From Austine Tule, Makurdi
Residents of Makurdi, the Benue state capital, were in the early hours of Saturday, November 3, thrown into confusion and anxiety as the story of a housewife, Racheal Adetsav, who allegedly hacked her 42-year-old husband Nicholas, three of their kids to death and reportedly committed suicide spread into the city like harmattan fire.
Thousands of residents who had thronged Vandeikya street at High Level, where the couple who entered into matrimony in 2012 lived, could not hold back tears as they managed to give accounts on the incident when The AUTHORITY visited.
The deceased couple was staff of Makurdi Local Government Council. While Mr. Adetsav worked in the finance department, his wife worked in the department of agriculture.
Sources within the neighborhood revealed that the couple had before Saturday’s fatal incident, engaged in constant quarrelling which sometimes developed into exchanging hot blows.
It was further gathered that the late Rachael who was described by several residents as being hot tempered had also at several times, engaged many of her neighbors in a brawl, some of who were badly injured in the process.
This development, it was learnt, forced her landlord, who works in one of the new generation banks to relocate to another part of the city.
“Following her consistent quarrelling and fighting with tenants, Racheal’s landlord was forced to relocate to his other property in the city,” said the source.
Checks by this medium revealed further that that death came knocking on Adetsav’s door at about 8pm on Friday, shortly after he and his colleagues had ended almost a day-long peaceful protest at the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs over payment of one-month salary instead of two- month salary arrears as directed by the state government.
Some neighbours who spoke with The AUTHORITY alleged that money, which the Holy Bible describes as the root of all evil, was the cause of the fight between the deceased couple.
One resident said that on hearing a loud shout that fateful night in the deceased apartment, he wasn’t bothered since it had become a routine each time Nicholas returned home to his family.
He, however, added that following persistent screaming some neighbours rushed to the apartment to find out exactly what was amiss.
On forcing the door of the apartment open, they found Nicholas, the three children and Rachael lying stone-dead in the pool of their blood. .
One account said that Rachael might have hit her husband on the head with an object suspected to be a pestle. The three children were suspected to have been stabbed with a sharp knife on the neck, while Rachael allegedly stabbed herself to death with the same knife she fatally unleashed on her children.
“I heard one of the children shouting, mummy, mummy, do you want to kill daddy?
“It was at that point that I started having a strong feeling that something more than the usual may have happened.
“We don’t rush to find out about their issue any longer because they have become a recurrent decimal and sometimes even when you inquire to know, the woman simply locks the door on you, and will insist that it is their domestic issue that requires no external interference,” said one resident.
It was also gathered that family members of the slain husband have rejected Rachael’s corpse, insisting that she will not be buried in her late husband’s compound in consonance with the tradition of the Tiv people.
A family source who confided in this medium said the decision was taken in due consultation with the elders of the Mbavur community where the deceased hailed from, adding that the decision will strictly be adhered to.
Confirming the development to The AUTHORITY, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Benue State Police Command, Moses Yamu, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), said the bodies of the deceased have been deposited at St. Theresa’s Mortuary, Makurdi, where autopsy will later be conducted to know the cause of the multiple deaths. .
“Yes, we are aware. At the moment, we are investigating because one cannot tell exactly what happened at the moment.
“Although, people around are alleging that it was the woman that murdered the husband, the three children and possibly killed herself.
“According to them, before the incident, they saw her smashing the husband’s vehicle before she later moved into the room.
“The police came and forced the door open and saw the five corpses inside. The corpses have been deposited at the St. Theresa’s Mortuary, Makurdi for autopsy.
“Meanwhile, the state Police Commissioner, has ordered full investigation to unravel the circumstances behind the murder in the family,” Yamu told our correspondent.