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One death to many: Domestic workers turn killers

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Retired Army General, naval personnel, pregnant woman killed in cold blood

How criminals find their ways to different homes
Police advise employers

By Evelyn Usman

The services of house helps  dates back to the days of old, where a couple picked  younger relatives from the village to the city. Then, such gesture was considered  a privilege on the part of the beneficiary’s family , as it reduced the financial  burden bothering especially on education, from the family.

It was also considered as  an opportunity to provide  such child with a  brighter future than his contemporaries in the village.

As time progressed, the number of working class women increased by leap and bounds, thereby necessitating the services of domestic workers to provide a range of services such as cleaning of the house, washing clothes and dishes ,working in shops, cooking, caring for the children , gardening, driving and security services.

police ,

Some o f these domestic workers work part time and there is no sex barrier in this job. People even travel  down to Nigeria from neighboring West African countries to work as maids.

Police fire tear gas as students protest near palace

Regrettably,  robbers, kidnappers and all sorts of criminals now hide under the guise of domestic workers to attack  their employers, steal cash and other valuables including cars. To achieve their devilish aim , these gangs go as far as registering a company as recruiters of domestic workers.

They even go as far as advertising their companies on online sales portals to further deceive members of the public. Whenever the services of a domestic worker is sourced through this portal, one of their agents would be sent to the home, with a mission to steal , kidnap and make away with valuables. Some kill in the process. Some recruiters of domestic staff to homes have been fingered in criminal cases.

Orekoya’s three children 

One of the incidents that exposed activities of this syndicate was the kidnap of three Orekoya’s children by their maid, from their Lawanson abode, Lagos, 24 hours after she was employed, two years ago.

The suspect ,  gave her name as Mary Akinloye and gave her age as 23. But her real name was  discovered to be Funmilayo Adeyemi and her age , 35.

Barely had the parents of the children left the house than she was seen taking them out. The children were  kept in her Ajah’s  apartment for four days until a ransom of N2 million was paid for their release. She was arrested 24-hours after the children were released, by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, RRS of the Lagos State Police Command. As at the time of the arrest of the suspect, a holder of the  Ordinary National Diploma holder in Land survey from Osun State Polytechnic, a  teenager later discovered to have been held hostage since November the previous years, was found in her custody.

Surprisingly, she was discovered to have planned the kidnap  of the three children who were then six, four and 11 months old respectively,   with the aid of her husband, Waheed Kareem, her brother in-law, Akeem Kareem and her brother in-law’s wife, Joke Oseni

Preliminary investigation by the Police   also revealed that her syndicate was responsible for the kidnap of two children in  December 2016,  in Magodo area of Lagos.

Also , in December 2018,  the Police in Lagos, rescued two children of ages  four and six respectively in Seme boarder. The children, were kidnapped  by their maid identified simply as Busayo, who was sent to pick them from school.

As at the time they were rescued, they had reportedly been  sold to some unidentified men for N2 million each and were at the verge of been crossed over to Benin Republic when the Police swooped on them. As at  time of the arrest, the maid had disappeared.

Park view estate murder

As time went by, these unscrupulous humans progressed to snuffing life out of their employers . One of the sad events occurred on December 20, 2016 at Parkview estate, Ikoyi , Lagos, where a  Cameroonian steward, Joel Ludguo,  allegedly stabbed his boss to death over unpaid salary.

The deceased, Temidayo Adeleke, 32,  had just returned from the United States of America, USA, where she was schooling, in preparation for her wedding, two months later.

A Pastor from Moutain of Solution according to late Adeleke’s family, had introduced the suspect to the would-be bride. She employed him, unknown to her that she was inviting her assailant home.

The suspect,  Leudjoe Koyemen Joel , who lived with the victim on Prince Tayo Adesanya Street, had walked up to her two months after he was employed, to  demand for N15,000, as   part payment of his December salary. The lady was said to have appealed to him to exercise patience till the next day, in order to enable her change the foreign currency she had , to naira.

