Mrs. Zika Utibe
Efua meant a lot to me. She was like the daughter I never had and she was way intelligent. I didn’t think It’soyha would end up any good with a woman but when he brought Efua to the picture, she was all I could ever ask for as a daughter-in-law. I have always advised my son to thread carefully even in marriage but he was just too stubborn.
I thought with Efua, he’d be different from his father. I thought he would desist from lying [even if just a little bit] and cheating, but I was wrong. All men sired from the same loins are always the same.
So I had forensics over looking at their place trying to figure out exactly what happened and all evidence points at my son. I can’t say I’m exactly pleased with hearing that but justice must be served.
I can just imagine if Efua was my own daughter, what would I have done? It’s even more painful knowing that my baby girl, Efua has no parent. It is only right that I find her killer and if she’s missing, find her kidnapper. She became my business when she was married to my son.
I had called my very good friend at the base and It’soyha was taken in for questioning at the police station.
I’m scared for my last son but I need to be sure that I raised him well.
Looking at the present situation we are in, it doesn’t seem it’s good for both of us but what must be done must be done. Avoiding situations has never helped anybody and this time is no different.
“I’ll remember to always kiss the corners of your mouth because that makes you giggle, and your giggles are music worth recording. I’ll still twine my legs around yours when we’re falling asleep because that tangle of limbs reminds you of the togetherness you never knew as a child. You always said you had no family, just strangers familiar enough to live without worrying that you’d be murdered when your back was turned.”
I woke up with a start as I remembered our 1st wedding anniversary and the words I had said to Efua. I remembered her solemn smile and the sincere kiss. We were so happy but where was she?
I sat on the wooden chair in the near dark room in the station, as I rubbed my palms against my temple trying to quiet my troubled head, not wanting to think too much about the pending investigation and the near court case for her murder. I didn’t want to believe that any of this was happening. This is surely not I how pictured my life.
Just then, Inspector Adetunji walked in with another police sergeant looking at me.
“Do you want to call your lawyer before we start questioning you?”
“Oh no…I have already talked to my lawyer before I got here” I replied nervously
“And you are sure we can start questioning you proper?”
“Very well sir.”
“You know, whatever you say here or do will be used against you in the court of law.”
“Yes, I do”
“Very well then…I’ll proceed.” The inspector moved to sit across as we faced each other directly with the sergeant still standing beside him.
“Now normally, we won’t treat this as a missing person’s case but given the scene at your house and the increase of violent crimes as of late, we are going to take this very seriously.”
“Okay…good” I said too quickly
“So you know, we had forensics over at your place and we’ve organized a Search team for your wife’s body, if in any case she is dead, that is. Now, time is of the essence in this kind of cases and we have to start pulling all the missing pieces together to solve this case. So you and Efua have been married for two years?”
“Yes, we have.”
“And you both own the Investment Company here in Lagos?”
“No, we don’t. I own it.”
“Well technically, this paper here says you both own the company in equal shares” he gestured towards the paper on the table as he looked at me “Mrs. Zika Utibe added her as the 2nd owner about a year ago.”
I shook my head in disbelief. My mum was really something.
“So you both obviously have no kids?”
“And were you aware that she was pregnant?”
“Are you sure you didn’t know that your wife was pregnant? We have her medical records here.”
“She never told me she was and neither did she show the signs.”
“Hmm…” he muttered looking at the sergeant beside him “So what does Efua do, with all those degrees she acquired, what does she do?”
“Nothing really. She keeps busy all the time, go to work at the firm, comes back home and stays at her private study. She’s a voracious reader, so she always has a book in her hand but apart from these, she doesn’t do much.”
“Okay. Does Efua have friends that you know we can talk to?”
“Erm, she’s not really much of a friend person but I know Louisa was her closest friend even before we got married and then her cousin who stays in Asaba, Denise. Although, after we got married, I saw them less. I know they still maintained close ties and called often but they never really always came to our home.”
“Are you saying that in the whole of this Lagos, even at work, Efua had no other friends apart from Louisa?”
