I have always loved Florence like my own daughter. She was born on my birthday, so you can imagine that is one of the reasons I called her my first daughter. My sister, who was her mother would always call me to advice Florence anytime she misbehaved and her parents couldn’t talk to her, they would call me to come and talk to my ‘daughter’ and many times, she listened to me.
I was home one day when my sister called again, she said I should talk to Florence, that she was following ‘bad gang.’ Well, as usual, I told her that I would come over to their house to talk to Florence. She listened to me and even when she wouldn’t tell her parents what was troubling her, she would tell me what was going on in her life.
I went to see the girl o.
I sked her, “Florence, what is this I am hearing about you and bad company, you want to kill your parents?”
She went roundabout with one stupid story, how her parents hated her, how they made her do things they won’t ask their other children to do…long story short, when she asked them for things, they would say, no.
Florence said her parents were too stingy, that they don’t give her money for the things she needed. Hummn, children of these days. I said, “come, what do you need the money for?”
She went on about how she needed money for shoes, bags, things that her mates were wearing, she wanted to be doing the same things her friends were doing, you know, peer pressure kind of thing.
So you see, I spoke to her, I said all these things you are asking for, your parents cannot afford it. Ha, she said, aunty, they can, they have money but they are stingy.
I was surprised o.
I said, if your parents feel you can’t have these things now, it is not because they hate you, it is because they want you to wait until they know you really need them
This girl would not listen, she kept saying she wanted to buy this and buy that. I told her, one thing after another, you are still young, you haven’t even gone to university and finished, you have younger ones that your parents are taking care of, why do you think your parents should be spending money on you just like that? They are also struggling themselves.
But you know, earlier, I said peer pressure, that’s the problem with the girl. Her mates outside must have told her that her parents were rich and that they could afford all the things she wanted. It is true that my sister and her husband were quite well-to-do but to start spending like water on one child isn’t a reasonable thing, as you know.
All what I was telling Florence was going through one ear and coming out of the other one; her friends outside had convinced her that she should steal from her parents and she must have begun to steal, first by lying to them about needing something or the other for school, which my own sister told me about one time; then she started taking their money, using their ATM cards.
I think that must have been how she found out that her parents had some money; you know, she would check their balance and from doing so realized they had money.
As you can also imagine, she wasn’t doing this alone, at all. This wasn’t done with her clear eyes. The so called boyfriend she was seeing against her parents’ wishes also encouraged her to steal more and when she was caught because of course, when you keep withdrawing money with someone’s ATM card, alert will ring in the person’s phone, abi.
At first, her mother even thought maybe her ATM had been stolen, you know you would never suspect your own child of taking your ATM to steal from her. Later when the same thing happened to her father, they found out it was their daughter, they beat her that day to nonsense, even I was very disappointed in her.
It must have been after the beating that she began to plot to kill her parents!
She had told her boyfriend what happened to her and that was when they began to plot her parents’ death. They foolishly decided to kill her parents and since she is the first born, she thought she would inherit her parents’ money.
So they arranged for someone to come and murder them, so sad.
The parents were home, when they came for them with machetes and cutlass and before help could reach them, they were butchered and both bled to death. First my sister died at the hospital, then the husband, after a few days…
Well, when police started investigating the matter because the attack was not robbery, they didn’t take the things that we tough robbers would take. You know. They left my sister’s bag, the husband’s phones…you know.
Small, small, they questioned Florence, they questioned some other suspects that they got from other crimes…you know. That’s how police linked the deaths back to Florence. You know. Even when I was told that Florence was involved in her parents’ deaths, I fought it; I fought the police over the matter because…well, she later confessed after she was arrested.
Where is the so called boyfriend who lured her to do al these things? He is gone! probably out of the country.
For someone so young, just 21years old, she will die for this!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)