When 46-year-old Alexander Eliemenye, a Customs officer stationed in Niger State, travelled to Lagos where his family lived, and then proceeded to his hometown, Asaba, Delta State, to attend his younger brother’s wedding ceremony, little did the father of three know that he was embarking on a journey of no return.

To prove his brotherly love for a younger sibling, the late Eliemenye embarked on the trip for the wedding with a live goat, a bag of rice, carton of fish, among other gift items for Charles, a brother whom he accommodated for many years, fed and helped secured a paying job. A day after the nuptial rites, Eliemenye was stabbed to death by his newly wedded younger brother, Charles.

In an emotion-laden interview with Entertainment Express which took place at the family’s home at Peace Estate located at Isheri, Alimosho, Lagos, the deceased widow, a Togolese, Augusta Eliemenye narrates the bizarre circumstances surrounding the brutal and untimely death of her husband at the hands of his younger brother.

The tragic story is as spellbinding as it is dreadful. Indeed the late Customs officer had a premonition of an impending doom, and he took caution as only mortals could do. In fact, he travelled to his hometown for the marriage with already-prepared meals just to avoid eating food in the village. “I prepared and packaged the food that he would have eaten for the two days that he was going to spend in the village” the bereaved wife adds tearfully “he saw death coming, but never knew that it would come through his younger brother.”

Describing her husband as a ‘very strong man’, the distraught wife wondered how the younger brother was able to overpower and stabbed him to dead. “My husband was a very strong man; a Customs officer who had been to tough places – even the wild animals inside the bushes that he had treaded upon could not harm him”, she said.

In the presence of her aged mother-in-law who was alleged to have lost consciousness when the sad news broke, Augusta narrated the sad episode of how her husband was killed by his own blood brother.

How it happened

My husband came back on September 13, 2011, from Niger State where he was working as a Customs officer. He told me that he wanted to attend his younger brother’s marriage ceremony scheduled to hold on September 17. I offered to accompany him to the ceremony but he refused, his reason being that December is at hand and we will all go home as it was our tradition. So he travelled alone on September 16 for the ceremony to his home town, Aniocha Local Government, Delta State. He travelled with a live goat, a bag of rice, a carton of fish, among other gift items that he bought for his younger brother, Charles. On Saturday, the D- day, the ceremony was carried out successfully as I was told.

The day after the marriage ceremony, which was Sunday, I called my husband around 8 p.m. and he picked the phone but was not talking. In the background, I heard his brother’s voice threatening him: ‘I will kill you. I will burn you together with your car’. I also heard my husband’s response in the background; he was saying: ‘You are too small’. That was all I heard. Then on Monday morning, I returned from the market and met people gathered in my house. I was made to understand that the time I heard their voices quarrelling in the background was about the time my husband was stabbed by his brother.

Some of the family members present told me that throughout that Sunday, Charles was insulting and threatening to harm his brother, that is my husband. At a point, elders in the family summoned them and settled their issues. Shortly after, Charles started threatening him again, telling him that he was going to paste his obituary; that he would not be alive during their mother’s burial. It was during this confrontation that he stabbed my husband to death. At that point, according to eye witnesses, my husband shouted: ‘Charles has killed me oh!’ Then Charles immediately took to his heels.

The bone of contention

Charles ‘wife had a dispute with her elder sister. The said elder sister contacted my husband, asking him to intervene, that she didn’t like the way her sister was scandalising her name. She told my husband that since her sister’s husband (Charles) could not caution her, he should intervene, being the elder brother of Charles. My husband waded into the matter by inviting Charles’ wife to our house where he spoke to her to sheath her sword. Charles’ wife, after being cautioned by my husband, went home and quarrelled with the sister again, bitter that she dared to report her to her brother-in-law. From that point, her husband (Charles) started supporting his wife against everybody. That is all that I know; the issue is not something that should generate such tension let alone degenerate to a murderous level.
Moments after he was stabbed

He was rushed to the General Hospital at Aniocha. Unfortunately, the Doctor confirmed him dead on arrival (DOA) as a result of excessive bleeding. The case was immediately reported to the police station, leading to the arrest of his wife as Charles was nowhere to be found till date. She was later transferred to the state CID, Asaba. The wife was caught when she was trying to escape. She was in the police custody for about three weeks after which she was arraigned in the court and bailed on the ground that she was not the culprit, coupled with the fact that she was sick and has children to take care of.

My husband, my soul mate

He was very jovial. He played with everybody. He even kissed girls in my presence that was how friendly and jovial he was. He was very generous; he could give out the last Kobo with him. Everybody in our neighbourhood knew him. He lived a good life and he also enjoyed life. We have been married for about 12 years now. I knew him when I was in my final year in secondary school. He was my first boy friend. That was around 1990. We dated for sometime after I left for my school. Many years later he came back and asked for my hands in marriage. I accepted his proposal because I ‘over- love’ him.

Has Charles called you on phone after the tragic incident?

No. He has been on the run. But I learnt he has been calling some people telling them that he didn’t know what came over him that made him kill his elder brother.

What kind of a person is Charles?

He is a very aggressive human being. He lived with us for many years before he got his own apartment. Where he is even working as a camp boy in the Customs, it was my husband that secured the job for him. If you go to the compound where he lives, his co-tenants will tell you more about his character.

I leave him to God

Vengeance is for God. But I will miss my husband. I will miss his love for me – he was a great lover. The love he had for me was awesome. Up till now, his departure is still like a dream- I don’t believe yet that my husband is dead