Bayelsa Times
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Spousal homicides rattle residents


Ofure Esohobo, Benin City

Two women killed their husbands in Edo state last week. In one of the incidents at Jattu-Uzairue in Etsako West Local Government of Edo State, the wife stabbed the husband to death while in Benin City, the state capital, the other woman poured raw acid on her husband, burning him alive before his death.

Mrs Abdulateef, the first woman reportedly stabbed her husband, popularly called Dagana to death after he allegedly caught her with another man on their matrimonial bed. The incident happened on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021 when the husband came home at about 3am and met another man in their bedroom.

It was gathered that Dagana used to live with two wives in his house, but had to rent an apartment for his first wife in a different location to allow peace to reign while staying with the younger one in his house.

He regularly visits the first wife to spend some nights. Recently, he heard a rumour that another man visits his younger wife every night when he is absent.

The deceased came home on Sunday night and met a man with his younger wife in their bedroom. In the ensuing scuffle as the husband fought the strange man, his wife took a kitchen knife and in apparent effort to pave way for the alleged lover’s escape, stabbed him on his stomach.

The husband died in his pool of blood, as a result of the injury, while the arrival of the police saved the wife from being killed by the mob that gathered. She is now in Police custody pending investigations.

Same Sunday night at Omommon Street off St Savior Road in Benin City, a 29-year old mother of one who allegedly bathed her husband in acid, left him in pains and reported herself to the Police.

The woman, Mrs Becky Odion has been married to the husband, Mr Odion for some years now. A neighbour said the that couple were always quarrelling anytime they come home at night but that matters came to a head on Sunday, 1 Nov. 14, 2021.

“It was about 9pm yesterday and there was no electricity but we suddenly started hearing,’e don pour me acid, e don born me, i don die’.

”On rushing to their room, which was locked, we broke the door down and met a naked Mr Odion on the floor with most parts of his body well burnt by the acid.

The wife had disappeared. We later heard she went to report herself to the Police”.

It was however gathered that the woman’s action was the height of the domestic violence which has been the lot of the couple’s marriage.

The Police at St Saviour was said to have been making futile efforts to intervene in the couple’s squabbles before Sunday’s incident.

The couple were said to be frequent visitors at the Police station over one issue or the other while intervention efforts by their extended families and in-laws also proved abortive. Mrs Odion is said to have disappeared.

The killing of a husband is called mariticide according to experts. They also give reasons why a wife would want to kill her husband.

One reason of the reasons for mariticide is, if the man is violent towards his wife. They say Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) is a mental disorder that develops in victims of domestic violence as a result of serious, long-term abuse.

They said if the wife is so beaten and bullied by her husband that one day she reaches her breaking point, snaps, and acts on her emotions. These emotions could lead her to stab or kill her spouse.

Another reason they gave for committing mariticide is, if the husband   cheats on the wife.  “While it is normal to see most women as calm creatures who are untiring, forgiving, generally warm and understanding wives, we have the women who will not take any nonsense from their husbands and have a specific hatred for cheating.

”If she does her part as a good wife but her husband cannot keep it in his pants, she will speed up the ‘till death do us apart’ aspect and to be rid of him”.
Yet another reason why a woman may kill her husband is if he molests/harms their child.

“This bond between a mother and her child is one that no man can never understand. It is a bond secured from the conception, to the pregnancy and all down to the bitter-sweet gruelling hours in the labour ward, spent pushing out the baby.

”Some mothers will fight to death for their children. So, if the woman’s husband want to harm the child or sexually abuse the child, a woman will switch from being a good wife to a killer”.

“Lastly, some wives are just wicked and this may not even be the husband’s fault. He may have been a good father, great spouse and all that but the wife just wants to get rid of him.

”Maybe she is tired of being his wife, maybe she is bored, she has found a new lover or maybe she wants to see how she can get away with murder. In local parlance, such wickedness is refered to as witchcraft”.

The Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues oversees cases of mariticide and other gender-based violence incidents in Edo State.

The ministry says that reported cases like rape, defilement, and incest have been on the increase in the state and urged citizens to see gender-based violence as a problem that should be tackled head-on.

Its officials say they have been involved in discussions on gender-based violence and counselling of couples on how to live peacefully especially at the community level.

Worried by this development,  the Edo State Branch of International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, in collaboration with other professional bodies, CSOs and NGOs recently organized a peaceful protest walk against gender based violence such as growing incidents of t rape, defilement and all forms of domestic violence.

On the occasion, FIDA Edo Chairperson, Iryn Omorogiuwa demanded for a special court to prosecute Sexual offence cases and other related offences.

On the heels of the protest, Governor Godwin Obaseki signed the State violence against persons bill into law, with wife beaters scheduled for two years jail term, if found guilty.

The bill prohibits violence against all persons and provides maximum protection and effective remedy for victims and punishment for offenders and other related matters. The law did not provide for husband beaters and killers. It also prescribed life imprisonment for perpetrators of Female Genital Mutilation

The Governor,  after he signed the bill into law added that, “We will not stop here by just signing the bill into law, but will commence the much difficult work of implementing it to the letter.

”It must be noted that this bill has been in consideration for over six to eight years but the time has come for us to have a law like this VAP Law, to protect the most vulnerable and weak in our society.

“As a government, we have aligned with the Federation of Women Lawyer (FIDA)’s purpose and objective and therefore have no hesitation in signing the bill into law.

”I want to appreciate FIDA for their doggedness, leadership and commitment to this cause. I am not sure many other states in the nation have such bills. This bill goes to the core of some of the most pressing issues in society particularly violence against women and other persons.”

On her part, the Wife of the governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, who said, “This bill takes care of everything related to violence against persons”, commends the Governor for assenting to the VAP bill, stressing that it shows a gender-sensitive government.”

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