Vengeful domestic staff turn the heat on employers
Domestic servants used to be at the receiving end of maltreatment and violence, but in the last couple of years, they have cut short the joy of many homes; they have sent several employers to their early graves, reports ABIODUN BELLO
When the Chairman, Credit Switch, Chief Ope Bademosi, and his wife employed a cook, they must have heaved a sigh of relief.
The new cook, the husband and wife must have reasoned, would reduce the stress associated with the kitchen; and make food readily available on demand at their residence in Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Whatever happened to the former cook that informed his decision to go or be fired, the hiring of the new one would, at the time, seem like the rain after a spell of drought.
Unknown to the Bademosis, the new cook, Sunday Anani, had a mission. The mission must be executed with precision, and fast too.
While the couple were celebrating his coming, the 22-year-old Togolese was probably rehearsing how to carry out his mission. The mission must be executed without a margin of error.
The opportunity, which the cook needed to execute his mission, came suddenly on October 31, the fourth day of his resumption of duty. The opportunity was Mrs. Bademosi’s decision to dash to the bank. She would probably regret that singular decision for the rest of her life.
Bademosi’s wife must have given Anani instructions on what to cook. But instead, the cook grabbed the opportunity provided by her absence with both hands.
The police said the Togolese cook allegedly stabbed his boss to death.
According to report, the suspect had turned up the sound system in the house to the loudest volume while he stabbed his victim on his chest several times.
“After committing the act, the suspect went to the toilet and pulled off his white cook uniform as it had been stained with blood.
“He also left the knife he used inside the toilet,” reports added.
Anani was arrested a few days after the alleged murder. But the cook reportedly denied killing his boss.
Whether Anani is guilty or not, only the court would determine based on investigations by the police.
But this was not the first time a domestic servant would be accused of killing his master. Ironically, Parkview Estate is becoming notorious for such killings. Bademosi, according records, was the fourth victim of domestic servants’ murderous angst in the last few years.
In the same Parkview Estate, a 32-year-old bride-to-be, Dayo Adeleke, was reportedly stabbed to death by her Cameroonian cook at her home on the night of December 20, 2016.
Unfortunately, Adeleke was to get married a few weeks before she was murdered.
The 22-year-old cook, Joel Ludgo aka William Smith, was said to have asked for an increase in his salary; a request which the victim reportedly rejected.
The deceased was said to have helped the cook, who was a refugee and living in a church. She gave him accommodation and a job.
The suspect, who used @william_smith1059 on Instagram, had on the same day he allegedly butchered his boss, shared a video, as though celebrating the killing, before he was arrested.
The police said Ludgo killed his boss because he was desperate to send money to his girlfriend in Cameroon.
The police stated that Ludgo had vehemently requested his boss to pay part of his December salary so he could send the money to his girlfriend, which led to an altercation and the eventual killing.
“A kitchen knife was found stuck into the left side of her chest. She was rushed to St. Nicholas Hospital on Lagos Island, where a doctor on duty confirmed her dead.
“Some drug substance was found on the suspect and he has made confessional statements.
“He said he wanted to send money to his girlfriend in Cameroon and that was how an argument ensued between him and the boss,” the then state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Dolapo Badmos, had said.
In 2016, a 22-year-old housekeeper, Tanko Abdulateef, allegedly killed his employer at the Lekki area of the state.
When arrested, Abdulateef claimed that an evil spirit moved him to commit the crime.
The suspect claimed he stabbed the 50-year-old woman, Mabel Okafor, four times in the stomach.
The woman was stabbed to death in her apartment on Close 9, Victoria Garden City (VGC) at the Lekki area on August 17, 2016.
The suspect reportedly stole Okafor’s phones, cash and other after killing her.
Abdulateef, a Nigerian from Taraba State, claimed he had just finished cutting the flowers when Okafor called him.
But according to him, an evil spirit pushed him to stab the woman with the scissors and the knife he had used to cut the flowers.
“I was employed in August 2016; I had not yet stayed up to a month when the incident happened. She agreed to pay me N18,000 at the end of the month. On that Wednesday, she had asked me to cut the flowers. When I was done, I went inside my room. There were only three of us in the apartment.
“She called me and I went inside the sitting room. I was with the knife and the scissors I had just used to cut the flowers. A spirit just came upon me and I stabbed her. She shouted my name and that was when I became conscious of what I had done.
“She was bleeding profusely. I had stabbed her in her stomach four times. When I realised that I had killed my employer, I packed some of her valuables and ran to my village in Taraba State the following day. I sat down at the doorsteps all night. I could not enter my room.
“Some of our neighbours, who were alerted by my boss’ noise, came around and asked what had happened. I lied to them that we saw a snake and she screamed. So they went back. I don’t know why I killed her. Something just came upon me.”