“None that I am aware of. She was always that reserved. Well, she was friends with my mum too. That could explain why she owns half the investment Company.”
“So, on the day of the incident, where were you?”
“I was at the office. It was my birthday and she had called earlier asking me to arrive early because she wanted to spend more time with me on my birthday and I tried to come early. I did come home by 5:45pm to find my house that way before I alerted the police.”
“At what time exactly did she call you?”
“So that was roughly two hours before you got home to find that she wasn’t there?”
“So you say your wife had no other friends that you know of, apart from Louisa. Is she stand offish?”
“Not exactly but she’s very complicated. Has very high standards, so she easily did not make friends.”
“You seem different, relaxed, laid back…how did you two cope? Weren’t you always quarrelling? Didn’t you always argue?”
“We were coping just fine. I loved my wife and she loved me too. There’s no marriage that doesn’t have an uphill but we rarely argued even during our married life and no… we didn’t quarrel.”
“Okay if that’s true, then what will you say about Mrs. Ochamma? She claimed to be a friend of your wife and she knew almost everything that went down at your home.”
“I don’t know her at all and the 1st time I ever saw her was after my wife’s disappearance.”
“Oh well, they look like pretty good friends to me. I mean look at all these pictures.” He gestured at the pictures inside the file on the table “Is it true that you were cheating on your wife?”
“How does that solve the case at hand?” I asked perturbed
“Mr. Utibe, answer the questions you are been asked? Did you ever cheat on your wife?”
I kept mute for a while not sure the relevance of this particular question and not exactly wanting to admit in the open that I did cheat on my missing wife. This question was definitely going to make me look bad in the papers and I didn’t bargain for this.
“Sir…” the other sergeant beckoned “Answer the question please”
“Yes, I did but that was just a couple of times.”
“So you were cheating on your wife, not only that, you didn’t want her to carry your baby and now you claim you didn’t know she owned half of the company you own? Very good.”
I was at loss on what to say. This was just too overwhelming.
“Okay, so let’s start at the sitting room, No 1 scene of the crime. You see, we’ve seen dozens of home invasions and the sitting area looked wrong from the first minute we saw it. The whole thing looked staged. I mean, even the phone on the floor looked like it was placed there, the tusk on the wall was still hanging perfectly on the wall even through the life and death struggle?”
“I don’t know, what do you want me to say?”
The other sergeant looked at me “And you are sure you weren’t at home the time your wife went missing?”
“No, not at all” I replied
“Great.” He reached to the sergeant who handed him some bunch of paper notes as he placed them on the table
“Do you recognize this?” he asked pointing at a large book inside a plastic bag
“No, never seen that before.” I said looking intently at it
“Well, it’s your wife’s diary and we found it in your home during our search. Is this your wife’s handwriting?” Adetunji asked as he showed me a photocopied page, up close.
I looked at it and then at him “I think so, looks like it.” I shrugged
“Alright cool, because both Louisa and Mrs. Ochamma thought so too.”
“Oh…” I muttered realizing Louisa had been questioned
“So I’ll ask a few questions based on this diary and I need you to answer yes or no.”
“And then that night, he hands me his business card as I proceed to get off his car. He is smiling hard now, I can’t resist to collect it.” He looks up from the paper and at me “True or false?”
I think for a while wondering if this diary is really Efua’s “Yes, that’s true.”
Inspector Adetunji pulls out another piece and read “He thought my ass was huge…he couldn’t stop staring even right there at the hospital.”
I chuckled remembering that day “That is also true! Yes”
“It’soyha can be such a big baby…he had to propose on my birthday, stealing my shine, does he have no shame? I think not.”
“True, that did happen.”
“Okay, this is good.” Mr. Adetunji smiled as he pulled out another piece “Birthday sex was great…It’soyha had me tickling all over, somehow I’m glad I waited to find him.”
“Yeah, she did tell me that a couple of times. True that.”
He looked serious as he pulled out another piece of paper “I told him I wanted a baby and he assaulted me.”
“I hit her?” I was shocked “No! I never hit my wife, I never hit Efua”
“Pushed. It says you pushed her.”
