From NGOZI UWUJARE
“The beginning of strife is like letting out water. So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.” So counsels the Holy Book in Proverbs 17:14. That was the warning that Promise Oliver, 27, from Akwa Ibom State failed to heed last December when a quarrel broke out between him and his wife, Esther.
By the time, he decided to listen it was already too late for him or anybody to do anything about the trouble that ensued. Given his age, you could attribute his action to youthful exuberance and foolish pride. But a 27-year-old man should, ordinarily, be man enough to stomach the ranting, shouting, abuses and insults of women. That’s what makes you a man, and a responsible one, for that matter.
But because he failed to control his temper, today he is cooling his feet within the confines of the homicide unit of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Bayelsa State Police Command for killing his wife, also from Akwa Ibom State. The woman who is said to be nursing a baby and may not have eaten after giving suck to her baby, reportedly slumped and gave up the ghost after he gave her three hot slaps she never bargained for.
How and why the murder happened
It was gathered that this happened during a misunderstanding and altercation that arose between the couple over who was qualified to sleep on their bed or on the floor in their one-room apartment located in Amarata community of Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State. The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Michael Okoli, who gave Saturday Sun a lowdown of the case said that the ugly incident took place in December 2020, at about 11pm.
He added that the suspect, according to information he gathered from neighbours, was in the habit of beating his wife black-and-blue each time they had a misunderstanding and a quarrel. There seemed to be no love lost between them. So this last one only came as the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The case was reported at “A” Division Yenagoa Police Station before the deceased’s corpse was taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa. Oliver was promptly arrested and since then he has been in police custody waiting for his day in court.
Promise who corroborated CP Okoli’s account, told Saturday Sun: “I am into car washing. My late wife has a baby girl called Delight. We started staying together two years ago. It is true that we always quarrel. I used to beat my wife. But we always settled it between us. In December 2020, I came back from work and there was no food at home. I went to the market and bought foodstuff. I came back and told my wife to prepare Indomie for me. But she refused. I went and cooked it by myself. Later, I took my bath and warned her not to sleep on the bed. I told her she should sleep on the floor. I then put mosquito net on the bed.
“I met my wife lying on the bed when I came back from the toilet and we started quarreling. In the course of the quarrel, I slapped her three times and she fainted and died on the spot. I tried to wake her up. But she did not respond. I ran out of the house to call my pastor to help pray for her and wake her up. He prayed for several hours, poured anointing oil on her head but she did not wake up. She was dead.
“Our neighbours reported the case to the chairman of the vigilance group and immediately they took my wife’s corpse and deposited it at the Federal Medical Centre. I called my parents and my late wife’s relatives to come and see the mystery of my life. I only slapped her just three times and she fainted and died. My wife was not sick; she was healthy. We only quarreled. I love my wife; she is too caring. How could the devil have used me? And, who will take care of my little boy if I am sent to prison?”
The chairman of the vigilance group in Amarata community, Mr. Seth Oko said although he was not at home when the incident happened, he was told by a neighbour that Promise had killed his wife. That prompted him to leave whatever he was doing and rushed down to see things for himself. “I rushed there and saw her wife lying face down. She was stone dead. I questioned Promise as to what happened and he told me that he slapped his wife and she fainted and died on the spot. We took her corpse to Federal Medical Centre while I reported the case at “A” Division. That was how he was arrested.”
Killed over N1,500
CP Okoli announced that the suspect will soon be charged to court, adding that similar ugly incident happened on January 19, 2021. In that case, a woman called Erede Ezekiel, 28, and a mother of two children stabbed her husband, one Godgift Abor, severally on the chest with a kitchen knife. Like Esther, he too slumped and died on the spot. She reportedly stabbed him for refusing him to give her N1, 500.
In a short interview with Saturday Sun, the suspect who hails from Opuama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, opened up on why she lifted her arm against her husband. “I am a mother of two children I had for another man before I married my husband. We always fight and quarrel between us. I told him to give me N1, 500. But he refused and we started fighting around 7 am. I went to the kitchen and took a knife and stabbed him on the chest. I saw a pool of blood. My husband tried to escape from the house. I had to rush him to Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa. But doctors confirmed him dead.”
Okoli promised that she too will be charged to court after the completion of investigation into her case.