But Koyemen , reportedly refused to leave the sitting room, insisted on getting the money that day. An argument ensued during which he was alleged to have dashed into the kitchen and came out with a kitchen knife which he thrust into Adeleke’s chest.

Her shout for help alerted other domestic workers who promptly arrested him , before he could bolt away. Unfortunately, the lady was denied marriage, motherhood and longevity, as she was confirmed dead at the St. Nicolas Hospital where she was rushed to.

Ludgo, was sentenced to death by hanging last month, by a Lagos High Court in Igbosere.

VGC murder

Four months earlier, the peace  and tranquility hitherto enjoyed at the Victoria Garden City, VGC , Ajah, Lagos, was truncated, following the uproar that greeted the alleged  murder of a 50-year-old business woman , Mabel Okafor, by her  by  gate man.

The deceased who lived alone in her palatial duplex at House J68B, Close 9, VGC, Ajah, had no domestic worker except the 22-year-old  gate man, identified as Tanko Abdullateef.

He was introduced to late Okafor,  two months earlier, by her former gate man. An argument over increment  salary, as later gathered, occurred between the duo on  August 17, 2016, during which the gate man allegedly stabbed her with a knife in the stomach, leaving her to bleed to death while he fled the scene.

Two days later, the late business woman’s church members visited her home only to discover that the gate was only bolted from inside and not locked. She could not be reached on mobile line as calls put across indicated that it was switched off.

Out of curiosity, the apprehensive church members were said to have opened the gate, only to be welcomed by stench emitting  from her room. To their shock, their guest’s  body was found on the floor of the sitting room downstairs, with a knife protruding out of her stomach.

Two weeks later, the suspect was traced to his hiding place in Bali, Taraba State, by the Police, consequent upon which he was arrested.

Parkview Estate

Another devastating murder by a house help, was that of late Chairman of Credit Switch Technology, Chief Opeyemi Badamosi, on October 31, 2018,  right inside his bedroom in Onikoyi Lane, Parkview Estate, Lagos, three days after he was employed.

The deceased, had traveled to his home town in Ondo state where he brought the Togolese  to cook for him, unknown to him that it would turn out to be his greatest undoing.

His widow, Ebunola Badamosi,  who drove in after the deed had been done, found him in a pool of his blood, with three deep stabs in his chest region..

In order to perfect his act, the Togolese house help, Sunday Adefonou, increased the volume of music in the apartment to drown any screaming by the father of four.

He was arrested two days later, in Yaba, Ondo State. He initially lied that his boss was murdered by some unknown persons but he was confronted with the footage of a Close Circuit Television, CCTV mounted in the apartment, where he was seen snuffing life out of his boss.

On seeing the CCTV footage, he broke down in tears and took detectives to the house where he demonstrated a reconstruction of how he murdered his boss.

He claimed not to have had any intention of killing his boss whom he described as a good man, adding that he had approached Chief Badamosi and demanded for money.

The 22-year-old suspect who spoke in pigin English, stated that he tied his boss’s hang and gagged him, adding that at a point, the latter started struggling the knife with him , causing him to stab him and made away with some of his valuables.

On Tuesday, a  Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, sentenced  the Togolese cook,  to life imprisonment over the murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Credit Switch Ltd,.

Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile convicted Anani following his plea of guilty to a one-count charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Naval personnel, girlfriend 

One of these killer vampires who hide under the cover of house helps, also unleashed his venom on a naval personnel and his girlfriend, on May 4, 2018, in Borokini area of Port Harcourt , the Rivers State capital.

News  of the gruesome murder of a 22-year-old former student of Federal Government College Owerri, Lauren Onye, whose body  was found  in her naval boyfriend’s  home, spread like wild fire, with speculations that she could have been murdered by her naval lover, Lieutenant Yusuf Yahaya Abubakar.