“Absolutely not! I did not hit her nor push her that night, I just gave her a little tap by the shoulders shrugging her off. I will never hit Efua, never!”
“Okay” he said looking at the sergeant as he smiled and pulled out another piece “it says, I tried to buy a gun for my own safety…”
“I doubt Efua would do that. What did she need a gun for?”
“You tell us Mr. Utibe. Why would your wife need a gun?”
“Alright, I’m reading the last entrée, it says ‘this man of mine may kill me and leave me for another woman’ in her own words.”
“Kill her? Why would I do that? That sounds like a convenient end note”
“Considering the fact that you have another woman by the side, it still sounds true irrespective.”
“I did not kill my wife!!!” I screamed
“Okay…” Inspector Adetunji said with his hand in the air, looking at the papers in his file “The forensics did a luminal test and I’m sorry to tell you but the foyer lit up and Efua lost a lot of blood in there Mr. Utibe, and then funny enough, somebody wiped it off.”
“Wait a second, why will someone wipe off the blood if they are trying to stage a crime scene?”
“Well, no blood and no body suggest kidnapping, it tells us ‘look at people outside the house’…however, pool of blood and no body suggest homicide, it tells us ‘look at people inside the house’ which is what we are trying to do here.”
“I see.” I replied frowning and looking at the floor for want of where to affix my gaze
“So how was your marriage like Mr. Utibe because all we have are the words of Mrs. Ochamma and what she’s saying isn’t good for you? Please tell us, did you two have any issues?”
“No we didn’t have any issues and our marriage was fine. Other than that, I don’t think I should be discussing my private affair with my wife with you.”
“Okay fair enough. Let’s talk about her insurance policy…” he showed me some paper work as I stared on in dismay wondering why he was bringing it up “Sometime in February this year, you bumped up her life insurance policy to a tune of 2.5 million naira.”
“Yes I did. It was her idea, she wanted me to.” I said spreading my hands by my side not fully understanding what this meant
“Mr. Utibe, you filed the paper work!”
“That’s because she told me to…” I replied almost screaming back at Mr. Adetunji
“So, my question becomes…”
“I don’t want to talk to you ever again, not until I speak with my lawyer again.”
“We are sorry Mr. Utibe, you can speak to your lawyer while in detention.” Inspector Adetunji said as he stood up and another police man entered with hand cuffs
“You are under arrest for the murder of Mrs. Efua Utibe. You have a right to remain silent till you speak with your lawyer. I’ll see you in court.”
Unbelievable…I thought as I was pulled away.
I am so much happier now that I am gone. Tactically missing, soon to be forgotten. No one cares a damn about anyone in Nigeria, not even the police and my lying, hardworking, cheating oblivious husband would be so much happier than when I was with him.
It’soyha Utibe took my pride, my hope, my dignity, my love and my sanity. He took and took from me until I no longer existed. That’s murder, although the punishment of my leaving doesn’t even fit the crime.
I tried to fake a convincing murder but I doubt the police here in Nigeria would even notice. Forensics I hear you say? *scoffs* I wish there was what we call an effective forensics. Maybe my sudden disappearance would have caused an uproar.
I wish I had married in the village. I wish we were living a traditional lifestyle. The gods would have punished It’soyha for what he did to me.
You may be wondering how I did this. Oh well, to do this murder thing, I had to have discipline. I befriended a local idiot, obviously a woman in our church who was way below my class, but I had to do what I needed to do. I gave in to empathy, listened to the details of her drama filled life and then I crammed her with stories of my husband violent temper [even though he was never violent, It’soyha was a sweetheart sometimes].
Secretly, I created some house troubles…made Mrs. Zika Utibe give me half the investment company…and with the help of my unwitty husband, I bumped up my life insurance policy.
I purchased get-away tickets, a tokunbo car, did fake ID’s and paid cheap money for them. I needed to package myself so that even if the Nigerian police doesn’t come to my rescue, I could still live well. I wanted people to publicly mourn my loss, I wanted drama…something exciting.
