Two homes met fatal ends in the Gboko area of Benue State, and Oto-Awori area of Lagos State, on Sunday, after two spouses took the law into their own hands to protest against their partners’ alleged acts of infidelity.
In the Adekaa community, Gboko, 33-year-old Joshua Terkaa-Uhir, allegedly stabbed his wife, Lucy, to death with an axe after accusing the mother of two of extramarital affairs.
In a similar incident, a woman, Folashade Idoko, stabbed her husband, Lawrence, to death with a knife after the latter allegedly received a telephone call from a suspected female lover at their home in Ayetoro, Oto-Awori.
While Joshua has been declared wanted by the Benue State Police Command, Folashade has been arrested and detained by the Lagos State Police Command.
In the first incident, PUNCH Metrogathered that Joshua and Lucy had been married for about six years and their marriage was blessed with two children.
However, the union was reported to be fraught with disagreements over some petty issues which always resulted in fisticuffs.
Our correspondent learnt that matters took a turn for the worse last week when Joshua suddenly collapsed after claiming he saw two mysterious cats in their home.
The wife was alleged to have separated from him after the suspect started hallucinating and claiming some people were demanding blood from him.
Their two children were also said to have been relocated to a relative’s house over safety concerns.
The mother of two, however, on Sunday went back to the house to take some clothes when the husband shut the door against her and beat her up after a heated argument.
He was alleged to have used an axe to stab her in the neck and immediately fled through the window.
The victim was rushed to the Gboko General Hospital where she was confirmed dead by a doctor.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Joshua was working as a commercial bus driver before he was sacked three months ago by the bus owner. He later became a motorboy to a tanker driver.
The wife, Lucy, a hairdresser, had a salon.
A neighbour of the couple at their house on Joseph Tyagh Street, Adekaa, Gboko, Aga-Samuel Barti, told one of our correspondents on Monday that the couple argued for about three hours on the day of the incident.
He said, “Before this incident, the family had been going through some issues. Last week Thursday, around 2am, I got a call to bring my car to pick the man. I was told he was dead.
“When I got to their apartment, I discovered that he actually collapsed. We rushed him to a hospital where he was resuscitated. The wife later told me that the husband woke up and claimed he saw two cats at their door, summoning him. She said he suddenly passed out. I told them to be prayerful.
“Eventually, the woman ran away from the house. She started telling people that her husband was saying some people asked him to bring blood. She took their two children to her sister’s place and did not return.
“She showed up at the house again on Sunday afternoon. She was alone with the husband in the house when they had an argument. As neighbours, we thought it was their usual disagreement, because they always fought like that. But it went on for about three hours.”
Barti told PUNCH Metro that the younger brother of the suspect, who was visiting, was asked to wait outside pending when the matter would be resolved.
The source said after sometime, the argument degenerated into a fight, adding that no one could access the apartment because the door had been locked.
He explained that the noise later stopped as neighbours thought that the issues had been resolved.
“When nobody came out of the room, we had suspicions and broke the door. That was when we saw the woman in a pool of blood with a gash in her neck. The window at the back of the room was wide open and the man had disappeared,” he added.
Barti said before the incident, Joshua had been accusing the wife of maintaining an extramarital affair, adding that it was the reason for their argument.
He noted that the victim’s father, Daniel Akighir, later arrived at the scene and took the daughter’s body to a hospital.
Akighir told PUNCH Metro that Lucy was confirmed dead at the Gboko General Hospital, adding that policemen from the Gboko Central Division visited the scene and recovered the bloodstained axe and a hammer.
He said he was unaware of any issues of spiritual attack or infidelity in the family.
He said, “I only remember that last Friday, my daughter and her husband came to my house to resolve some issues they had. My daughter complained that the husband was maltreating her. She said he always came back home late and he was not feeding the family.
“And I agreed with her because she always came to my house with their two children every Sunday for food. I asked her to stay away from him for some time.
