As soon as he committed the act that afternoon, Ajasa took to his heels before neighbours arrived at the scene. Five days after, the man’s dead body was found inside his farm dangling from a tree.
Ajasa, who was also a hunter, took his life around Agueyo farm, near his hometown – Ajilete village, about six kilometres from Owode town. Ajilete is two villages away from Idi-Iroko, a border town with Benin Republic.
The man was said to have killed his wife with a knife, leaving the weapon in the woman’s body as he ran into the bush to commit suicide. It was gathered the police evacuated the woman’s body from the scene a few hours later, along with the knife that was still stuck in her thigh.
When Daily Sun visited Ajilete at the weekend, Ajasa’s immediate elder brother, Mr. Olaoluwa Ajasa, told Daily Sun that he was still in shock, as he was unable to come to terms with why his brother was involved in such a devilish act. As far he was concerned, the double tragedy that hit his family was a mystery too difficult for him to unravel.
He said he received the sad news through a telephone call from his sister who lives at Owode on the day Ajasa killed his wife. He said he dashed to the victims’ residence at Garage area, Iyana-Ado road, but noted that the woman’s remains had by then been evacuated to Owode Police Station, and later to the morgue.
He told Daily Sun: “When I got to their house, I could not find out exactly what happened between my brother and his wife. Their neighbours gave me different information and I could not hold on to any of them. It is sad that both of them are dead and could not speak for themselves. Most of their immediate neighbours are northerners and could not provide details of the incident.
“When my sister called me that afternoon of May 14 and informed me about the incident, I thought I was daydreaming until I got there and saw a crowd of sympathizers in their house. It is sad and the entire family is mourning.
“It is something I cannot explain till date.
It shook our family and we are still asking what could have led Joseph to kill his wife and also take his own life. I knew him well because we grew up together. He was not somebody that could kill a fellow human being for whatever offence committed against him. He was a gentleman that always minded his business. That is the reason I am shocked and confused about how everything played out. The two incidents were more of mysteries.”
The reporter learnt that Mr. Ajasa was survived by three male children, all from his former wife. His three-year marriage to Toyin, the woman he killed, did not produce any child before it was abruptly terminated by death.
Said the elder Ajasa: “His three children are young and living with their mother’s relatives in Lagos. The eldest of them is about 15 years. How to take care of the children is a burden now for all the family members.”
After his brother disappeared into the thin air, Ajasa said he swiftly went to different places searching for him, at least to hear from him why he killed his own wife. After five days of intense search by both the police and his family members, Mr. Olaoluwa finally found his brother’s body in the deceased’s farm, already decaying and releasing an offensive odour. He said when he saw the corpse, he ran back to the town to alert other family members. He said his brother was buried in the farm where he killed himself.
Though Olaoluwa Ajasa said he did not know exactly what led to his brother’s strange actions, when our correspondent visited the couple’s residence at Iyana-Ado, more facts surrounding the tragedy emerged.
A neighbour who wouldn’t want his name in print told the reporter that the husband had received over a N100, 000 from a thrift cooperative and kept it in his wife’s possession. Some weeks later, when he requested for the money, his wife could not produce it. When the late Ajasa inquired further, the woman reportedly told her husband that she had spent the money to treat a health condition that arose after a recent beating she received in the hands of her husband.
Toyin, the reporter learnt, further informed her husband that she suffered miscarriage due to the severe beating. Her explanation, however, angered the husband, and a fresh fight ensued.
Another neighbour to the deceased told Daily Sun that the couple was having a cat-and-mouse relationship. She said when the last fight broke out, those living in the area thought it was another round of the couple’s incessant fights.
But, another neighbour, who simply identified herself as Mary, said when people saw that the fight was taking a frightening dimension, especially when the couple started attacking each other with dangerous objects, someone quickly drew the attention of other neighbours. Unfortunately, by the time the neighbours ran to the couple’s place to intervene, the deed had been done. The woman had been stabbed in many parts of her body and she was writhing in a pool of her own blood.
The matter was reported at Owode Police Station and the policemen drove to the scene but they only met the woman’s corpse, with the knife stuck in her thigh.
Other sources who witnessed some parts of the fight said it was the woman who brought the knife to attack her husband when she could no longer endure the severe beating from her husband. The man was said to have collected the knife from his wife and used it to stab her. A deep cut found in the woman’s chest was suspected to have led to her death.
Another neighbour said the man also accused his wife of adultery but informed that the woman denied the allegation.
“We heard the man shouting at the woman, that she had been cheating on him. Everybody in the neighbourhood knew that they always quarrelled, but we never expected that this very one would lead to deaths. Whenever they fought, they would settle the matter even if nobody intervened. May be it was Satan that used the man, or the woman really offended him.”
When our correspondent visited the area two weeks after the tragic incident, residents were still shocked. They sat or stood in groups, wondering why the man killed his wife and took his own life.