Househelp kills employer, mother two days after resuming duty

The police, yesterday arrested a 22-year-old househelp, Joseph Ogbu, who allegedly murdered his employer Oreoluwa John, 38, and her 89-year-old mother, Adejoke John, two days after he was employed.

The incident occurred between 2am and 3am in the deceaseds’ No. 4, Ogunlana Drive, Surulere, Lagos, home.

Ogbu, from Benue State, is said to have stabbed Oreoluwa to death and is also being held for Adejoke’s death.

There is, however, conflicting information as to how Adejoke, who would have been 90 next April, died.

According to the police, she slumped and died of shock after seeing her daughter’s corpse.

But a close relative of the deceaseds told The Nation in confidence that there were nail marks and blood around her neck, suggesting that she was strangled.

Ogbu was apprehended as he tried to flee in the elderly woman’s car, filled with her valuables.

A cousin of the deceaseds, Mr Tajudeen Taofeek, who spoke on behalf of the family, narrated how the incident occurred.

He said: “At about 2am, I received a call from mama’s number, but I was surprised because mama hasn’t called by that time before. So, I didn’t pick up immediately, but later my phone rang again and I play picked it up. But it wasn’t mama’s voice that spoke, it was a stranger. The man is a tricyclist who drives people returning from club at night.

“When I asked the man what he was doing with mama’s phone, he said that mama was dead.

“I was shocked. I asked what happened and he said he met a young man who was trying to run out of mama’s gate with her car, and because mama was a very well-known person to everyone, he knew that mama won’t be moving out by that time of the night. So, he blocked the car with his tricycle and asked the person to come down, but he refused.

“So, the tricyclist forced him out and it led to a fight. About three other people joined him and they seized the young man. One of them went in and discovered the daughter’s body in the sitting room and mama’s body in her room.”

Taofeek’s story was corroborated by the Lagos State Police Command.

Its spokesperson, Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP) said in a statement that the suspect committed the murder at about 3am on June 20.

He said: “On June 20, 2019 at about 3am, the Surulere Police Station received a distress call from No. 4 Ogunlana Drive, Surulere that one Joseph Ogbu, 22, who was employed as a domestic staff on June 18, 2019, murdered his employer, Oreoluwa John;, 38 and her 89 years old mother, Adejoke John.

“The suspect confessed to the crime. In his statement, he averred that his employer asked him to clean the house at about 9pm of June 19 but an argument ensued between them, which prompted him to stab her with a knife.

“The shock of her death made her aged mother to slump and died.

“Considering the fact that they are dead, he moved some valuable properties such as electronics, handsets and household items into the employer’s Toyota Camry Salon Car and attempted to escape to where he cannot be found, before he was apprehended by policemen on patrol at Ogunlana point.

“The vehicle and items stolen were recovered. The crime scene was sealed off and corpses of the two victims were taken to Mainland Hospital Yaba for autopsy.

“The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Zubairu Muazu MNI has ordered the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba to take over the investigation and charge the suspect to court,” he said.

Another relative of the deceased told The Nation that Ogbu was recruited from Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

“The man who recommended him to the family has been arrested by the police,” the source, who pleaded anonymity, said.

He explained that the evidence showed that the killings were premeditated.

“Mama and her daughter live on the top floor while businesses occupy the ground floor.

The business owners informed us that yesterday (Wednesday), just 24 hours after he was employed, the househelp told all of them that mama had ordered that they should all close by 4pm. This means he already had plans for mischief.”

Two other residents of the area told The Nation that Ogbu attempted to burn the building by pouring petrol on the floor. But the relative explained that this was untrue.

“What we found was that there was a bottle of petrol on the floor of one of the rooms,” he said.

The source also noted that one of the things that alerted residents of the area was that, in Ogbu’s hurry to drive out of the building; he bashed the side of the gate with the car.

He stated that burial plans had not been made yet, but the family was to do so soon and put the tragedy behind them.

“It is a terrible tragedy and everyone is in shock,” he added.

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