So I wanted babies, even though it was so hard to spread my legs, but I needed company. I knew we agreed to wait for 2 years but after a year and 3 months, he started cheating on me.
Anything to take my mind off It’soyha but he wouldn’t hear of it. It was like every time I brought up the baby discussion, I was speaking gibberish to It’soyha. I was tired.
One day, he looked like he was going to hit me and I became shitty scared. I needed to do something, anything.
The hard thing here in planning a murder and trying to pin it on my husband, is faking a pregnancy. I needed to show cause for why he would want to kill me.
I wish it was so easy to do but I can’t begin to tell you how I tried to pull it off. I surfed and surfed till I found something. First I had to drain the toilet, then I invited the local idiot woman who was pregnant [I knew she would come in handy] and had her drink a lot of sweet punch I made, she asked to use the toilet and I was so obliged to let her use the guest toilet I had drained just beside the staircase. After she had gone home, I stole her urine from the toilet bowl and poured it into a small cup-like-can and viola, a pregnanc became part of my medical history. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you how I made use of it later on, just keep on listening.
Some months later, I became extremely nice to my husband and he was unaware of my plots. I checked my calendar, it was two months after our 2nd anniversary and his birthday. I wait for my clueless husband to go out and start his day; I was off from work so I could do whatever I liked.
The clock was ticking as I meticulously staged my crime scene with just enough mistakes to raise a specter of doubt! I needed to bleed, a lot…a lot a lot. A healthy kind of bleed, a crime scene kind of bleed.
After I was done bleeding, I mixed it with the pregnant woman’s urine, poured a lot of it on the floor just beside the foyer and cleaned it off with a lot of tissue.
Now, I couldn’t clean it with a mopping stick; that would erase all the traces if ever there were to be forensics at my place. After I had cleaned up with several rolls of tissue, I splattered more of my blood across the kitchen wall carefully just so tiny pieces of it would drop somewhere along the wooden cabinet we had in the kitchen. I had to leave a little something behind; that would be the clue.
I ran upstairs to my closet and stained some of my pretty clothes with blood. Oh never mind…I’ll buy other clothes.
And because I’m me, I didn’t stop there. I needed a diary, a memoir on an It’soyha and Efua story. I started with the early days, they were true and crucial to proving my point. I want It’soyha and Efua to be likeable. After that, I invented things. The spending…the abuse…the fear….the I don’t want babies…the threat of violence…and It’soyha thought he was the smart one, the writer of memoirs. *Huffing* After I was done writing, I hid it carefully under the staircase, so that if ever it was found, it’d be a helping clue.
Very soon, if everything goes as I think it will, because It’soyha and his mum likes to blow things out of proportion, he will be seen as a man who killed his loving pregnant wife.
If that happens to It’soyha, I’ll be glad, for a cheating man got what he deserves. And after all the outrage, when I’m ready, I’ll go out in the water with a mouth full of pills and a pocket full of stones and when they find my body, they will know, Mr. It’soyha Utibe dumped his beloved wife like garbage and she floated down past all the unwanted, inconvenient, abused women and It’soyha will be sentenced to death.
Efua and It’soyha would be gone, but then they never really did existed. It’soyha loved a lady I was pretending to be. Oh don’t get me wrong, I loved him but I wasn’t sure he loved me too however, I had to get him. Cool lady was my defining compliment…oh Efua, she’s a cool lady! Cool lady is hot, cool lady is game, cool lady is fun, cool lady never gets angry at her man, she always smiles in a grim sheepish manner and when her man wants, cool lady presents her body. Oh yeah, I’m such a cool lady. Cool lady likes what her man likes.
The night I met It’soyha, I knew he wanted a cool lady and for him I’ll admit, I was willing to try. I knew he wanted me to call him up immediately but I deliberately took my time, I wanted him to like me. I wanted to get in his good books and that I did. With It’soyha, I lived in the moment, I was just game!
However, with me, It’soyha grew sharper, smarter and wiser. I know I inspired him to rise to my level of high principles and somehow, I think I forged the man of my dreams to come to reality. We were happy pretending to be other people, we were the happiest couple we knew or so I thought. I mean what’s the point of being together if we weren’t the happiest?
