By Taiwo Jimoh,
A patent medicine dealer, Mr. Uche Madumere, has allegedly beaten his 35-year-old police wife, Sergeant Mariam Sule, to death because of his mistress.
The deceased, attached to Igbologun Police Station, Snake Island, Lagos State, was said to have been killed by her husband during a quarrel over his alleged lover, Egnes.
The incident occurred on November 20, about 10p.m., at Number 10, Sholake Street, Iju-Ishaga area of the metropolis.
Before Mariam got married to Uche, she already had three children. She married Uche three years ago who also came into the marriage with a daughter.
Trouble was said to have started when Egnes visiting Uche whenever Mariam goes to office. Mariam wouldn’t have known of the alleged clandestine visits, but for some neighbours.
One of Mariam’s brothers, Mr. Kelvin Ndu, said that he and other family members learnt about Mariam’s death the following day. The family was not too happy about the delay in notifying them about Mariam’s death.
According to Ndu, it was Mariam’s son, Gideon Adaji, who alerted them of the incident.
Ndu said: “Uche told me that the quarrel between him and Mariam started after a woman brought food to him. He said that Mariam protested against the presence of the woman in their matrimonial home.
Uche said that he didn’t have food to eat at home, which was why he called Egnes to bring food to the house for him and his daughter to eat. Uche said that when Egnes brought the food; he was seated outside. He told her to take the food into the house. Shortly after Egnes entered, Uche got up and went to the backyard to do something.”
According to Uche, he was still at the backyard when he heard screaming. He rushed to his apartment and met his wife fighting with Egnes.
Ndu added: “Uche said when he rushed in; he met the door to the sitting room locked. He said he forced it opened and asked his wife what was the problem? He said Mariam accused him of bringing a strange woman into their matrimonial home, while she was away.
According to him, Mariam asked him why he brought the woman home knowing she was at home. Uche said he separated them and Egnes escaped, but Mariam ran after her and then later returned and went into her room, while he stayed outside.
“According to him, a few minutes later, his daughter, who was in her room when they were fighting, rushed out to inform me that ‘Aunty’ had fainted.
“Uche said he rushed back into the room and found Mariam on the floor. He claimed to have poured water on her and took her to Ifako General Hospital where he was told he brought her to the hospital dead. That same night, he said he took her body home and then called her first son, Gideon, who is about 19 years old, to inform him about the death of his mother.
“According to Uche, Gideon said he couldn’t come out; that it was late and that their gate had been locked. He promised to see him the following day.
“Uche said that he could not wait till the following day. He went to pick Gideon at home and they both deposited the body at a mortuary in Agege after that Gideon called his mother’s family members to inform them of what happened.”
Mariam’s family, suspicious because Uche allegedly didn’t report the case to them, reported the case to the Paint House Police Station at Iju. Uche and Egnes were arrested.
Ndu said: “The case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, for further investigations. To our shock, Uche was released by the policemen four days later. Even before the outcome of autopsy result.”
Ndu accused the police of compromising the investigation. He called on the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, to ensure that his sister gets justice.
“As we speak, neither Uche nor his family members had visited our family to commiserate with us and possibly, plan for Mariam’s burial. Uche paid bride price of his wife. He thinks he does not owe us explanation of what happened to our sister. He has to tell us the cause of our sister’s death,” Ndu said.
Gideon said: “I spoke with her on that fateful day she died. I promised to see her at 9p.m. But I couldn’t make it due to my work.”
The landlord of the house, who does not want his name in print, said: “I saw the policewoman on the day of the incident. She was running after Egnes; we tried to intervene. I calmed her down and she explained to me, why she was angry. I asked the husband why he brought another woman into their matrimonial home, instead of going to a hotel.
Uche responded that I shouldn’t mind what his wife was saying. After Mariam went in, I heard a noise between husband and wife. A few minutes later, the husband rushed to me, calling for my assistance; he said that his wife had fainted.
I rushed into their room; I met the woman on the floor. I raised her hand, she was weak. I told the husband to take his wife to the hospital as she was dying. I rushed down to one of my tenants who has a car to assist in taking her to the hospital. I returned to their apartment to discover that the policewoman was dead.
“I told Uche that his wife was dead, that he should call the police. He said that he would carry the body to the hospital before calling the police.”
One of Uche’s neighbours, who does not want his name mentioned, claimed that Uche beat his wife to death because of another woman.
The neighbour said: “Uche’s mistress used to bring food to him whenever the policewoman was not around. The policewoman comes home once a week due to the distance of her workplace to her home. I heard him calling for help, saying that his wife had fainted. He was the one who beat the woman for daring to attack his visitor before the woman fainted.
That was not the first time Uche would be beating his wife.”
The Lagos state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), a Superintendent of Police (SP), Chike Oti, said the police did not compromise as alleged.
He said: “The husband is not a culprit. The policewoman had altercation with another woman and one thing led to the other she slumped and died.
“The policewoman did not fight with her husband and we cannot keep him in the cell that was why we released him. But we are investigating the woman that fought with the policewoman.”