Note: This story contains a graphic photo some may consider offensive.
By Evelyn Usman
Lying on her back at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital(LASUTH), Ikeja, 28 year olds Deanne Igho, a graduate of Accounting from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers state, slowly opened her eyes for the first time after several hours in the theatre.
But she could feel only in the right eye. She did not why. But pictures of the incident that occurred at her matrimonial home in far away Port -Harcourt, on October 7, 2011 returned to her. Only then did it occur to her that she will never see with her left eye again, except by divine intervention, no thanks to the handiwork of her husband of barely one year.
Deanne, who is currently undergoing the mandatory one year Youth Service in Port -Harcourt reportedly had a quarrel with her heartthrob, Sylvester Emezi two weeks ago, during which the latter allegedly pierced her eye ball with a sharp object.
Her shout for help, rent the air at 2a.m. but no one could come to her rescue. The mother of one’s pleas to her husband to take her to the hospital fell on deaf ears as he reportedly left the house and locked her inside.
Bleeding profusely from the deep cut in the eye ball and eye lid, Deanne banged on the door and at the same time, made frantic calls on her phone for help. But none came until she reportedly passed out. Her little baby who at that moment , woke up, had his body stained with the blood from her mother’s injury. He cried uncontrollably, apparently calling her attention,which unfortunately , was far from his reach.
Hours later, there were bangs on the door with the visitors calling out to Deanne. But there was dead silence from within. The door was reportedly forced open where, to the visitors dismay, Deanne was found in the pool of her blood on the ground, from where she was subsequently rushed to a private hospital,where the doctor suggested that they should go to a specialist hospital owing to the magnitude of the damage to the eye.
News currently making the rounds in Port Harcourt are that Sylvester intended using his wife’s eye ball for ritual purposes. Reports had it that the man allegedly ran into a debt of N5 million and in his bid to pay, approached a herbalist who demanded that he brought his wife’s eye ball with which a concoction would be prepared.
On application of the concoction, report said the lender would completely forget about the money . This claim, as gathered, would form part of Police investigation with the possible arrest of the purported herbalist.
Speaking with Crime Guard on the issue, the victim’s younger brother, Nero Igho, explained how the family heard about the shocking news.
Said he, “ That night , my phone rang and when I picked it , I saw it was my sister . I heard her crying in pains, saying she was afraid she was going to die. She pleaded that I should call her husband to come and take her to the hospital, that she was bleeding from an injury in the eye.
Immediately, I cut the line and dialed her husband’s number but he refused to pick. For the first time in my life, I wished I had wings with which to fly from Lagos to Port-Harcourt. I then decided to call his father who also lives here in Lagos, to at least reach his son.
After that, I also called my father to call her husband, which he did without luck. When I called her hours later, someone picked and identified himself as Mr Castro, who informed me that my sister was in the hospital.
“Two days later, I travelled to Port- Harcourt and was told that she was rushed to the University of Port – Harcourt Teaching Hospital but was referred to a Specialist hospital as the doctors claimed they were writing their exams.
On getting to a specialist hospital, we were informed that they needed to carry out a surgery urgently on the eye to avoid any infection likely to affect the second one. They told us point blank that the eye was damaged. I reported the case at the Police station before bringing my sister to Lagos for the surgery.”
Nero, who insisted that his family wanted justice to be done, further wrote to the a human rights group in Lagos, Crime Victims Foundation, to assist his family get the culprit in order for justice to be done. “ Please Crime Victim should not leave any stone unturned in ensuring that justice is done”, he stated in his petition to the Foundation.
Meanwhile, after the incident, Crime Guard gathered that Sylvester bolted away from Port-Harcourt, without anyone knowing his whereabouts. Unknown to all, he was lodging in a hotel in Festac Town area of Lagos, in preparation to leave the country as investigation later revealed.
But unfortunately for him, Nero, as gathered, got wind of his whereabouts following which he paid him a surprise visit last Sunday, in the company of a friend. Sighting the duo, Sylvester reportedly attempted to sneak away but was accosted by Nero and his friend. Nero, as gathered, spoke to him in a soft tone and succeeded in cajoling him to, at least, go and see his father-in-law, so that the case could be resolved.
But on reaching his father-in-law’s Dopemu-Agege abode, he was apprehended by the Police, from where he was taken to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARs), Ikeja.
Investigation by Crime Guard revealed that Deanne’s parents initially kicked against their daughter’s relationship with Sly, as he was popularly called. But blinded by love, she reportedly insisted on settling down with Sly, who looked every inch a lady’s man, owing to his seeming appealing looks and physique.
Upon her graduation in 2008, Deanne’s father reportedly bought her car. But along the line, she got pregnant for Sylvester, thereby deferring her mandatory one year Youth Service Corps till 2011. The development, compelled Deanne’s parents to soft -pedal on their initial position. A formal introduction, as gathered, was made preparatory to the marriage ceremony proper, which, unfortunately, never held until the unexpected happened.
Perhaps, Deanne could have had premonition of what lay ahead, following her resolve to quit, barely one year into the union. But on second thought, she reportedly endured, due to what a close source described as her ‘concern over what people would say.’
Along the line, she reportedly sold her car for the family upkeep. In spite of her sacrifice, Sylvester, as gathered, failed to reciprocate the gesture, as on several occasions, Deanne always complained about his coming home late and his uncaring attitude towards her and their son.
In fact, Deanne reportedly told her family that her husband had on that fateful day, returned home late, adding that the argument that degenerated to her being disfigured today, followed her complaint about his continued attitude of keeping late nights.
However, in a chanced meeting with Sylvester before he was taken to Port-Harcourt for more investigations by the Police, he wore an expressionless disposition, blaming his indulgence on provocation orchestrated by the devil.
Apparently unaware of the magnitude of the damage, he replied when asked about Deanne, “I am also looking for her and my baby. We actually had an argument and she threw the fan at me. I, in-turn, hit her back with the fan and she got injured. I took her to the hospital where I was asked to pay the sum of N75,000.
But I left her to look for the money only to come back and see that her parents had taken her away. Right now, I don’t know where she is.” Pointing to his hand, he continued, “ Look at my hand, she inflicted this injury on me in the process.” But his claim was described as blatant lie by Deanne’s family.
They alleged that Sylvester had on two occasions gone for introduction for two separate women. But they both ended up running for their lives. Their reason was unknown before Deanne came on board. The first woman was also said to have had a baby for him.
But Deanne’s family are not only angry at the indelible scar Sylvester has inflicted on their daughter. They are also angry at the reported nonchalant attitude displayed by Sylvester’s family.
“As we speak, no member of his family has even bothered to come and see our daughter since the incident occurred. Deanne said she called them on phone on the day of the incident and we also contacted them. They only showed up at the police station when their son was arrested. This is unfair”, the family stated.
But on her part , Deanne, who is at the centre of the controversy is still smarting to adjust to her new state. She was seen in a pensive mood, with on one able to fathom the thoughts running through her mind.
Her present state, according to the Executive Director, Crime Victims Foundation(CRIVIFON), Mrs Gloria Egbuji ,would no doubt devastate her. “ But she needs a lot of encouragement at this moment.
She is a victim of crime and we have to help her. In fact, we condemn the act and feel that it shouldn’t happen to anybody. We have already liaised with the Lagos State Police Command, following which the suspect was arrested in his hideout here in Lagos and would be transferred to Port -Harcourt, Rivers state.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Yakubu Alkali has assured us that he would link up with his Rivers state counterpart when the suspect gets there. I assure you that with this move, the case will not be swept under the carpet,” she stated.