The allegation on the naval personnel followed  text messages sent from the officer’s mobile line to one of his lover’s friends, Joy, where he claimed to have stabbed her to death over her refusal to accept N500,000 as parting gift.

But when operatives  of  the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT led by  Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, stormed Port Harcourt to unravel the circumstance surrounding the young lady’s death, it was discovered to the astonishment of Nigerians that the act was perpetrated by the naval personnel’s  former houseboy, Thaddaeus Jaja.

The shock at the discovery was nothing compared to the fact that he confessed to have also murdered the naval personnel who was accused of killing his girlfriend. After killing him, he said he burnt his body and sold his car for N1.9 million.

Why I killed my naval boss

On why he killed the lovers, the 28-year-old electrician  told Crime Guard then, that he did it out of hatred for the naval personnel, over his refusal to pay him the money owed him.  As for his lover,  he accused her of being the cause of why his boss asked him to leave his house.

Part of the interview with the  native of Opobo, River State, read: “ Yes,  I killed my boss, Lieutenant Yusuf Yahaya Abubakar, who was working with the Nigerian Navy and his girlfriend, Lauren Onye, in May 2018. I need to let you know that I had no intention of killing my boss and his girlfriend from the onset.  I killed her because she was the person who prevented my boss from paying me and also  told him to send me out of his house.

“ I started working for my boss in the year 2016 . I met him for the first time when I went to  install his DSTV dish and decoder, from where we became friends. Along the line, he gave me one of the keys to his apartment  and asked me to be his houseboy. He said he would settle me whenever I was ready to get married. I washed his clothes, cooked his meals and did all the domestic chores. I worked for him for  seven months before he met his girlfriend Lauren, who moved into his house”.

He described the movement as the beginning of the strained relationship between him and his late boss, adding that  he was forced to leave the apartment and was sleeping outside until he got an apartment of his.

He added that sometime in September 2017, his late boss invited him to help him carry out a  N15.7million  contract which involved the supply and installment of  computers and other technical equipment at a Girl’s Technical School in Port Harcourt.

He said, “ I represented him because he didn’t want people to know about it as he was still in service. I executed the contract and submitted all the documents to the Universal Basic Education office. When I asked for the money he promised me, he said he would give me all my money immediately after my wedding which was fixed for December 2017.

“Few days to my wedding, I ran out of cash and  went to  beg him to give me part of the money he  owed me but he said he had no money with him and told me not to  disturb him. I ended up borrowing money  for my  wedding. By January 2018, I went to him again and asked for my money, he told me bluntly that he had no money and I left in anger and stopped communicating with him.

”Sometime in April, 2018, he invited me  to his office at Navy Primary School Borokiri, Port Harcourt, that he had a job for me. But when I got there, he told me that I came late, that he had already given out the job to someone else. At that point I became very angry and  started thinking of what I would do to him.

“Then, on Wednesday May 2, 2018, I went to his house while he was at work and  met his girlfriend. While discussing, she  told me that my boss was making arrangements to travel to Canada with her and that  he bought her a new phone and also gave her N300,000 to rent an apartment because she told him that she didn’t have a house in Port Harcourt.

Murder

“I dared her to give me my boss’s ATM code for me to believe he really loved her as she claimed and  she did. Thereafter, she took me into their room and showed me many other things my boss  bought for her.  At that point, I told  to turn around so I could have a good look at her hair, when she did, I held her neck from behind and strangulated her. Thereafter, I went to the kitchen, took a knife and stabbed her on the chest and she died on the spot. I took her body to the sitting room and hid it behind the three-seater chair and thought of how to dispose of her body.

“I bought a small cutlass which I intended to use to  dismember her body but before I could start,  my boss came back.  He   discovered that the rug in the sitting room was wet and told me to mob it . When he asked about his girlfriend, I told him that I didn’t meet her when I came. He tried calling her on the phone  but her phone was switched off. He then entered into his bed room and slept off.

