*Signs Of The End Times Says Cleric
*Jealousy Is The Main Factor – Psychologist
Marriage in many religions is ‘Till death do us part’. Death being referred to is the natural death; old age or unfortunate accident. But some spouses these days are reinventing the wheel and taking matters into their own hands. If natural death is not coming soon enough, they come in to give the grim reaper a hand.
In recent times, the numbers of death by spouse have been on the rise, such that it is difficult for couples to sleep with both eyes closed.
Though the issue of spouses killing one another is not new in Nigeria, it has however increased drastically in recent times. Not even the threat of jail terms or the fact that a killer will also be killed has reduced the tide.
One of the very first cases of spouse death in the last decade is that involving a Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG), youth pastor, Akolade Arowolo, who killed his banker wife, Titilayo Akolade in cold blood at their Akindehinde Street, Isolo, Lagos State home.
Asides this, another death by a spouse involving a banker was that of Maureen who was tortured and killed by her husband Olaoluwa Adejo at their home on Peluola Street, Oworonshoki, in the Bariga area of the state.
Adejo, according to his son, used a belt, as well as a machete while abusing his wife for five years before eventually killing her.
Narrating how his mother suffered in the hands of his father, their five-year-old son, Richard said that his father also forced a local insecticide known as ‘otapiapia’, down the throat of his mother.
“I am Richard Adejo. I am five years old. My daddy beat my mummy with a belt; machete her on her arms and legs. He used the belt on her face.
“My daddy said my mummy should get out of the house. My mummy said no. In the night, my daddy woke my mummy up and said, ‘Mosquito is too much, let me go and buy ‘otapiapia’. My daddy forced my mummy to drink it. She shook her head. She vomited.
“My daddy slapped my mummy. My mummy did not do anything to him. My daddy gave her one blow. My daddy kicked her. My daddy told her to get out of the house and carry her load. Small blood came out. My daddy slapped her, kicked her, machete her, blow her, and put otapiapia in her mouth and in the food,” Richard said.
If you think that Maureen’s case is saddening, that of Mr Otike Odibi, who was killed by his 47-year-old wife, Mrs. Udeme Odibi was worse.
The woman killed her 50-year-old husband, Mr Odibi, in Diamond Estate, Sango-Tedo, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State over his will, as she wanted him to give her all of his properties.
A statement signed by the Lagos State Police command’s spokesman, SP Chike Oti, said that the suspect, Mrs Odibi was arrested while also trying to commit suicide.
Oti said that on May 3, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Ogombo, Ajah, Lagos, received a distress call at about 7:30 a.m. that one Mr. Odibi was allegedly killed in his house at Diamond Estate, Sango-Tedo Lagos, by his wife, Mrs Odibi.
“Based on the information, the DPO mobilised a team of detectives to the scene where they found the man lying on the bed in the pool of his own blood, with his stomach ripped open and exposing the intestine.”
If you think that Mrs. Odibi was wicked in killing her husband, you will be shocked to find out what she did to the corpse of the deceased having killed him.
The statement further revealed “the killer severed the deceased’s genital and placed it on his right hand.”
An eyewitness account of the incident revealed that the couple, both of whom are lawyers got married three years ago after the deceased divorced his first wife.
Though the man had a daughter schooling in United Kingdom from his first union, the current marriage hadn’t produced a child till the sad incident.
Further information from a neighbour revealed that the deceased called him on phone in the night before he was murdered, complaining that the wife was threatening to kill him with a knife.
The said neighbour, however, warned him to be careful. The deceased also called his mother and his younger sister complaining of threat to his life that fateful night.
Another similar incident is that of musician Zainab Nielsen, popular as Alizee.
Hardly known, Alizee, became popular as a result of her death. The musician was killed along with her three-year-old daughter, Petra, in their Banana Island, Lagos home by her 53 year old Danish husband, Peter Nielsen.
Nielsen was always at loggerheads with his wife. During one of their arguments, he allegedly hit her head on the wall several times, leading to her death; he also proceeded to poison his daughter, reports claim.
Asides violence and greed, infidelity appears another major cause of spouse death. In this case, the woman accused her husband of infidelity and subsequently stabbed him to death in his sleep for having a baby with another woman.
During interrogation, she allegedly confessed that she killed her husband for cheating on her and having a baby behind her back.
The case of death at the hands of spouses are indeed ample, as another case that comes to mind is that of Haliru Bello, who was killed by his wife, Maryam Sanda.
Having seen a text message on her husband’s phone, Sanda accused him of infidelity and allegedly stabbed him to death in their Maitama, Abuja home. Had he not died from the knife attack on his back and manhood, Bello, would have clocked 36 years in November.
Interestingly, it wasn’t the first time Sanda would attack her husband violently, as she had once bitten off part of his ear during an argument.
If you think that the picture being painted is gory, it is indeed, as the way people who once professed undying love to each other are killing each other nowadays is frightening. Indeed, the next sets of experiences are just as horrible as the previous ones.
On November 27, 2017, an Ibadan-based lawyer, Yewande Oyediran, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment by an Oyo State High Court in lbadan, for stabbing her husband to death.
Oyediran, an assistant director in the Oyo State Ministry of Justice, killed her husband, Lowo Oyediran, a France-based businessman during a domestic scuffle. The unfortunate incident occurred on February 2, 2016, at their 30, Adeniyi Layout, Abidi-Odan, Akobo, Ibadan, home.
Babatunde Eso’s case is even more pitiful. On April 26, the 45-year-old father of six escaped death by the whiskers in Lagos, as he was bathed with a pot of boiling pepper by his wife after a minor disagreement.
Although Eso didn’t die, he suffered severe burns to his head, face, chest, nose and mouth. Following the attack, the victim was unable to speak and had difficulties in breathing, as he fought for his life.
