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The police are to unravel if 47-year-old John Mabele is responsible for the death of his wife, Justina, who died after a quarrel.
The police are to unravel if 47-year-old John Mabele is responsible for the death of his wife, Justina, who died after a quarrel. Neighbours and his in-laws believe he is culpable, given the fact that a previous wife died under questionable circumstances. Jude Isiguzo and Abayomi Ogunjobi report.
Can fate be so cruel to a man that he would be linked to the death of two women that he claimed to love so much in less than seven years?
This is the story of John Mabele, who is telling the police why he should not be held responsible for the death of his second wife, Justina, last Monday.
The 47-year-old man was paraded by the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly killing his 32-year-old wife of over five years.
His first wife was said to have died under questionable circumstances about seven years ago.
Mrs Mabele died of of internal injuries sustained after a fight with her husband.
Residents of 2, Oremeji Street, Oshodi, on the outskirts of Lagos, where the deceased, her husband and their two-year-old child lived before the incident believe that she was beaten to death by Mr. Mabele, whom they alleged was driven into frustration by alcoholism. But the suspect is insisting that his wife died after an attack of pneumonia shortly after a domestic brawl.
Narrating how the incident that led to the death of his wife occurred, Mr. Mabele said his wife had been battling pneumonia for some years and anytime they had a fight, she had an attack.
He said: "On Sunday morning, we both went to the church and when we came back, I went out to see some of my friends. By the time I came home, we slept until 5am on Monday morning when I woke her (Justina) so that we could pray. I have been having problems and I lost my job two weeks before the birth of our two-year-old son.
"After we finished praying, I picked one of my shirts and told her that I wanted to go to a friendís place for a job appointment; but my wife held me back and said that I was not going anywhere until I gave her money for our sonís upkeep for the day.
"I told her that I had only N60 with me and pleaded that she should take N40 and leave N20 for me. But after she had collected the money, she asked our son, Samuel, to go and collect money for biscuit from me and that was when I became angry and slapped her. We started fighting and one of our neighbours came to find out what the problem was. But we told him that there was nothing wrong; then, I left the woman and went out.
"Around noon, a girl in our compound, Ogechi, called me to inform me that my wife had fainted and had been rushed to the hospital. I was told to come to the General Hospital, Ikeja. On getting there, they told me they did not have any information about my wife. As I came out of the hospital, I received another call from Ogechi that I should go to Isolo. On getting to Isolo, I discovered that my wife had died."
Mabele said as he was leaving the hospital, relatives of his wife saw him and pounced on him, accusing him of begin responsible for her death.
"They beat me up, threw me into a waiting bus and drove me to the police station. The police almost rejected me because they were afraid that I was going to die in their custody," he added.
Though the suspect claimed he was not an alcoholic, the Investigating Police Officer who brought him to be paraded said he was reeking of alcohol when he was arrested.
Mabele, who regretted whatever action of his that might have led to his wifeís death, said he did not kill her.
Lagos police spokesman Frank Mba said the police were still investigating the incident. Mabele, he said, would be charged to court after the conclusion of investigation.