My wife was a beautiful woman.
She had been married twice before I got married to her. She left her first husband beause he was always beating her He beat her so much she lost two pregnancies.
The second husband was a drunk, he drank so much kaikai he was always falling inside the gutter. She said she couldn’t cope with it again, so she divorced him and married me.
And no, she is not my first wife, either, so both of us have been through difficult marriages and I honestly thought she was happy with me.
Sometime last year, my wife came to ask for permission to spend three days away from home in order to attend the wedding of one of her cousins.
I did not know this particular cousin who was getting married, but my wife told me she is the daughter of one of her cousins.
As is tradition, the women in the family will gather to cook for three days for the wedding. I had no reason to say No, don’t go. When your spouse comes from a large family, you can’t know all their family members. I just asked her if so and so were going, I mean some of those that I know and she said yes. I gave her money and she left on a Friday. The wedding was on a Saturday and she said she would return on Sunday.
She did not return on Sunday. In the evening of that particular Sunday, I called her number but it was just ringing. She didn’t pick up and she did not call me back. I then called her cousins, two of whom she had told me on Friday were at the wedding, they told me they did not see my wife.
I said but that is not possible because on Friday evening, my wife called to tell me these cousins were also at the wedding.
On Monday, my anxiety level had grown, I couldn’t even sleep. I was wondering, was my wife involved in an accident? Was she kidnapped before she got there? Why on earth would she say that she was at a wedding that the two witnesses said she never attended. Up until then, I had no reason to doubt that my wife could be up to anything untoward.
By evening of Monday, I went to report to the police. I told them my wife left home on Friday and she was meant to return on Sunday but this is Monday and no wife.
They said I should continue to call her relatives and watch out maybe she branched someone. One of the police men even said maybe she went to her boyfriend’s house. I felt insulted. I told him my wife would never do a thing like that!
Tuesday, nothing, Wednesday, nothing, Thursday…I was at the police station as usual when they told me there was a corpse that had just been dumped at the mortuary of the general hospital, that I should come and identify it. They said the body was discovered in a shallow grave and there was already a suspect.
At first I refused, I said there is no way my wife could be dead, and how did they get a suspect?
Anyay I went and my brother, it was my wife’s dead body I saw! My wife was the corpse in the shallow grave.
After that, the whole story started coming out.
I then learned that my wife truly did not go for any wedding. Instead she went to meet a manfriend, in a secret place. And wait for itbo, the man has three wives already living with him!
You can imagine that! What sort of madness is this?
But they did not meet at the man’s house, they met at the shack belonging to the man’s friend, somewhere in the bush. The so called friend has a farm, so they went to the shack in the farm by Sango.
I am totally upset!
So, now, it happened that the wife of the man whose shack they used gave my wife kulikuli and garri the night before. My wife drank the garri and died overnight.
Well, that is the story I heard at the police station because the boyfriend has been caught and after police dealt with him, he started confessing like a witch. He said he woke my wife up to start another round of nacking when he saw she wasn’t responding. He shook her and she was dead. So, he waited till morning to call his friend and together hey carried her dead body to another farm, to bury.
It was six days after that the owner of the farm discovered the dead body, called police, they came, took the body away but it turned out that her phone was buried with her. That is how they traced it back to the last few calls. It was the boyfriend’s number, they tracked it and found him.
It’s a messy affair but that is not ny main problem. The problem is this: what will I tell our two-year-old daughter when she is grown?
(series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)