“The phones, trinket and other valuables carted away have been recovered from the suspect. The scissors and the knife that he used were also recovered from him,” the then Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, had said.
A 14-year-old secondary school student, Anna Amos, reportedly murdered her 71-year-old employer, Hellen Adodo, on August 7 at Guobadia Street, Benin, Edo State.
Amos, who hails from Abuja, said she had lived with the deceased as a housemaid since March 2018.
The teenager claimed Adodo had treated her fairly for the period she lived with her.
But like Abdulateef, she also blamed it on an unseen voodoo spirit which possessed her.
Amos said that in the morning of the fateful day, she boiled water for the deceased to bathe and served her meal, before killing her.
She said: “I packed the dirty plates outside to wash them. As I opened the door and stepped on the veranda, something just came into my body as if possessing me. I no longer knew what I was doing and I abandoned the plates I was supposed to wash. I stood on the stone, and later took it, went inside with it and hit it on her head.
“I do not know what entered my body. It was a spirit. It told me to go and kill her. She did not offend me.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the incident
Nwabuzor said the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) for further investigation.
He said: “About 8.30a.m., the Divisional Police Officer of New Etete Police Station received a distress call that the woman in question was murdered. The DPO went there and found her body in her house in a pool of blood from the head region and a stone close to the body.
“Then on investigation, it was revealed that a girl who was staying with her, named Anna Amos, who came from the North with the help of the daughter of the late woman, was the one that killed the woman.
“Confession was made by this Anna Amos that she actually killed the woman. Anna Amos is 14 years old and by law, she is still a minor. But we will do all we can to see what we can do. We will not rely on the confession of that girl because she might not be the one responsible for the killing of that woman.
“According to investigation, the woman has been going through a lot of challenges with her health and before her death; she was down with a stroke. Perhaps somebody else did and asked this little girl to own up as the culprit. So investigation is ongoing. We will try our best to unravel the situation and the report will be made public.”
In Enugu, a domestic servant, Joseph Ijeh, reportedly murdered his 65-year-old ‘beer parlour’ operator, Agnes Elue.
The incident occurred on May 6, 2015 at No 293B Agbani Road the house maid on May 6, over issues of fund diversion.
Ijeh had reportedly lived with the deceased for over 20 years as a ‘house help’. It was reported that the suspect had over the years built confidence on his ability to run the beer parlour until recently when Elue noticed that he had not been rendering proper account.
On the fateful day, Elue had asked Ijeh to render account of sales made over the years. This, however, infuriated him and decided to snuff her life.
“Unknown to Agnes, rather than furnish her with the account, Joseph armed with pestle, hit Agnes at the back of the head and she died immediately.
“The suspect hid the corpse in one of the rooms for days before the operatives got wind of the crime. They swung into action and arrested the suspect who has confessed to the crime,” the PPRO, DSP Ebere Amaraizu, had said.
On Friday May 4, 2018, in a plot set like a James Hadley Chase novel, a domestic servant, Thaddaeus Jaja, reportedly killed a lieutenant, Yusuf Yahaya Abubakar, and girlfriend, Lauren Onye.
The incident occurred at the Nigeria Navy Barracks in Borokiri area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Jaja framed up his boss, even in death, as a murderer.
The body of the 22-year-old Onye was found in Abubakar’s apartment.
Many people, including the naval authorities, believed that Abubakar was responsible for Onye’s death. They did not know that he too was a victim of an orchestrated plot.
Two days after Onye was murdered, some naval officers forced their way into Abubakar’s apartment. This came after they received information from one of her friends, identified as Joy, that the victim was killed by her boyfriend and that her body was lying in his apartment.
Joy alerted the naval authorities in Rivers State that she received a text message from Abubakar, who also asked her not to call him back, revealing that he killed Onye during an argument over their relationship.
She claimed that Abubakar also said Onye demanded to be paid N3 million if he knew he wasn’t going to marry her but he offered N500,000 which she rejected. Onye then reportedly became angry, picked up a knife and stabbed him on his head while Abubakar also picked up another knife and stabbed her on the chest which led to her death.
Abubakar, in the purported text message, said he fled from the barracks and was on his way out of the country.
The naval authorities bought the story, especially since they found Onye’s body in Abubakar’s apartment. They lodged a complaint at the Borokiri Police Station and Abubakar, who was already stone dead, was declared wanted.
The 28-year-old Jaja would have gone scot-free but for Ababakar’s father’s insistence that police must conduct a thorough investigation.
Acting on Abubakar’s father’s petition, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, ordered an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding Onye’s death and her boyfriend’s alleged disappearance.
The Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) led by DSP Abba Kyari was mandated to investigate the issue.
The IRT team discovered, in the course of investigation, that someone was withdrawing Abubakar’s money with the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card in Lagos and Benin, Edo State.
