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21 Jul 2017

‘Dad told me to say mum drank Sniper’ - Murder suspect’s son tells police

Homicide detectives at the Lagos State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (SCIID) are investigating a man, Mr. John Owobi, for his wife’s murder.

The detectives narrowed down on John after his 12-year-old son, Israel, claimed that his father told him to tell anyone who asked how his mother, Theresa Owobi, died that she drank Sniper, a deadly insecticide.

Theresa, a mother of three, was five-month-pregnant before her death. Police are working on the theory that John, a commercial bank driver, strangled his wife.

It was learnt that the couple had been married for 13 years before Theresa’s death. She was allegedly subjected to domestic violence.

According to witnesses at Musili Street, Agege, Lagos, John and Theresa had maintained a cat and mouse relationship.

It was alleged that the major issue between the couple was Theresa’s often accusation that John was engaging in extra-marital affairs. The accusation often leads to fights.

Theresa’s family members are also of the opinion that John killed his wife because he had planned to marry his pregnant mistress.

John’s brother, Daniel Akor, who said that he had lived with the couple for three months, disclosed that Theresa died on July 13, about 9p.m. The couple engaged in a heated argument after John received a phone call.

Akor said: “Theresa accused her husband of speaking with his lover. John told her that he wasn’t in the mood for trouble. She started cursing him and walked out of the house in anger. She returned with a bottle of sniper. She poured the content of the sniper into her mouth before we could stop her. We gave her oil to drink, but it was too late. She died.”

But Israel said he was asleep when the incident transpired. He woke up when he heard his mother screaming for help.

He said: “It was right from my sleep I heard my mother screaming help! help! help! She also shouted, ‘he wants to remove my baby from my stomach.’ My mother was under the bed; I saw my father and Uncle Daniel trying to pull her out from under the bed.

“I later went back to sleep. I woke up again to urinate. I saw my father trying to pour oil into my mum’s mouth. Uncle Daniel held a torch. He asked me to go back to sleep. He said that my mom would be alright by God’s grace. I went back to sleep; I woke up about 5a.m. My uncle told me mum was dead.

My father went to inform the police. When father returned from the station, he told me that my mum drank sniper. He showed me the empty bottle. Father said that if people asked me what happened to my mum, I should tell them she drank sniper and nothing more. He told me if I did otherwise, police would arrest me.”

Theresa’s sister, Blessing, said there was no way her sister could have committed suicide.

She said: “Theresa confided in me and our mother that her husband had been giving her several drugs to abort the five months old pregnancy. I saw my sister a day before she died. She was perfectly okay. I was surprised when her husband called me the next day, saying Theresa was dead. He said she committed suicide.

“I sincerely believe that her husband had a hand in her death. When we all travelled in April Theresa told us that her husband had been flirting around and had refused to play his role as a father. She told us he hadn’t been giving her money for upkeep and that he had been buying her different herbal mixtures to flush the pregnancy. She said she was not going back to him because he was capable of killing her. She, however, went back to him after being convinced by our grandmother.

“All we want is for the police to investigate the matter and give our late sister justice. I’m convinced she didn’t kill herself. I believe she was strangled by her husband, with the help of his brother.”

John, who is currently in police custody, said he had nothing to say about the allegation. He insisted that his hands were clean. He added: “I had nothing to do with Theresa’s death. She killed herself.”

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