For 36 year-old Mrs Mercy Nnamdi, the woman whose one-year-old son was allegedly killed by her husband recently in Ago, Okota area of Lagos, over her husband’s allegation that she was sleeping with his father, life could never have been more cruel.
This is because never in her wildest imagination had she envisaged that a man she had known almost all her life could mete such inhuman treatment on her. As you read this piece, Mercy is going through excruciating pains in a private hospital in Okota where doctors are battling to save her life.
In fact, the once bubbling woman looks a shadow of herself, as medical report showed that she sustained a third degree burns from the hot iron her husband of two years used on her on Saturday, April 7 2012, which was exclusively reported
Presently, the badly burnt woman maintains a particular position, by sleeping on her back. She wears an adult pampers when she eases herself, with a tissue paper by her side, with which she cleans the fluid coming out from the burns. Help, as gathered, was far from the Imo state-born woman, as none of her neighbours attempted to go and find out what was happening when she was desperately shouting for help. It was learnt that their neighbours failed to respond to her cries for help because it has become a daily occurrence.
Crime Guard gathered also that on several occasions, some of the neighbours invited policemen from Ago division who cautioned her husband after which he was made to sign an undertaking never to raise his hands on his wife.
Family sources hinted that signs of danger in the marriage reared its ugly face early after the two love birds fell in love 16 years ago, when Mary was barely 22 years old. But she was apparently blinded by love, hoping that her heartthrob would outgrow his anger someday, which was never to be.
Narrating what led to her being a patient in the hospital, Mary stated, “It all happened on a Saturday. I had prepared boiled yam, awaiting the arrival of my husband. After a long wait, I decided to eat mine and left his on the table. He came back few minutes to 11pm and went straight to bed. Then at about 1 a.m., power was restored and he went to put off the power generating set and switched over to electricity.
After that, he started ironing his customers’ clothes because he is a dry cleaner.
I was later woken up by the cry of our one-year-old baby who apparently needed breast milk. All the while, we were outside before power was restored. Before retiring inside, I took my bath and fetched water for him to have his.
The unforgettable night
I was fast asleep when I was woken up by a sharp pain on my back. I thought it was a night mare. But when I opened my eyes, lo and behold, my husband was planting the hot iron he was using on the clothes on me. Immediately I turned, he planted it on my chest. When I raised my hand to prevent it, he planted it on one of my hands .
By then I did not know what to do. I started screaming and calling on my neighbours for help. I raised my leg to prevent him, again, he landed the hot iron on me.
As he planted the hot iron hard on my flesh, he would use a screw driver to peel off the flesh. At a point, I became too weak to shout. I begged him to stop but he would not. Rather, he would ask me to tell him how many times his father slept with me. Even in pains, I begged him to listen to himself and imagine what he was saying.
My response seemed to anger him the more because he would plant it harder, leaving it on my skin and at the same time, asked me to tell him the truth.”
At this point, Crime Guard asked if she was guilty of the claim. She grimaced and replied, “How can that be? The father already has a wife.” Pausing for a while and staring at the ceiling , a position she has been maintaining for several hours, she continued, “ at that point, my baby woke up and started crying . I begged him to allow me breast feed the baby .
But before I could finish the statement, he placed the hot iron on my breasts, threatening to kill me if I shout. As he lifted the iron, I saw that the flesh from my breast had stuck to the iron surface. Again he pressed it harder on my stomach, leaving it there. I managed to turn, only for the iron to land on my lap.
He told me there was no way of escape for me that night, that members of his gang were outside to take my corpse to an unknown destination by the time he finished with me. At that point, I knew the end had come for me. I managed to shout out for help with all the strength in me but I could not.
At that point, he forcefully took Ebuka from the bed and went outside. I decided to go out because I did not know what he would do next when he came back. I cannot tell how I crawled out of the room. But I found myself in the kitchen naked, from where two men who saw me gave me wrapper to cover myself.
“As I was there, trying to fathom how I would escape from the compound, somebody shouted that my husband had killed my child. That was the last thing I heard. I guessed I passed out because I later opened my eyes and found myself in the hospital.”
Residents of Number 3, Lambe street, Ago confirmed to Crime Guard that they simply refused to go to Mary’s rescue that night because it was late and also that her shout for help had been one too many .
One of them said, “ Since they started living as husband and wife, there had never been a time we did not experience shout or crisis from their one-room apartment. It is worse any time the man came home drunk. We have even gone to report to the police when it became too much because we did not want a situation where he would kill her one day and we would be held responsible. Even at that, he did not stop.
“Several times, the woman had wanted to go back to her family but she wouldn’t. Even her father-in-law had advised her to leave when she travelled home last December because he was tired of the endless reports of his son battering his daughter in-law.”
Weeping, after pausing for a while, Mary recalled how he met her 37-year-old husband. “ We knew each other since 1996. The relationship blossomed until 2010, when he went for introduction in my village. I left my hair dressing skill and moved in with him with the hope of continuing later.”
But that was never to be as she revealed that rather than continuing learning hair dressing, she started selling pap, all in a bid to make ends meet and apparently as a demonstration of her love for Henry.
“He started showing his real colour later. He started by refusing to drop money for house keep and even when I begged him to rent a shop for me, he didn’t. Rather, he used the money to drink beer and smoke . When I advised him against his drinking and smoking habit, he would flare up and the next thing would be to hit me. Several times I have begged the police to help me beg him not to raise his hands on me but he wouldn’t”
Another predicament befalls Mary
Sadly, the anguished woman is faced with another predicament which is her inability to pay her medical bills. Already, Crime Guard gathered that her bill had amounted to N200,000 . Following this development, the hospital is threatening to stop treatment. Presently, the dressing of the burns which ought to be done on daily basis has been extended to once in two or three days, as a daily dressing cost s N10,000.
Sobbing uncontrollably and at the same time questioning her choice of partner, she revealed that her family members had not shown up since the incident occurred, as none of them, according to her, was aware of the incident.
“My mother must not hear of this because it will kill her. She is presently taking care of my sister who just put to bed in Owerri. I can not reach my relatives either because my phone is not with me and I do not have their phone numbers off hand.”
Crime Guard learnt that since the incident took place, her father in-law had been responsible for the hospital bills. But there is little Pa Nnamdi could do as the bill, as gathered, had gone beyond his capacity. Hospital sources disclosed that though their management had tried to attend to Mary’s case, there are indications that it might discharge her if the accrued bill is not cleared.
One of the doctors who identified himself simply as Eze explained that “she had a third degree burn and her case may deteriorate if she does not receive adequate care. She even fainted last Tuesday because she was not given food and her people lacked the fund to bring her back to normal state.”
He further disclosed that Mary was rushed to the hospital in a state of coma, adding that , “ The husband used pliers on her skin and decimated her. Then a hot iron was applied on her face, body chest, and her two breasts. Meanwhile, she has not been informed of the demise of her one-year-old son considering her present state.”
However, the alleged perpetrator of this dastardly act, Mr Henry Nnamdi who was arrested by neighbours, is currently at the State Criminal Investigation Department , Panti, Yaba. Efforts to speak with him proved abortive.