A teacher at a private primary school in Lagos, Jacinta Igboke, is being held in police custody for the murder of her estranged lover, Arinze Ani.
Igboke reportedly stabbed Ani to death on Tuesday during an altercation at his shop on Old Ojo Road, Satellite Town area of the state.
City Round learnt that Ani, who traded in soap chemicals, was planning to get married to a woman on January 4, 2020 after his relationship with Igboke collapsed. The relationship produced a boy, who is now 18 months old.
It was gathered that what started as true love in 2016 went sour shortly after Igboke got pregnant.
The matter, however, came to a head on Tuesday when the teacher went to Ani’s shop to collect money for the upkeep of their child.
The encounter was said to have resulted in an argument during which Igboke knifed Ani in the chest.
The 29-year-old native of Ebonyi State narrated the chain of events leading to the incident to our correspondent shortly before she was arrested by the police from the Satellite Division led by CSP Chike Oti, the Divisional Police Officer.
She said Ani’s parents were allegedly not in support of their relationship because she was older than him and he was supposed to marry a woman from his village in Enugu State.
She stated, “I am a primary school teacher. Arinze (Ani) and I got into a relationship in 2016. I got pregnant for him in the process but his parents said we cannot marry each other because I was older than him and that he must marry somebody from his village. He was born on November 19, 1990 while I was born on 29 October, 1990. They said they would only accept the baby.”
Igboke explained that she reported Arinze at the human rights section of the Satellite Police Station and he was invited for dialogue.
She said at the meeting, it was resolved that she should live with him at his Ijegun residence, adding that their coexistence was fraught with quarrels.
She recalled, “His brother and sister lived with us, but the sister later left after she got married. Six months after I gave birth, I went out one day but when I came back, I found out that they had packed out.
“I went back to the police station in July 2019 and they invited him. He said he didn’t want to marry me. The police told him he must take care of the baby and instructed him to give me N10,000, one carton of noodles and rice every month for his upkeep.
“Since then, he never bought any foodstuff for the baby and he didn’t pay the N10,000. All he did was to send N2,000 or N3,000 into my account. Most times, I had to go to his shop to ask for the money.”
The woman said she went to Ani’s shop last Thursday and requested the feeding money for November and December.
She claimed to have told Ani that she needed to buy clothes and some other items for the child to celebrate Yuletide.
She stated, “I also reminded him that the house rent had expired since March and asked him when he would renew it. He beat me up and I left. On Saturday, his uncle called me on the phone and we met somewhere close to my house. He advised me to stop fighting him (Ani) and that I should not take the case to the police again.
“He promised to settle the whole issue. I showed him alerts of what Arinze sent to me monthly. I told him there would not be any problem as long as he performed his duty. I called the uncle on Monday morning and asked if he had talked to Arinze. He said I should not worry and promised to call me back in 30 minutes.
“He later called and promised to bring something for us in the evening. I told him there was nothing for the child to eat. I got angry and told him that Arinze claimed he didn’t have money, yet he was planning to wed on January 4, 2020. He said I shouldn’t think like that; and that it could be that someone was footing the wedding expenses. I told him there was no way Arinze would not spend money to organise the wedding.”
Igboke told City Round that Ani’s uncle didn’t show up in the evening as promised, adding that when she called him on Tuesday morning, he said he was in traffic.
“I told him I would go to Arinze’s shop but he warned me not to go. I went there the first time but he was not around. I then went to the market to buy some clothes for my child. I went back to the shop and showed him the clothes. I asked him to give me money so I could buy shoes and some other things the boy needed. He pushed me away and a bike almost hit me.
“I entered his shop again angrily and he pushed me. I fell on pavement and hit my head on the ground. I then picked up a knife in self-defence. I didn’t know when I stabbed him,” she added.
Sounding remorseful and down, Igboke demanded that her child should be in custody of her family.
“I learnt my child is with Arinze’s relation but I want him to be taken to an orphanage until my family comes to carry him. I know I may not see my son again and I don’t even deserve to live. Arinze’s family may maltreat him because of their hatred for me,” she added.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said the suspect would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation.
He said, “We received a distress call that the woman allegedly stabbed her boyfriend on the right side of the chest, killing him in the process. A police team mobilised to the location where the suspect was rescued from a mob and the body of the victim recovered.
“The body of the victim was taken to the mortuary for autopsy. The suspect and the victim were lovers and between them is a male child of about one and half years whose upkeep is believed to be the source of their constant quarrels.”