The killings of two women by their domestic staff continues to generate shockwaves across Lagos State as new revelations unravel about the circumstances surrounding their murder. A relative who spoke with Saturday Sun disclosed that one of the victim, Oreoluwa John, was pregnant at the time of her death and was preparing for her wedding that was scheduled to hold in a few weeks’ time.
The victims, Mrs Adegoke John and Miss Oreoluwa John––89-year-old mother and her 38-year-old daughter respectively––were allegedly killed in their home at No. 4 Ogunlana Drive, Surulere, Lagos, on the night of Thursday, June 20. Their killer, Joseph Ogbu, was their newly hired domestic staff. He committed the double homicide just two days after resuming duty, that prompted the speculation by families that the killing was premeditated.
The conspiracy theory
Tajudeen Mustapha, a nephew of the aged Adegoke, alleged that Ogbu was purposely sent to kill the aged woman just to destabilize their family.
Mustapha, an Ibadan resident, told Saturday Sun: “She has been my mother after I lost my mother. I am her ears and eyes in Ibadan and all over our father’s property. She has always been the pillar of the family. She was the head of our family.
“Mama kept a record of all things. She even kept a record of the man that brought the Joseph and how much she was supposed to pay her. The day the boy came, we were told that mama took her round the area and introduced him to the security men she was close to.”
He speculated that the boy was sent from the village and was given a target.
“There are some syndicates behind this that are against the family property. I was told that the Baba Ibeji brought three maids to Lagos for mama to choose from before she decided to go for the youngest whom she gave her reason that she wanted someone who will stay with her for a long time,” he stated.
He further disclosed: “The Baba Ibeji that was contracted to get house help for her has been arrested. The man has been arrested in Abeokuta, and has been brought for interrogation.”
He insisted that the matriarch could not have slumped as alleged by the suspect. “The boy is a liar. Mama could not have slumped because that woman is strong; we have started inaugurating a committee for her 90 years old birthday. Mama just gave me a job and also told me to invite my seniors to see her and collect our father’s house document.”
In the case of Miss Oreoluwa John the younger victim, Tajudeen Mustapha divulged further heart-rending revelations: “She had a shop in Tejuosho market and was preparing for her marriage introduction,” he stated, hinting further that she was a few months’ pregnant.
How he was caught
Saturday Sun also spoke with two of the security men who accosted the suspect while he was trying to escape. One of them refused to give his name but is popularly called Baba. He was said to be Mrs Adejoke’s best security friend. The tall, fair man refused to speak to the press without the authorization from Rotimi, Mrs Adegoke’s son, saying he is as heartbroken as members of the family.
“I don’t want to talk because that woman was a friend and mother. She was a helper and benefactor. The boy took away a saint from me and his family,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, Aliu Bala, another security man that guards house No.6 was willing to share information. According to him, it was security men at the estate gate that first observed something odd and further decided to screen the boy when he was about to drive out of the compound.
From Bala, came a chronicle of the tragedy.
“My colleague and I were taking turn to watch the area when the security in that house (pointing to a building facing No. 4) came to call us because only him could not restrain Joseph. The baba had seen Joseph driving out from the compound at around 1 am. He became suspicious which led to him arresting Joseph. At first, he handed him over to his friend, an Okada rider, then crossed the street to call us. It was then we told him to explain himself while we were going inside the compound to see Mama. He told us that mama was sleeping but when we got there we found out that he had covered mama with a blanket and a white bed sheet with a pillow on her head in one room. We also saw aunty (Oreoluwa) in the other room with her face down. We shook two of them and shouted their names, but they didn’t answer. We then brought him outside and tied both his legs and hands until we handed him to the police. We caught the boy around 1 am. Policemen usually stayed at the junction. They were the ones who came here at 5 am.”
The family’s effort
The John family is still reeling from the shock of the double murder. Their home on Friday morning was teeming with sympathisers. The only son of the family, Rotimi John, was busy accepting condolences on behalf of the bereaved family. When he was approached by Saturday Sun, he declined any comment and was visibly in no mood for conversations about the tragedy.
Mustapha told Saturday Sun: “Mama’s son, Rotimi, has been begging the authority to release her mother and sister’s corpse so that he could go ahead to bury them.”