20th August, 2010
A man, Solomon Ogbeide has beaten his pregnant wife, Esther Joseph Essien to death with a pestle.
According to residents of 44, Ediba Street in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, the coupleâ€™s trouble startedÂ when Mr Ogbeide demanded for his phone from his wife which she has been using for some time.
Ruth Okonah, a daughter of the deceased woman said at about 7 a.m. last Sunday, the step-father asked â€œmy mother for his phone and before my mother could hand it over to him, he snatched it from her and when my mother expressed displeasure with his action he started to abuse her and her parents.â€
She said when her mother wondered what trouble they could have with her husband that should warrant him to haul insults at her parents who are in far away Akwa Ibom.
â€œShe asked him to stop insulting her parents as they were not part of their quarrel. That angered my step-father who began to punch her.â€
The girl said her mother, who was 32 years old, ran into the kitchen to avoid further punching from her husband but the man followewd her to the kitchen.
â€œWhen he got to the kitchen he took the pestle my mother was using to pound cray fish and hit her on the back of the head.â€
The blow from the pestle sent the woman crashing to the floor of the kitchen. She gasped for breath, and before help could come from neighbours who rushed to her assistance, she died.
The body of Esther, who hails from Ikot Osurua in Ikot Ekpene,Â Akwa Ibom State, was taken to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital where she was confirmed dead and subsequently admitted into the mortuary.
Neighbours confirmed that Solomon who hails from Edo State was always â€˜abusive and constantly nagging and beating up the woman and her children whom she brought from her previous marriage, even the two she gave birth to for him were regularly subjected to the same treatmentâ€™ a neighbour who prefers anonimity told P.M. NEWS.
It was also revealed that the man had killed his first son in his village in Edo State and fled to Calabar to escape prosecution.
The Police Public Relations Officer for the Cross River Command, Essien Dickson said the matter was being investigated and the man was under their custody at the Housing Estate Police station and would soon be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department.
â€”Emma Una/ Calabar