” I decided to kill him to end all traces to me. So, by 4am, while he was still sleeping,  I hit him on the head with a cutlass,  covered his face with one of the pillows and  stabbed him in the chest. When I confirmed he was dead, I brought out his girlfriend’s travelling bag and dumped his corpse inside. Then, I wore his uniform, took the bag into his car and  drove off . I wore the  uniform so as to be  allowed to leave the barracks with his car.

“ I drove to a bush in Apani area of Rivers State, poured the fuel I bought  from a petrol station on the corpse and set it ablaze. Thereafter, I took the car to Benin and sold it for N1.9 million.  I took his ATM to Lagos and withdrew N2,500,000 from his account.

“ To cover my track,  I  wrote a text via  sms with his phone to one of Lauren’s friends, Joy and  told her that her friend  died while we were fighting.  I took advantage of some of their conversations which I had heard in the past where my boss told his girlfriend that he could not marry her because his father had found him a wife.  I told Joy in the text that her friend was killed  because she refused to accept the sum of N500,0000 given to her as a pay off.

“ I lavished the money on  women, slept in expensive hotels and went to  night clubs. When  I discovered I had only N300,000 left , I decided to return  to Port Harcourt with the intention of setting up a business, only to be arrested”.

Retired General too

Another bizarre incident orchestrated by domestic workers occurred on September 20,  2011, in Iragon village in Badagry area of Lagos State, involving a retired Brigadier General identified as Umai Jabil Uwurigbe and his wife .

While his wife managed to escape the attack from those they hired to work on their farms, same could not be said of her husband who died moment before reaching the hospital.

The suspects, stormed the farmland that fateful day and attacked the retired General with machetes. His wife who sighted them from the window raised an alarm , only to have same treatment meted on her.

Everyone concluded that the invaders were robbers, until his widow gave the description of the attackers to the police. Surprising one of them turned out to be the Chief farmer on their farmland, Samuel Sosu, from the Benin Republic.

He denied the allegation until one Sosube Abiodun, from Cotonou, Benin Republic  was arrested in his hideout at  Kajola Village, in Ogun State.

 

Abiodun, confessed during interrogation to have been  contracted by  Sosu ,to kill the General.

He had told Crime Guard then, that, “ I was not the only one. He also called one of his friends. He said we should kill the general so that  he could take possession of the seven acres of land he (late General ) leased to him. He said after killing him, we should search his house and take any money found there, promising to reward us. We attacked the general when he came out to put on his power generating set”.

Pregnant woman, octogenarian

The latest incident occurred Tuesday, 18, at 4 Ogunlana Drive, Surulere, where a 22-year-old domestic help, Joseph Ogbu, allegedly  stabbed his 38-year-old pregnant employer, Oreoluwa John, to death and suffocated her 89-year-old mother, Mrs Adejoke John.

The  bizarre incident took place during an argument over cleaning of the house.

Thereafter, Ogbu, who hails from Oju Local Government Area of Benue State, collected the deceased’s phones, electronics and other valuables and attempted to flee the building in late Oreoluwa’s Toyota Camry car. He was however , arrested by curious residents who handed him over to the Police.

Fear, anxiety

At the moment, employers of domestic workers are gripped with fear, over these incidents, as some families, particularly those with children are contemplating having an alternative options of taking care of them .

Information at Crime Guard’s disposal shows that some employers have begun to sack some of their domestic workers, especially those from neigbouring West African countries.

Another option adopted by families whose children are grown , is to invite their domestic workers only on weekends , when many  people are assumed to be around their homes.

But the Police have advised that domestic workers should be profiled before they would be employed.  The Police also revealed that domestic workers who were involved in cases  of murder and kidnap were discovered not to be profiled by the Police.

Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, DSP Elkana Bala, said, “ If they are profiled before being employed, it will help the police facilitate their arrest whenever they commit offence”.

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