…pleads to be hanged ‘cosÂ she will not live without him
By Evelyn Usman
As she came out of a vehicleÂ with her hands cuffed, everyone wondered what offence this beautiful lady could have committed to warrant such treatment. Not long, it was discovered that she allegedly stabbed her live-in lover to death, a development that caused an uproar in the relatively peaceful Iyafin area of Badagry, Lagos.
Her name is Ifunanya, meaning love in Igbo dialect. Ironically, ratherÂ than living up to the meaning of her name, the reverse is the case as she allegedly stabbed the love of her life to deathÂ in the full glare of all present penultimate Tuesday.
The clandestine relationship between Ifunanya Marus and Princewill Chukwungene, a businessman, dated back to year 2003 when the love birds met in Delta state. In an apparent consummation of that love, Ifunanya, who was then 19 years old, left for Lagos with the love of her life where she had been putting up with him at Chief Umeize compound around Iyafin junction, Badagry.
But the relationship turned sour few years down the lane following constant verbal combats which most times, eye witnesses said, degenerated into physical combat.Â At a point, 40-year-old Princewill was said have sent Ifunanya parking, a decision that met stiff resistance from the latter who allegedly threatened to kill the former instead of being thrown out.
She apparently made do her threat because as you read this piece, the remains of Princewill lies in the morgue, no thanks to the knife that was allegedly thrust into his stomach by no other than th e love of his life.
In this interview with Crime Alert, 24-year-old Ifunanya, who hails from Umuahia, Abia state, who was visibly in deep agony stated she never intended killing Princewill. Rather, she claimed she only threatened him with the knife
Is he dead?
Immediately she got wind of the demise of Princewill, Ifunanya slumped at the office of the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, at Oduduwa, Ikeja area of Lagos, causing panic. Fortunately , a doctor who was with the PRO, arrived the scene where he confirmed nothing was wrong with her. True to his claim, Ifunanya regained her self by opening her eyes and the first question that came out of her mouth was â€œ Are you telling me Prince is dead? Hey! I can not believe this. What have I done to myself.? Ha! I never meant to kill him, I only threatened him with the knife. I have never hurt anyone in my life.
Genesis of my problem
I brought all this to myself.Â First , I dropped out of school in primary four. I am only fortunate that I could express myself well in English language. I met him in Delta state in year 2003 and followed him to Lagos where I started staying with him. But at a point, things changed as he started beating me for just no cause and inflicting injuries on me.
Sometimes after beating me, I would be on drip before regaining myself. At that point, he would beg me to forgive him and tell me how much he loved me . I usually agreed because I loved him so much as my life revolved around him.Â At times after beating me, he would throw my things out and when I leave the house,Â he would call me on the phone,Â pleading that he did not know what came over him and IÂ would return back home all because I loved him. Or is it a crime to love? Now see what love has landed me intoâ€
The beating became unbearable last year . After throwing my things away, I decided to leave him for good. I went to my sisterâ€™s place in Abuja where I spent eight months. During my absence, he would call and tell me how miserable his life wasÂ without me. At that point, my parents warned me not to return to him except he came to pay my bride price and marry me the proper way. But I never heeded their advise. Rather , I packed my things and came back to him on March 8, 2010.
The last straw
Penultimate Tuesday was like every other day for occupants of Chief Umezie compound, for they never in their wildest imagination anticipated the tragedy that occurred that day, as they left for their respective places of work.
About 4pm, the usual wrestling entertainmentÂ between the duo of Ifunanya and Princewill who were referred to as husband and wife started.
But this time around, there was no spectator. Crime Alert gathered that Princewill charged out of the compound after allegedly pouncing on Ifunanya. But the next time he came back, the situation took a violent turn and he never lived to either make amends or see his threat of sending Ifunanya out of his house come to fruition. This is because, he was found writhing in excruciating pains with a knife thrust in the left side of his lower abdomen.
Shedding tears as she narrated how it happened, Ifunanyan stated, â€œ On that day, he started beating me as usual and threw my things out , insisting that I left the house . After inflicting injury on me with a mug, he left the house.
Confused, I called the sales girl to come so that I would put my things inside her room pending when I get money with which to go back to my parents. As I was discussing with the sales girl, he came in and I ran into the kitchen.
But while in there, I heard the saleâ€™s girl telling him that I was around and to my shock when I came out, I saw him romancing the saleâ€™s girl that have been living with us for some time now. Then I confronted him by asking why he would not, at least, allow me to die before he buried me. At least, he should have allowed me to leave before going for another person. Aside that, he has been spending nights outside .
Rather than apologise, he pounced on me again. It was at that point that I ran t o the kitchen and brought a knife . And as he charged at me, I mistakenly stabbed him in the stomachâ€
I watched her stabbed him
Chikodi Ekemezie, the deceased saleâ€™s girl told Crime Alert how she watched her master being stabbed and eventually gave up the ghost.
Said the 24-year-ld Anambra state- born who said she started selling for the deceased barely four months ago, â€œ On that day, madam called me to rush down home at about 5.30pm. WhenÂ came home, she told me my oga has been beating her, that she would like to put her things in my room. But as she was explaining to me the problem she had been encountering with her husband, my Oga came in and started banging on my door. Then, madam ran into the kitchen. From inside I was begging my oga to calm down .
But at a point, he started shaking the door to the extent that it almost gave in on its own.Â Â It was at that point that I went to open the door. Immediately he rushed in,Â I held him and was begging him to calm down.Â I also called out on neighbors but none was around to help.Â Â As I held him, the wife came out of the kitchen and landed him a slap across the face twice. The next thing I saw was that she rushed into the kitchen and brought out a knife which I quickly collected from her after much struggle and threw it out of the room.
She ran into the kitchen again and came out with another knife. At that time, I tried pushing Oga out of the room but he slapped me and pushed me down and before I knew what was happening, madam had stabbed him in the stomach and Oga fell down..
At that moment, I rushed out and called on passers-by who rushed and took him to the hospital. They first took him to two hospitals where he was rejected and referred to LUTH.Â Â While in the car, he started shouting that he did not think he could make it to the hospital and he would die before reaching thereâ€
Asked the root cause of the fight, she said, â€œ I do not know because I go to the market everyday including Sundays. I leave the house in the morning and come back at nightâ€ Also asked if she had any clandestine relationship with the deceased as claimed by Ifunanya, she shook her shoulder, â€œ I never had anything to do with him. I was only employed four months agoâ€
I love him even in death
Before being whisked into a waiting car that would take her to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Panti, Ifunanya was still declaring her unflinching love for Prince even at death. â€œ I loved him so much.Â Even after I mistakenly stabbed him, I begged him to forgive me.Â At that point , he directed that I should be arrested so as not to run away.Â Â Tell me, where would I run to?Â Â To my parents whose advise I threw to the mud? Or to my elder sister who insisted I remained with her in Abuja pending when Prince came to his senses? I stayed back because I felt there was no where to run to.Â Â In fact, I will prefer they kill me because I do not think I can live without my Prince. Please tell the police to hang me. Even after my arrest , I prayed fervently to God to spare his life and take mine in his place.Â Â Â One request I want to make is that I should be buried where Prince is buried. That way, I will feel fulfilledâ€, she stated.