In Eso’ case, trouble actually started between the couple when the man jokingly told his wife that the person calling her on the phone was her boyfriend. It was gathered that the woman burst into uncontrollable rage, which led to a heated argument between the two.
“In the midst of the argument, she grabbed a pot of hot pepper she was steaming on the fire and emptied it on her husband. If not that he received help on time from his neighbours, he would have been dead by now,” the victim’s sister said.
A witness who saw it all said that Eso had just returned from his automobile workshop in Festac Town, Lagos, that fateful day when the wife attacked him.
Her account went thus: “Immediately he returned and went to the sitting-room, his wife’s phone rang. He told the wife that her phone was ringing, and that her boyfriend was on the line. The wife, who was busy boiling pepper for her food business, got infuriated and couldn’t control her temper and emptied the pot of hot pepper she was steaming on his head.”
The list is indeed endless. Folashade Idoko, an auxiliary nurse, was arrested by the police for stabbing her husband, 32-year-old Lawrence Idoko, to death at their home in Ayetoro, Oto-Awori Local Council Development Area of Lagos. The suspect allegedly accused her husband of infidelity and in anger killed him.
Young bride, Aisha Isah, a 14 year old girl is also a spouse killer. Isah killed her 40 year old husband, Isiaka Usman, less than five months into their marriage. She used a pestle to hit her husband, which led to his death at their home in Lifari Village in the Mashegu Local Government Area.
The teenage wife had been complaining to her family members that since she moved into her deceased husband’s house, he had not provided her with money to eat or for her upkeep and that whenever she asked for money to eat, he would ask her to go and eat at her parent’s house.
On the day of the incident, the young bride and her husband got into an argument because she asked him for money to eat since he had not given her food for two days.
According to reports, he slapped her and in anger, Aisha picked up the pestle in their kitchen and hit him on the head with it. He collapsed and was rushed to the Mashegu hospital where he later died.
With the seemingly unending cases of spouse deaths, there have been questions regarding what is causing this level of desperation. Experts who have been speaking ascribe it to jealous rage or morbid jealousy.
Celine Njoku, a Guidance and Counselling psychologist with Education District V, Lagos State Ministry of Education, said jealousy and quest to protect their love from intruders lead to most of these deaths.
According to Njoku, “When a woman starts feeling insecure, she thinks she is at the risk of losing her partner to someone else. Court documents refer to it as jealous rage or morbid jealousy.”
She went on to say that in some cases of prior abuse, it makes the perpetrator lash out with lethal violence. There is an element of madness, hopelessness, frustration and emotional trauma,” Njoku concluded.
Consultant psychiatrist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, and senior lecturer, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Dr. Yewande Oshodi, criticised the increase in spouse death, saying that it has become a worrisome trend.
According to Oshodi, the killing spree might suggest a huge amount of unresolved frustration among couples with little options or outlets for seeking or receiving support.
“People must be able to ask for help and also deploy appropriate coping skills to handle life’s frustrations and stresses. Murder or suicide is never a solution. A case in which a person chooses to kill a spouse and kill herself is suggestive of a person who has decided to act in a maladaptive or criminal manner of addressing her problems. Such a person or couple should seek help and benefit from couple or individual counselling early before things deteriorate.
“Spouse murder or killing is now endemic in the society. It’s a psychological/ psychiatric problem which starts from spouse battering in most cases, culminating in murder. Frustration, job loss, low self esteem and schizophrenia are some of the factors that help to aggravate the situation leading to spouse murder,” Mr. Victor, a businessman said.
On his part, Samuel Akintola, a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Zion Area, Signs and Wonders Parish, Ile-Iwe, Lagos, ascribed the situation to marriages sealed for the wrong reasons.
“I would advise any aggrieved partner to walk away, though that is not an easy option. But it is definitely better than killing your spouse. It is supposed to be “until death do us part,” as a vow taken by both. It is heart breaking that, today, as soon as couples get tired of each other, they begin to scheme to arrive at the ‘death’ that would ‘do them part’.
“Young men and women of today believe that they can change their partner’s bad habits when they finally marry. The man believes marriage will change her hot temper while the lady believes that he will stop womanising when she marries him. It is usually not easy, if not impossible,” he said.
Akintola also ascribed some faults to parents of spouses, saying that there are challenges in marriage, but nothing prepares couples for the challenges.
“As a matter of fact, nothing seems to have prepared many couples for the reality of married life. Many of them are easily carried away by the mere excitement of the wedding party. All they plan for is the D-day, forgetting that there are challenges ahead for every man and woman from different backgrounds who choose to live under the same roof.
“Some parents are not also helping matters. All they do is to help the bride and groom to organise ‘befitting’ weddings, without properly nurturing them on what marriage entails,” he concluded.
While a lasting solution to this evil is still lacking, the judicial system is trying to see if the fear of jail time can stop this menace. In some of the cases where spouses have been killed, the system has sent the assailants to jail.
Arowolo, was sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Ikeja High Court, while Oyediran, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment by Justice Munta Abimbola of the Oyo State High Court.
Commenting on spouse deaths, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police Imohimi Edgal advised couples to learn to resolve their marital dispute without resorting to violence, as he made reference to the death of Alizee.
With perhaps another spouse death waiting to happen, the need to sound the alarm bell cannot be overemphasised.
We also spoke with Prophet Anjola Smith of the Celestial Church of Christ, He explained that the cause of the killings is the devil and it is all signs of the end times. “It is not new for man to commit murder, what is strange is the frequency with which it is happening. You see husbands killing wives, wives killing husbands, it is not natural. The devil is in control and it is in the Bible that these thing will happen. They are all signs of the end times,” he said.