Mercy told Sunday Sun that the wife of her son, Mercy Jeremiah, allegedly invited two Man-O’-War officials to settle a quarrel between her and her husband.
Friday, November 23, 2018 will ever remain indelible in the heart of Mrs Mercy John, whose son, 38 year-old Edwin John, was killed by operatives of the Man-O’-War, a paramilitary group, during a domestic squabble between the deceased and his wife. In her narration of the terrible chain of events of that led to the death of her son, she said that few hours after John called and alerted her that his wife and mother-in-law had threatened to kill him, he was stabbed to death.
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Mercy told Sunday Sun that the wife of her son, Mercy Jeremiah, allegedly invited two Man-O’-War officials to settle a domestic quarrel between her and her husband. Somehow the peace effort went tragically wrong and a scuffle ensued between the operatives and Edwin, who was then fatally stabbed by them. John’s wife, Mercy Jeremiah and the operatives were promptly arrested and now being held in custody at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos, where they are telling detectives how they killed the young man.
Giving a graphic account on how her son was killed, Mercy John, who incidentally bears the same name with her daughter-in-law said: “I will never forget that fateful Friday night. I wish the hand of the clock would be turned back. I was about going to bed about 11 pm when my son, Edwin, called me on the phone, and told me that his life was in danger. I was afraid and asked what the problem was. He told me that his wife and mother-in-law had threatened to kill him.
“I waved it off with my left hand because I found it funny to believe that kind of threat. More so, it was too late to risk my life as I would not be able to get a commercial motorcycle (okada) to take me to his house. So, I begged him to be calm and maintain peace till the following day, assuring him that that I would visit him so that we would resolve the problem between him and his wife.
“The following day, which was Saturday, I left very early for my son’s house which is not too far from my house. When I arrived the compound, I saw my grandchildren, Nelson and Queen, being cared for by one of their neighbours. They did not rush to embrace me as they used to do. When I met them, I asked why they were outside, and Nelson told me that they were asked to stay with their neighbour.”
Continuing the pathetic story, she said: “I was confused and became more confused when the woman who was looking after them told me that the children were handed over to her by the police. She told me that if I wanted to know why she was keeping the children, I should go to the police. I rushed to the police station, where a policeman told me that my son was in the hospital. But after much advice, a senior officer broke the news of my son’s death. Immediately I called my son’s mother-in-law, who responded that my son got what he deserved.
“Her shocking response reminded of my son’s message the previous night, that his wife had threatened to kill him. I blamed myself for not going to rescue him while he was in distress. It never occurred to me that his wife would go to the extent of killing him.”
She recalled that when her son called a few days earlier, he said had said that he would visit to celebrate Christmas with her and had also said that he had no money. No matter, he would try and celebrate with her. She said that Edwin gave her cheery news that he had sold his second car to open a shop for the wife.
“I was so happy when he told me that my jobless daughter-in-law, would now be doing something, I never she was planning to kill my son. My daughter-in-law and I were on good terms. If my son had offended her, she should have called to tell me. I know that my son and his wife had been having domestic quarrels, but there is no perfect marriage. Recently Edwin complained that his wife had sold virtually every property in the house, but I did not know it would lead to his death. How I wish she had told me what Edwin stole from her, I would have sold all I have to pay back. Edwin was an easygoing fellow. He was living in our family house at Ajah before Mercy convinced him to pack out. If he had not packed out from our family house, he would still be alive as someone would have intervened when he was quarreling with his wife.
“I am appealing to the Lagos State Commissioner of police, Mr Imohimi Edgal, and Nigerians not allow the killing of my son to be swept under the carpet. I want justice; I want the killers of my son to be brought to book. I am convinced that his wife deliberately murdered him. She organised the killing.”
In a chat with Sunday Sun, Mercy Jeremiah, wife of the deceased, denied the allegation that she connived with the Man-O’-War officials to kill her husband.
She told police interrogators: “I did not kill my husband. We were quarreling over some domestic issues and he started beating me. The beating became too much that I had to run away from the house with a swollen face. I ran outside so that he would not kill me.
“It was while I was running away that I came met two uniformed personnel who I thought were soldiers. When I explained my predicament, they decided to lead me back to my home as it was late at night. They followed me home to calm my husband down, but he refused to calm down and along the line, he had serious altercation with them and he was stabbed to death by one of the uniform men. I did not send them to kill him. It was after they were arrested that I discovered that they were not even soldiers, but Man-O’-War officials.”
However, a senior police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity at the Homicide SCIID told Sunday Sun that: “It is a serious homicide case. We are investigating to know what really transpired. The case is a complicated one. The principal suspect is claiming that she invited the uniformed persons who incidentally dressed as soldiers to settle domestic quarrel between the couple. It is very wrong to use soldiers to solve domestic cases. Well, her accomplices are not soldiers, but Man-O’-War officials. There are many questions to be answered. What were the officials doing on the street at that odd hour and why did they not take the woman to the police station? My brother, the police are not concluding that the man was killed intentionally or not, but there are still many questions begging for answers. We will soon get to the root of the matter.”
Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Chike Oti, said the matter was being diligently investigated to unravel the truth about the matter.