Wednesday, 9 May 2012

I was under a spell, says 69-yr -old man who allegedly axed wife to death

Ordinarily, his frail look will readily counter the offense for which he is  being held. But he is stronger and even much younger in speech, albeit his age.  Pa Mathew Agbe is 69 and a security guard with the National Museum Benin city,  the Edo state capital. Sadly, he may be confined in prison custody for the  remaining part of his life, for a first degree murder except the court says  otherwise.
Pa Mathew is being held by homicide detectives at the Edo state Police  command for allegedly axing his wife of 42 years to death. Although the Edo  state born father of one said he could not actually say what came over him that  ill-fated day, leading to grabbing an ax which he ended up using on his loving  wife, Alice.
But he was able to trace the beginning of the strained relationship between  him and Alice, a woman he married in 1970, to the period he was bestowed with  the title of Odionwere which in Bini language means, head of his community in  security matters. He said his late wife had mistaken the title for one that  should be accompanied by cash reward and therefore, made ceaseless demands for  money.
“Each time she requested for money and I said I do not have, she would mock  me saying I am only Odionwere for nothing, she would say, ‘ Mr. Odionwere who  has no money to feed his wife’.
That derogatory manner of calling him Odionwere, Pa Mathew continued , was  the beginning of the trouble between him and his wife which eventually led to  her death. He was quick to point out that Odionwere as a title may be a mixture  of fame and diabolism, insinuating that it could have been mischievously  bestowed on him by members of his community in order to undo him.
“Like I told you, I loved my wife so much even though she has only a daughter  for me. That child has made us grandparents today. That I had to conceive a  murderous idea at this age when I needed her companion most is something I can  not really say.
We met and got married in 1970 and have lived happily together. We used to  have minor misunderstanding but it does not last because of the love we had for  each other. The recent deep-rooted hatred and animosity that finally culminated  into murdering my wife of 42 years started with the title ‘Odionwere’. I think  the title came with evil.” he lamented
Continuing, Pa Mathew said, “As a security guard with the National Museum and  monuments Benin city, I was contented with the little I get and my loving wife  never complained. But from the very day I was bestowed with the title,  everything we cherished together fizzled out.
My wife no longer respected me; she was always asking for money and each time  I said I had none she would make mockery of me and call me names. Go to Okonokpa  street Benin where I live and inquire about me, you will hear what people will  say. I am not a trouble maker, I am always contented with whatever I have and  above all, I had a wife who understood me until recently.
But it got to a stage when I could no longer bear the insult from her. So  that day, after she asked for money and I said I didn’t have, she mocked me as  usual. I waited patiently for nightfall when she would have gone to bed. When  she was asleep, I went and grabbed her by the neck and pulled her to the  ground.
While she was struggling to free herself, I reached for the ax nearby and hit  her several times on her head and neck. She became motionless with blood gushing  out from her mouth, neck and eyes. At that point, I became afraid and quickly I  threw away the ax and bent over her begging for forgiveness.
But by then , she was dead. It was at that point that I realized I had killed  my wife; the only person I cherished in life! Confused, I called out to  neighbors that I had killed my wife. That was how the police came into it. I did  not mean to kill her, I still believe it was not ordinary and that the Odionwele  title came with a spell. I regret my action.”
No matter how pathetic Pa Mathew’s tale might sound, the police, through its  public relations officer, ASP Etim Bassey said the law would have to take it’s  course. “It is possible that the man was actually under a spell like he claimed  but it is not our duty to decide. Only a court of competent jurisdiction can  decide to set him free or otherwise,”he stated.

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