The operatives also found out that Abubakar wasn’t the person making the withdrawals, rather the photograph of the person caught by the cameras at the ATM machines in Lagos and Benin, had striking resemblance with Abubakar’s former houseboy, Jaja.
Reports said neighbours saw Jaja around Abubakar’s apartment a few days before the murder was discovered.
Jaja was eventually apprehended in Port Harcourt.
“We returned to Port Harcourt and waited for him, believing he would return to Rivers State when the money he was spending got finished. Three weeks later, one of our informants spotted him in Borokiri and we got him arrested.
“During interrogations, he confessed killing Abubakar and his girlfriend because he was angry with him for not paying him the money Abubakar owed him. He also burnt Abubakar’s corpse in a bush to prevent anyone from linking him to the crime.
“He told us that he was the person who wrote and sent the text message to Joy while he went to Lagos to withdraw the money from Abubakar’s account because he wanted to create an impression that Abubakar was on the run. He further told us that he sold Abubakar’s car for N1.9 million and he equally took us to the spot where he burnt Abubakar’s corpse and we recovered his bones,” a member of the IRT was quoted as saying.
“I was arrested because I killed my boss, Lieutenant Yusuf Yahaya Abubakar, who was working with the Nigerian Navy and his girlfriend, Lauren Onye, in May 2018. My boss is 35 years old. I started working for my boss in 2016.
“I started by installing his DSTV dish and decoder from where we became friends and he gave me one of the keys to his house. He even asked me to be his houseboy and that he would settle me whenever I was ready to get married. I washed his clothes, cooked his meals and did all the domestic work in his house. I worked for about seven months before he met his girlfriend, Lauren, who moved into his house.
“When she came in my boss stopped me from sleeping in his sitting room because his girlfriend wasn’t comfortable with my presence in the house, then I moved out of the house and I started sleeping outside until I got an apartment of my own.
“Sometime in September 2017, my boss got a contract of N15.7 million to supply and install computers and some other technical equipment at a Girl’s Technical School in Port Harcourt. 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.
“A few days to my wedding, I ran out of cash and I went to him and begged him to give me part of the money he was owing me but he told me that he had no money with him and said I shouldn’t disturb him. I was left with no other option than to borrow money from people for wedding. By January 2018, I went to him again and asked for my money but he told me bluntly that he had no money and I left him in anger while I stopped communicating with him. “Sometime in April, 2018, he called me to come to his office at Navy Primary School, Borokiri, Port Harcourt that he had a job for me and when I got there he told me that I came late that he had already given out the job to someone else. After that, I also repaired his generator as well as other things I did for him but he didn’t pay me enough for all the work I did.
“At that point I became very angry with him and I started thinking of any evil thing I could do to him. Then, on Wednesday May 2, 2018, I went to his house while he was at work and I met his girlfriend in the house and we started chatting in a friendly manner. She then told me how my boss was making arrangements to travel to Canada with her, she told me 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, but that wasn’t the first time my boss had given her money for apartment. He had earlier given N150,000 to rent an apartment but she spent it on clothes. Then I teased her that if she really believed she was close to my boss, she should tell me the pin code of his ATM card. She then told me that his service code was his ATM pin code.
“She equally took me into their room and showed me many other things my boss had bought for her. I then asked her to turn around so I could have a good look at her hair, when she did, I held her neck from behind and I strangulated her. As she was lying helplessly on the ground, 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 was thinking of how to dispose of her body. So I went and bought a small cutlass which I intended to use in dismembering her body but before I knew what was going on, my boss came back and he discovered that the rug in the sitting room was wet and he asked me to mob it up for him. When he asked about his girlfriend I told him that I didn’t meet her when I came, he tried calling her but her phone was switched off. He then entered into his bed room and slept off.
“At that time, I knew there was no way I could dispose of the corpse without my boss knowing then, I decided to kill my boss also so as to end all traces to me. So, by 4a.m., while my boss was deep in sleep, I hit him on the head with a cutlass and covered his face with one of the pillows then I stabbed him on the chest. When I confirmed he was dead, I brought out his girlfriend’s travelling bag and dumped his corpse in it. Then, I wore his uniform, took the bag into his car and I drove off with it. If I hadn’t worn his uniform, there was no way I would have been allowed to leave the barracks with his car. Then, I drove to a bush in Apani area of Rivers State, after I had bought fuel from a petrol station I set the corpse ablaze and took the car to Benin. I took his ATM to Lagos where I withdrew N2,500,000 from his account.
“I also wrote an sms with his phone to one of Lauren’s friends known as Joy and I made it look like my boss was the person writing her since I was using his phone. I told her that her friend was dead and she died during a fight with me over our relationship. 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. So I told joy that I, the boss, killed her friend because she refused to accept the sum of N500,0000 which I gave her as a payoff. I told her that I stabbed her to death because she insisted on collecting N3 million from me as compensation for the time she had spent with me.
