happened, they have expectedly been overwhelmed by grief as they lament over the death of the deceased who was said not to bother anybody.
One of the co-tenants, a woman, who was unwilling to disclose her identity, but had the name, ‘Ajoke’ prominently tattooed on her left hand told Sunday Sun: “The man minds his own business in this compound. He goes to work, comes back home, plays with our children and sometimes hangs out with some men outside at night. I don’t know his name and I have never bothered to ask since we don’t relate except we say hello.”
She also said that Onyinyechi herself could not hurt a fly and was indeed disturbed if parents beat their children in her presence. “If you scold your child in her presence, she will get upset with you. They have never for once raised their voices at each other. So what happened is a huge shock to us.”
Following the initial report of the incident to the police at Ejigbo, a team from the homicide unit visited the scene and eventually moved the corpse to the Isolo General Hospital for autopsy. A preliminary search was conducted for the knife allegedly used by Onyinyechi to kill her husband, but it was not immediately found.
Given its key and significant value in the case, the police warned that if the detectives came the following day and the knife could still not be found, such a development would not augur well for the tenants in the building.
Recalling the scary threat, “Ajoke” said: “The police made us afraid. When they came to take the corpse and also arrest the wife, they looked for the knife she used to kill him but couldn’t find it. They issued a threat that if they came back the next day and couldn’t find the knife, they would arrest those who ‘helped’ Onyinyechi when she raised the alarm. Some of the tenants and neighbours ran away, nobody wanted to be arrested because of another person’s crime. It was God who saved us because we did not see any knife. The Police said they wanted to check the windows and the back of the house when they came the next day. There is no access to the back of the building so they had to go to the next street to check. They stood on something that allowed them see the roof of another house in the compound; that was where they saw the knife she used. When they asked her if it was the knife, she said yes.”
Long before the tragic death of the deceased, the couple had enjoyed a relatively normal marital relationship. They were not quarrelsome – a fact Mr. Idris, the landlord of the compound, who spoke with Sunday Sun affirmed.
“I can tell you that the man and his wife have never raised their voices at each other for one day. They are kind and loving. They settled quarrels between themselves. This is such a sad situation.”
It is instructive that on the day the incident happened, Onyinechi and her husband sat outside with other neighbours, discussing and waiting for the electoral officers assigned to their polling unit to arrive and begin the accreditation process. While waiting for the electoral officials, she walked over a nearby kiosk to buy necessary ingredients for the okro soup she decided to prepare for herself and husband. As the accreditation process progressed, Onyinyechi busied herself with cooking of the soup.
When it was ready, husband and wife retired to their room probably to eat. What might have caused a hot disagreement to ensue between them while in the room is still a mystery, which the police will hopefully uncover in the course of their investigation. A report stated that the couple had sharply disagreed over which of the two leading presidential candidates (President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party and General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress) would win the election. While the husband is believed to be stoutly in support of the PDP candidate, Onyinyechi, his wife passionately rooted for the APC flag-bearer. But the landlord of the house disputed this version of what caused the quarrel between couple.
When asked if truly an argument on which of the two candidates was better had caused the disagreement between Onyinyechi and the deceased husband, Idris said: “We honestly don’t know because no one was in the house with them. People simply made that up.”
But neighbours definitely recall Onyinyechi rushing out of the room, crying for help after stabbing the deceased.
Meanwhile, Idris said members of the family of the deceased have locked the room where the couple lived in the house.