By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
It was a pitiable sight when police from Ugbor police station in Benin City went to evacuate the lifeless body of 46 years old Rosemary Ifeoma popularly known as Mama Samuel at an uncompleted building in Darlington Ogbeifun Street, Off Ogbekan Village Road, Ugbor in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo state.
The place has been the abode of the deceased with her 13-year-old son called Samuel.
Her body was found naked with legs astride and police said they saw semi liquid substances suspected to be spermatozoa on her which was an indication that the suspect, Kingsley Adebanyo aged 23 may have, in addition to killing her, had carnal knowledge of the lifeless body even though he denied the allegation.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that Adebayo would have escaped the law but for the 13-year-old Samuel who he had earlier hit on the concrete floor of the building and took him for dead until he regained consciousness several hours later and narrated their experience.
The suspect, believing that Samuel was dead, pounced on his mother and allegedly hit her with a log which was also reportedly found at the scene of crime by the police.
Concerned neighbours want justice
Mama Samuel was said to be a widow with four children and had one of her sons, Samuel staying with her.
Saturday Vanguard was told that when she could no longer afford her accommodation, she temporarily took shelter in one storey building which was roofed but yet to be completed pending when she would be able to raise money for a new accommodation.
A resident in the area who simply gave his name as Peter narrated the incident thus “This woman we popularly called Mama Samuel was a widow with four children and the last one who is 13 years old, stayed with her.
“She was having difficulties paying her rent and then approached a woman in the area whose brother was building a storey building that had been roofed to allow her stay there pending when she could raise money to get a new accommodation.
“She had a lover, a bricklayer who was always coming to see her and people around here knew them.
But they had issues on this fateful day (July 16) and she told him not to be visiting her again and the bricklayer was said to have left angrily. This was around 8:30 pm.
“This same man came back around 12:30 am and started hitting their makeshift door. The woman and her son were scared because the place was isolated and they did not know who the intruder was until he succeeded in entering the apartment.
“As soon as he entered, she told him she didn’t want to see him again and they started an argument.
“When her 13 years old son tried to stop him, the man hit his head on the concrete floor and the boy passed out.
“The man thought the boy was dead and then descended on the woman, hitting her with a log and sent her to her early grave. After killing her, he drew her legs apart and apparently had sex with her.
“It was early in the morning that her 13 years old son regained consciousness and ran to inform neighbours what had happened and in the process collapsed again.
“He was rushed to the hospital for treatment and later narrated the story. He led others to the place where the suspect was working and immediately he sighted the boy, he took to his heels until he was pursued and arrested.
“We want a thorough investigation and trial of this matter, we don’t want any cover-up. The woman was hardworking, she used to help residents cook and at times weaved hair for people.
“She also sold pap (akamu) around. From what was recovered in her apartment, she was already planning to open her business.”
In a chat with Saturday Vanguard, the suspect said “My name is Kingsley Adebayo, I am 23 years old, from Ibillo in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area and I am a bricklayer. I met her twice, it was a Yoruba man opposite where we were working who introduced her to me and she said she was a caterer and also engaged in house cleaning.
“The woman said she needed six bags of cement for work on her caravan and I said I didn’t have six bags of cement for her.
“On the day of the incident, when we closed from the site, my brother, myself, the woman and her son were all going together to her house but my brother turned back and the three of us went to her house where she said she wanted to show me the caravan and to give me wheelbarrow to go and bring cement.
“I told her I didn’t have cement so she asked me to leave the house and I left. But I missed my way because it was already dark and after walking around, I found myself in the building again but this time they had locked the gate so I jumped over the fence and removed the bench they used in closing the door.
“I then told her I wanted to sleep there because I had missed my way, but she said no, that I should go and bring the cement before she could listen to me. The son also asked me to leave the house and threatened to attack me with knife.
“He actually went inside to bring a knife and wanted to attack me so I pushed him and he fell and fainted.
“The mother then started struggling with me and didn’t want me to go, so I pushed her and she hit her head on the wall and fell with blood coming out of her head.
“I quickly carried her son and put him on the bed and I left the place before police came to arrest me that the woman was dead.
“I did not hit her with any wood; I did not also rape her. It was not my intention to go and kill anybody. It was a mistake and I am begging the government to forgive me.”
A police officer at the Homicide Section of the State Command where the case was referred to said “he pushed the woman while trying to escape and the gravity of the push made her hit her head on the wall and blood started gushing out.”
On the issue of rape, he said “it was the IPO from Ugbor police station where the case was first reported that said when he was evacuating the corpse to Stella Obasanjo Hospital mortuary, he saw sperm on the ground but the suspect denied it here at the state command.
“He also denied using a plank on the woman but a plank was recovered by the Ugbor police.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Kontongs Bello said the suspect would be charged to court once investigation has been completed.