But It’soyha grew lazy in our marriage, he became someone I did not agree with. He actually expected me to love him unconditionally *huffs* he must be crazy for taking those words literally. He dragged me crazy, used me as a sex toy when he wanted, otherwise I don’t exist. And when I uttered just a word of complaint, he brushed it off and found himself a newer, younger, bouncy looking bum cool lady.
One night, I went from desperate to pathetic. I became someone I don’t even like. The kind of woman I used to mock secretly in my head. I started complaining about his always going out. I started begging him to always stay home even when I knew it was unrealistic; and when he uttered “No” like he always would, I’ll ask to come.
“You won’t like it there Efua” he’ll say most times “It’s just me and the guys at the office hanging out.”
I’d smile, wrap my arms around him and lean up to kiss him pretending that everything was cool but it wasn’t and I expected him to see that right through me but he never did or maybe he did but just ignored, I can’t be too sure.
Right there in his arms, I had said “You know babe, I’ve been thinking…something positive.”
“Oh yeah Honey…what is it now?” he had looked into my eye very sincere and I felt maybe I could win again
“Maybe it’s time…to…you know…have a baby.”
“Honey, you know we had an agreement. Now is not the time.”
“But it’ll be a new start for us and for me, I’ll have a real purpose as your wife.”
“Efua honey, a child is not a hobby.”
“No, not a hobby babe…an inspiration.”
“Efua, let me think about this, I don’t want to be late to the boys hang-out. We’ll talk later”
“Hey, babe…I didn’t know this was going to be a fight. I thought we’ll reason it out as adults that we are.”
“Remember you didn’t want to be that couple that will have a baby to save their marriage. Don’t drag the issue, I’ll think about it.”
“Wait babe…did you just say save?”
“Whatever honey, save, rekindle, re-boot…anything!”
“And you are going to walk out the door now after saying ‘save our marriage’?”
“Oh yes Efua…I’m done talking about this.”
“You’re just a loser babe…” he kept moving away I just couldn’t believe it “You can’t leave the house like this and leave this discussion unattended to.”
“Oh really now? I really don’t have time for this nagging Efua. Till I get back, we’ll leave this discussion open, if it’s not good enough for you, oh well…”
“Not good enough for me? I won’t let you walk out that door without first clarifying me on what you mean by save, It’soyha.”
“You won’t?” he flared a little
“No, I won’t” I stood at the door hoping that he’ll sit down to talk with me but what he did next surprised me. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
What scared me wasn’t that he pushed me; what scared me was how much he wanted to hurt me more. What scared me was that I had finally realized I was afraid of my own husband.
You think I’d let him destroy me and end up happier than ever? No stupid way, he doesn’t get to win!
For Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d buy a gun. That’s how crazy I had become. It looked like It’soyha wanted me gone or so but he won’t ask for a divorce. In his mind, I own half the company…his mother’s favorite daughter-in-law, the bitch that tied him down!
I could have left him, gone to Mrs. Utibe’s home but then I’d have to tell her the truth and I don’t even know if I believe the truth. Can I really think It’soyha would hurt me? I’m being paranoid, crazy…it’s just, I think I’d sleep better with a gun!
My cute, charming, sore-to-the-earth misery gun needed to learn. Grown-ups work for things, grown-ups pay, grown-ups suffer consequences, so must It’soyha.
In truth, my husband and I were persons of “quite different construction, different bent completely dissimilar views” but we always pretended to be who we were not, in no way echoing nor currying favor with one another, both of us trying to meddle with the other’s soul, either I with his psyche or he with mine, and in this way, my sweet husband and I felt ourselves tangled in spirit.
We need to give ourselves room to fail, if only for the lives that will be inspired by our story. I’m sorry It’soyha but I had to do this. You made me this way, you changed me and now, I still can’t believe I stag my own murder!!! I think i’m just a complicated as It’soyha said I was but Love has made me sore, don’t blame me.