By Dayo Johnson, Regional Editor, South-West.
CHIDIEBERE’s life was cut short barely a week to her 19th birthday.
Also, her dream, and that of her parents, Mr and Mrs Nwanma, of becoming an engineer after her university education, was dashed by her 25-year-old boyfriend, Saliu Ladayo, who allegedly stabbed her to death over a disagreement.
The alleged stabbing took place at No 3 Obasuyi Street, ljoka, Akure, Ondo State capital.
Chidiebere, who just returned from Kwara State, where she had gone to sit for her school certificate examination, according to her mother, Chioma, had sought admission into lmo State University to study engineering before she was murdered.
Reports say the deceased had visited her boyfriend and an argument ensued over the repayment of a debt owed her and then degenerated into a shouting match. The suspect allegedly rushed into the kitchen, took a knife and allegedly stabbed her on the chest and other parts of her body.
It was learnt that all efforts to save her life were unsuccessful as she reportedly died before she could be rushed to hospital.
In an interview when he was paraded by the police, the suspect narrated his own story.
“After she returned from where she went to sit for her school certificate examination, some people on the street told her that I came to the house with another woman. She was so annoyed and she came to my place on Saturday last week. She said a girl told her that I came to ask her out”, the suspect said.
“She started cursing me that if I make love to another girl, I won’t make it in life. I told her I didn’t have any relationship with any other girl and I returned the curse to her. She left in annoyance.
“She came back to my house on May 15, 2018. I asked her to forgive me and we were talking and I said she should renounce the curse and she said she wouldn’t do that. I seized her phone and we were struggling for the phone.
“I was begging her to renounce the curse and she went out to tell one of my neighbors that I seized her phone and the woman came to ask me. I told the woman what she did and the woman left to call a second neighbour. But before she (neighbour) came back, I don’t know what came over me. I went to take a knife and stabbed her to death”.
Ondo State police spokesperson Femi Joseph, in his own account of the incident, said “the suspect had asked the girl to date him and she refused and then publicly embarrassed the suspect”.
“This infuriated the suspect who allegedly took a knife and stabbed the girl to death”, he added.
Joseph said the suspect would be charged with murder after investigation.
Meanwhile, a twist was introduced to the alleged murder as CHIDIEBERE’s parents want Saliu to marry her corpse before her burial.
They said the suspect must marry her corpse in their home town in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State.
This, Sunday Vanguard gathered, was their custom and that would assuage their loss.
“ln our place, it is mandatory that the man who killed our daughter in cold blood must marry the corpse”, Chioma, the mother of the deceased girl, said.
“He must perform the traditional rites by taking the corpse to our village in Oru East, Imo State where the marriage would take place.
“It is mandatory that he pays for everything that is required times two because he brought our daughter dead for marriage.
“He would perform all the traditional rites before our family would let him go
“This is because, without the traditional rites, every young person from the family of the boy would never get to the age of our daughter before dying suddenly like our daughter.
“This is not our making; it is the tradition laid down by our ancestors.
“Our people all over the world are waiting for the court judgment in the murder case. Anyhow the case goes, the boy must perform the marital rites.
“I really don’t know what must have come upon the man to do such a thing.
“If you see how tiny-looking the boy is, you will never believe such a person can hurt a fly let alone kill someone.
“Anyway, he must do the traditional rites for her before she will be buried. He will marry her just as someone is marrying a living person.
“He must marry her corpse and take her to our village to pay her bride price. I have never seen the boy around my house before”.
In an interview, the father of the deceased, who initially declined comment, said, “She may not be buried this year because the boy must take her to the village to perform all the traditional rites before her body would be interred.
“The marriage ceremony is going to be like a normal ceremony; wedding gown will be worn for the dead body and the boy will put wedding ring on the corpse’s finger.
“Otherwise, none of the young family members of the suspect will live to reach my daughter’s age. I was told he is a son of a pastor in one of the new generation churches”.
The immediate senior sister of the deceased, who was sobbing profusely when Sunday Vanguard visited the family house, said CHIDIEBERE called “me before she went for her exam in Kwara State and told me that a boy was disturbing her which I took as a normal issue that should not warrant any risk”.
“I asked her to concentrate on her examination”, she said.
“When she got back from Kwara, she said the same boy was owing her N3, 000 and had refused to pay back.
“She later told me that it was his usual practice and she vowed to collect her money”.
According to her, she tried to pacify her sister and promised to send some money to her before the week she was murdered ran out.
“It’s so painful because we were planning her 19th birthday for May 25″, the bereaved sister lamented.
“The boy stays in this area, and we normally see him around. I am very sure they never got close because my sister would have told me.
“You can imagine the tragedy that has happened to a promising young girl that just passed out of secondary school and returned from Ilorin where she went to write her SSCE last week.
“My sister was a science student and her dream was to become an engineer.
“I was planning for her to come over and join me in Owerri. I have a good job, so I planned that she would stay with me and continue her education.
“The situation is just like a bad dream one needs to wake up from. “I really don’t know how I would cope because she is the only person I left with my parents before travelling.
“How will my mother cope now? When I saw her in the mortuary, all the marks were still on her body. I am so sad that a young man could do this.
“It is said that the boy is a son of a pastor in one of the new generation churches”.