“I told her friend to go to my boss’ house and retrieve Lauren’s corpse as I was on my way out of the country. I also told her that she shouldn’t call me. I later sold my boss’ car for N1.9 million. Then I went into a spending spree with women, sleeping in expensive hotels and going to night clubs.
After a while I discovered I had only N300,000 left and I became scared, so I went back to Port Harcourt with the intention of setting up a business. But when I got to Port Harcourt, I didn’t know how the police knew I was in town and they came and arrested me where I was.
“I need to let you know that I have no intention of killing my boss and his girlfriend, I killed her because she was the person who prevented my boss from paying me my money. The girl was the person who told him to send me out of his house.”
A manager and a housemaid also allegedly killed their employer, Alhaja Sikirat Eko, at Omole Phase 1, Lagos.
Eko was, until her murder, the owner of a restaurant and bar located in her compound, where she lived alone with her maid.
The suspects reportedly murdered Eko at her home on 5, Babatunde Ladega Street and threw her body into a well.
After the murder, the manager and the maid continued managing the bar, claiming that their boss had travelled.
The suspects met their waterloo when relatives of Eko came on a visit and demanded to know the deceased’s whereabouts. Having failed to give a reasonable answer, the relatives reported the case to Area G Command, Ogba.
“The manager was using the deceased’s phone and assumed her identity. Sometimes, he would send text messages with her phone, telling people that all was well,” reports said.
After a rigorously search, Eko’s body was found in the well.
Eko reportedly had just one child who lives in the United Kingdom.
According to reports, when she could not get her mother on the telephone, she called relatives to help her find out what was wrong.
When the relatives got there, the manager told them that she had travelled. The relatives became suspicious because the house was left open and the manager behaved as if he was the owner of the house. The relatives then reported the matter to the police.
In the past, it was the masters who used to maltreat domestic staff but it is now a case of the hunter being hunted as domestic servants have taken vengeance to a murderous level.
However, to check the trend, the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer (ZPPRO), CSP Dolapo Badmos, said the public needed more awareness on the risks associated with foreign and local domestic servants.
According to her, a chain links the person who brings a domestic servant and the employee.
She said: “It is important that the domestic servant has a known relative so that if there is crisis, the domestic servant can be traced.”
Badmos also called on employers to always be mindful of what they say in the presence of their domestic servants.
“The most important thing is that the employers should take details of the domestic servants, because whenever there is problem such a person would be traced by the police and other security agencies. It is disheartening seeing foreigners kill their bosses in Nigeria,” she added.
Also, a United Kingdom-trained security expert, Mr. Michael Adebisi, said killings by domestic servants had been on the increase because of the gullibility of the employers.
According to him, employers are not careful in the manner they disclose personal information in the presence of their domestic staff.
He said: “Societal factor is also a major concern; because most employers don’t do background check to know where the person they are bringing into their house is coming from.
“In my own opinion, the solution to the menace is proper orientation. Whoever wants to employ domestic servants, whether Nigerians or foreigners, should have their details.
“Foreign domestic servants are a security challenge to Nigerian government and the people, so people should mind the way they do things. Instead of employing foreigners, they should look out for the local ones who have relatives that could be traced in case of any incident.”
According to the Chief Security Officer of Target Solid Security Company, Mr. Dede Uzor, foreign domestic servants don’t always have traceable addresses.
He said: “If you want to employ a house help or security guard, you have to know the person or the person bringing him very well. Even if the individual is not from Nigeria, the person must provide guarantors.
“Also, the employer should have a cordial relationship with the domestic servants, not to try to threaten or punish them. These and others are issues that can lead to violence. If you maltreat the individual, he may find a way to deal with you, through poisoning or another way. These are security tips. You are not supposed to expose yourself to the individuals by letting them know about you, financially or otherwise. Even, they should not know your contacts and businesses.
“It is very advisable for employers have plans A and B. It means you should get someone to checkmate the individual, may be your relations or your friends around. But the individual will not have knowledge that those around him or her are checkmating them for you. This is very important looking at what is happening.
“Also, the use CCTV should be embraced for your safety and that of members of your family.
“You are putting your life in danger by employing someone you did not know from Adam.
“Recently, a man and his wife employed a housemaid who they didn’t know very well. Within one week, she sold the two children of the couple and ran away. You don’t expose yourself to danger because you need help.
“Another area that is very important is that the employer should pay the person when due. When you begin to owe the individual his salary and the person discovers that you are counting millions of naira and just decided to owe him or her, the person will think you are intimidating him or being wicked.”
•Additional reports by TAIWO JIMOH and STANLEY IHEDIGBO
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