“On Sunday, my daughter went to the house after church service to pack some clothes. She went there alone. I asked her husband’s younger brother who stayed with me, to also join her.
“They (the couple) were talking in the house when he suddenly locked the door and started beating her till he killed her.”
Akighir recalled that his daughter had left Joshua three years ago after he assaulted her publicly.
He noted that the suspect had prostrated and promised not to touch his wife again before the matter was resolved.
While calling for justice for Lucy, Akighir urged the police to hasten investigation and release her corpse to the family for burial.
The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, confirmed the incident.
He said, “Detectives who visited the scene recovered a bloodstained axe, which is suspected to be the murder weapon. We cannot say categorically the reason for their fight since the suspect is on the run. But the matter is under investigation and efforts are on to apprehend the man.”
Meanwhile, Kosoko Street, Ayetoro, in the Oto-Awori area of Lagos State, was solemn on Monday, after Folashade stabbed her husband, Lawrence, to death.
It was learnt that the couple, who had been married for four years, had been involved in intense fights before the incident happened around 11pm on Sunday.
The couple have two kids – a three-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl – together.
PUNCH Metro gathered that, Lawrence, an engineer with Greater Inspection and Industrial Services, at Sango Ota, Ogun State, returned home that day after a week-long official duty in the Ikorodu area.
The wife reportedly accused him of engaging in extra-marital affair and an argument ensued.
In a fit of anger, Folashade reportedly grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed her husband in the leg.
It was gathered that the deceased had lost a lot of blood by the time neighbours responded to the cries of the couple’s three-year old son.
The Benue State indigene was rushed to a hospital, New Ayetoro Medical Centre, where he died.
Our correspondent learnt that the police from the Ijanikin division were alerted to the incident and Folashade was arrested.
A neighbour of the couple, who did not identify herself, said they always fought and reconciled.
She said, “I heard her calling for help late Sunday night. Their son was also crying. When I got there, I saw the man in a pool of blood. My husband and I took the man to a hospital. While he was there, I went back to their house to check what really happened. Their apartment was filled with blood. I later saw a bloodstained knife, which I supposed she used in stabbing him.
“They usually fight and settle and that is why people don’t interfere in their disagreements. Their fights always bothered on infidelity. The fight of yesterday (Sunday) was caused by the issue of girlfriend. She said the man was calling his girlfriend.
“She collected the phone from him and started abusing the person on the phone without even checking who she was talking to. They started abusing each other and went physical.”
Another neighbour, Mrs. Blessing Olokpobri, said Folashade, an auxiliary nurse, was aggressive and violent, adding that people always tried to avoid having issues with her.
She said, “There was hardly a day they didn’t fight if the husband was at home. On January 1 this year when everybody was celebrating the New Year, they fought. There was a time she went to meet him at a beer parlour. She dragged and stripped him. There was even a time she sliced his ear lobes with a broken bottle and it had to be stitched.”
The landlord, Chief Gani Akanni, the Balogun of Ayetoro, said he served the couple a notice to quit in December 2016, after he tried in vain to stop their incessant fights.
“I was begged by the other tenants to withdraw the notice. There was a time I also took the woman to the police station because she vandalised my property after I locked up the tenants’ rooms for defaulting in payment of LAWMA bills. It was unfortunate because the husband was such a quiet and peaceful man,” he added.
An aunt of the deceased and human rights activist, Betty Abah, said it was unfortunate that spousal abuse continued to take a toll on partners.
She said the family would have intervened in the troubled marriage, but Lawrence hid his marital crisis from them.
“My nephew, like many men and women who die daily in violent relationships, would have been alive if had fled such a deadly marriage. We will ensure that justice is done. This is another young and promising life deliberately cut short. Persons suffering domestic violence should always call out for help. It is indeed a big tragedy for us,” Abah added.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed that the suspect was in custody, adding that the case was under investigation.
While stressing that the command was looking at a murder charge, he said the suspect would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.
– Copyright PUNCH