He was shaking his head intermittently. His words were not too audible, but he kept on saying “I didn’t kill her, I didn’t kill” In order to get the best out of him, I needed to get closer. He was now an orphan overnight, a leper no one wanted to touch.
Even his siblings had all deserted him. In my presence, he called his younger brother to come over, but the young man gave one excuse or another on why he couldn’t make it even with assurances from those of us there.
The first question I asked him was “Lekan, say the truth, did you kill your wife?” He looked me straight in the eyes, head bent and with a low voice that has seen so much anguish in the past few days and said an emphatic “No. I did not kill her, God is my witness.” I didn’t know whether to believe him or not.
He continued: “Before that day, we had been having issues. Since my wife lost her former job (as a banker), I had been the one taking care of all her needs, including the upkeep of our two children. On the day in question, we had some issues.”
He was interjected to explain what the issues were. “I noticed some months back that my wife suddenly changed after she started working for a packaging company in Lagos. She suddenly came home very late. She went to work from Monday to Sunday and hardly prepared food for me and the kids.
“Even with her job, I still took care of her. I have two cars parked in the house, I don’t drive, she was the one who drove the two cars. All my finances were under her care. Even my ATM cards were with her. She drew money from them as she liked. I have been doing my job as a responsible man but I don’t know why my wife suddenly changed.
“Before that day, my wife told me that she was travelling to Abuja on a business trip on behalf of her company and that she would be off for four days. I allowed her. She left me with the two children, aged six and four. I had to combine my job with that of taking care of them.
“A day to her return, a friend called to ask me if I was aware that my wife travelled to Abuja with her boss (name withheld) and they lodged in the same room. I was shocked because my wife never told me she was travelling with him, talkless of sharing room with him for four days. I kept my cool, but was highly worried.
“On her return, I came back earlier than usual, opened the door with my spare key, walked into the house unannounced and overheard her speaking on the phone, ranting away: ’I really enjoyed all our love-making, my whole private part is now paining me from all your bangings, I can’t wait for us to have a repeat of the action, you are the best, my love.’
“While she was saying all that, I walked into the room and she was shocked. I was speechless. She knelt down and started begging me.”
Did you beat her? I interjected again. “No, I didn’t beat her.” He was staring at the floor as he answered me. “Nothing happened, I just stroke my hands around her face (probably slapped her). I left her at that.
“In the morning, I dressed up to go to work. I normally leave for work at about 5:00a.m. daily since I work in Apapa. When I came out, I saw her lying on the couch. I felt she was sleeping and didn’t bother to wake her up. I went away with my key and asked our son to padlock the door from inside.
“It was while I was at work that the nanny called me that they had been trying to ask my wife to open the door but without any response. I asked them to break the door open if she was not responding.
“I was on my way home when I called for update and was told there were police everywhere. Based on this, I was scared. I had to stay away from the house and scene since then.”