A woman has accused her husband of poisoning and killing their four-year-old cripple son in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Mrs. Esther Peter and her husband, Samuel Peter (both pictured), live at Jarija Village via Moniya but are currently in detention at the Department of Criminal Investigation, Iyaganku, after they were alleged to have a hand in the death of their son, Ochi Peter on November 29, 2014.
While denying any complicity in the alleged murder, the wife said her husband is culpable.
The 29-year-old argued that Mr. Peter had long been complaining of growing tired of the enormous financial implications of taking care of a cripple child.
Giving her account of the incident, Mrs. Peter who is a farmer like her husband and is currently pregnant said she was not present when her son was poisoned.
She said, “on Saturday November 29, I went to clinic at Ijaiye. When I returned, I asked my husband to take care of our son because I wanted to get some firewood. When I came back, my son sat beside me on the floor. Suddenly, he laid prostrate and called ‘mummy’. I carried him and he said ‘daddy’.
“He became weak and I perceived the smell of chemical in his mouth. I wondered what happened and I rushed him to our kinsmen’s place.
“They started giving him palm oil as antidote and advised that we take him to hospital in town. The child died as we were preparing to do that. My husband was at home but didn’t respond when I was calling him. He was the one who bought the chemical as herbicide used on plants in his farm. We kept the item on the window sill, but my child’s hand could not have reached the sill.
“When my husband came to meet me, he said he was not the one who gave the child chemical, wondering who could have done such a thing. Long ago, he said he was tired of the child. My child was four years old when he died. I gave birth him child on May 29, 2010.
“I have lost two children after the birth of the deceased boy. They died shortly after delivery. I noticed Ochi’s cripple status when I saw he could not stand for long. He was always trying to stand but would fall. His head was also not standing very well on his neck.”
But the husband, Simon (30), also a farmer, denied killing his son. “I came to Ibadan in 2011. My wife gave birth to the boy in 2008 in Benue State through Caesarean Section. When he got to the age he was expected to walk, he could not walk. Even he could not talk. We took him to hospital but the doctors assured us that he would still walk.
“At a time, we were advised to appease gods from my mother’s family and we did, but to no avail. We also took him for prayers. Subsequent pregnancies by my wife resulted in still births. I became tired and we relocated to Ibadan.
“On the fateful day, I wanted to go and collect money that I was being owed after my wife returned from ante-natal clinic. But she said she wanted to go to the farm to get firewood for cooking, asking me to look after our son. I told her that she should stay back so that I would go out first to my debtors but she left.
“After she left, I also went out to collect the money I was being owed. I returned home and slept. My son was beside me and I did not lock the door of our room. I did not even know when my wife returned from the farm. I did not hear when she was calling me. It was later someone came to call me from my kinsmen’s place.
“I saw my boy who was being given palm oil as an antidote. The people told me that my son took chemical and I asked who could have given him the chemical. We took him to a health centre in the village and we were referred to Ijaye. As we were arranging for a motorcycle, he became weak and to take us there, died.
“I was not the one who gave him chemical. I put the chemical container on the window sill and my son could not have stretched his hand to the level. I don’t know whether someone came in while I was sleeping and planned the evil. It is true I once said I was tired of the stress of taking care of the boy because of the financial strain. I didn’t say I was tired of the boy.”
Confirming the story, the state police public relations officer (PPRO), Adekunle Ajisebutu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the case would be charged to court on December 15, 2014.