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Man Beats Wife To Death In Lagos For Being Barren (Photo)

When Obiageli Eze met Ikechukwu Anajekwu in 2002, she had fell madly in love with him. The whirlwind relationship culminated into marriage. It was, however, after the marriage that the rose-tinted glasses which Obiageli had always wore to view her husband and marriage shattered. Not only did her Prince Charming take to abusing her, he soon resorted to using her as his daily practice punching bag. On January 19, 2015, he pounced on her again and this time, she breathed her last.

Obiageli’s shocked family has demanded for justice, screaming murder. While the Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN), a non-governmental organisation, urged the police to charge the case immediately to court for speedy trial, to serve as deterrent to other wife beaters. The deceased’s brother, Nnamdi Eze, said he was still in shock over his sister’s death. Recounting how Obiageli died, Eze said Ikechukwu pounced on the deceased with fisticuffs and kicks, because she allegedly refused to explain what she went to the village to do.
Eze, who described his brotherin- law as aggressive, said that he had never stopped wondering why Obiageli, among the five suitors who desperately sought her hand in marriage, settled for Ikechukwu. According to Eze, nobody approved of Ikechukwu as a choice husband for Obiageli.

But the lady insisted that she had carried out findings and knew Ikechukwu was her God-sent husband. Eze noted that it was after the bickering and quarrels started, culminating in almost daily beatings that the family began to discover more startling facts about their son-in-law.

He said: “When Ikechukwu came for Obiageli’s hand in marriage, he told us that he runs a restaurant in Brazil. After the marriage however, he was arrested for drug trafficking. He was imprisoned in Cameroon, but his wife waited patiently for him until he finished his term. Even while he was in prison, my sister said she used to send him money.
He said he had friends trying to process his release.” It was after his return from prison that the marriage began to fall apart. Ikechukwu was alleged to have taken to beating her over any real or imagined slight.

Eze said: “We later got to know that the man used to beat her, but my sister insisted that it was a family issue. She refused to discuss it Obiageli with us. Our family invited them to the village. The man accused my sister of being a witch. He said she couldn’t give him a child after years of marriage.
He also accused her of being responsible for his set back in business.” Eze, who said that his late sister obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, added that after their traditional marriage ceremony in 2002, and due to his dwindling financial fortunes, Ikechukwu travelled back to Brazil where he was based with a promise to his wife that he would return in 2003. He did not return until 2011.

On his way back through Cameroon, he was arrested, tried and jailed for three years over drug-related offences. “During his period of imprisonment, his wife was visiting him frequently to take care of his needs. She spent all her life savings estimated at about N850,000, catering to her jailed husband’s needs until he regained his freedom and returned to Nigeria in 2013,” stated Eze.

Upon his return, he moved in with his wife into his personal house at No. 7, Okoye Close, Iyana-Iba Estate, Igbo Elerin, Lagos. Sometime in December 2014, after thoroughly beating and inflicting grievous bodily injuries on his wife, he invited his relations and claimed that he discovered a charm in his wife’s bag.

He decided to send his wife away. A meeting of representatives of both families was called with the community chief of his village, Chief Ezeani and his own father, Mr. Anajekwu Okanumee present. The suspect’s father said that what his son saw in his wife’s bag was prepared by him and given to her for protection against evil attacks.

The suspect’s father further explained that he had to prepare the protection after he and his daughter-in-law, Obiageli developed swollen legs which were later treated by a traditional healer. The healer divulged those responsible and recommended the protective charms in order to ward off further evil attacks.

Ikechukwu’s father suggested that if he was insistent on sending Obiageli away, then he should set up a supermarket for her and refund her the money she spent taking care of him while he was in prison in Cameroon. The suspect agreed to this proposal to set up a business for his wife and refund money spent on him before they would go their separate ways.

It was, however, agreed that his wife would remain with him until he fulfilled all the agreements which he said he would do after he had sold his house at No. 7. Okoye Close, Iyana Iba Estate. While the deceased was still waiting for her husband to set up the business for her and pay her back the money as agreed, the suspect, on January 19, 2015 again, battered her.

Eze said: “He tore his wife’s clothes and threw her out by 1.00am with her property, leaving her with injuries all over her body; the head and around her neck. Obiageli ran to her friend, Chinyere’s house. Chinyere, seeing her condition, advised her to report the case to the police and she lodged a report of the incident at the police station.” The police did not intervene until she died two days later on January 21, 2015, at Chinyere’s house.

Obiageli was said to have slumped in her friend’s house and when Chinyere called Ikechukwu to inform him that his wife had slumped, he allegedly said that he did not know her and that it was not his business if she died. Chinyere and her husband got police to arrest Ikechukwu on February 23, 2015, after he had been on the run.

The National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma kicked, alleging sloppy police handling of the investigation. He said: “Police investigation has been very slow and tardy, making the family suspect that they may not get justice. The police have demanded and received various sums of money from the victim’s family for embalmment and autopsy but are yet to charge the matter to court.

The victim’s family has also requested for police protection for the primary witnesses who are under threat by the suspect who has continued to threaten them should they testified against him. The victims’ family informed us that Ikechukwu issued threats to the prime witnesses, Chinyere and her husband Theo Onyeli. Armed men later stormed their house located on 20, Okonkwo Street, Igbo Elerin, and Iyana Iba Estate.

They did not meet them at home and they made away with a laptop containing pictorial evidence of injuries on late Obiageli, inflicted on her by her husband.” According to Eze, ever since he discovered that Ikechukwu had been using his sister as punching bag, he told her to be prayerful, especially after he noticed that Obiageli was not ready to walk out of the abusive relationship. The stormy relationship snowballed after Obiageli travelled to the village and returned on January 19.

“I wasn’t there, but my sister’s friend, Mrs. Chinyere, told me that he started beating her, asking her what she went to the village to do,” narrated Eze.

“She eventually ran to Chinyere’s house. It was around 1: am that we got a call from Obiageli, saying that her husband had beaten her again. Chinyere later told us that she slumped around 5pm. They called her husband, but he ignored them. He said he didn’t know her. I begged them to take her to hospital.”

Obiageli was rushed to hospital, but died on the way. Eze, who fought tears, narrated: “We want justice to prevail in this matter. The most annoying part is that even after the incident, Ikechukwu didn’t call any of our family members. This is a murder case! We want it to be treated as such.”

Eze alleged that some members of Ikechukwu’s family contributed to the tension in the marriage by repeatedly nagging him to send Obiageli away and marry another woman who would give him a child. Several people had also told Obiageli that, “there’s no marriage that doesn’t have one or two problems, that with time, things would get better, thus she stayed with Ikechukwu,” said Eze. The case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos.

After much delay on the part of the police to charge the matter to court, compelling the deceased’s family to involve NOPRIN, the matter was finally charged to court on March 13, 2015. Ikechukwu, 57, was arraigned at the Ebute-Meta Magistrate’s Court, Oyingbo, Lagos. He was charged for the murder.
According to the police, Obiageli was killed through severe beating with punches and repeated kicks. The police stated: “The deceased refusal to disclose her mission to the village to the accused, led to quarreling which resulted into a fight. The man severely beat his wife to the extent she sustained injuries all over her body and her chest.

The victim, who couldn’t cope with the pains sustained from the beating, died.” Ikechukwu who trembled like somebody suffering from fever at the court, kept mute when the charges were read to him.

He also didn’t reply when he was asked, “guilty or not guilty.” He was subsequently remanded in prison. The presiding Magistrate, Mrs. Badejo Okunsanya adjourned the case to April 13, 2014.

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