By Emmanuel Elebeke
Wonders they say never cease to happen. When she woke up on the morning of June 1, 2020, to mark her 55th birthday, little did Victoria Wilcox know that she would not witness the next.
On that fateful day, late Victoria, a mother of two, from Arondizuogu, Imo state and married to Mr Ralph Wilcox from Bonny LGA in Rivers State met her painful and gruesome death around 8 pm, when her houseboy named Abdulkareem Babangida (Abba in short form), a native of Kachia LGA of Kaduna State clubbed her to death with the aid of a newly acquired cutlass.
With the heinous job done, he dragged her lifeless body under a tree in the compound and waited patiently to administer same treatment to Ralph.
Before her untimely death, the deceased was said to have in 2005, retired into a private business from the Nigerian Housing Insurance Trust Fund, NHITF.
According to reports, late Victoria and her husband had in July 2019 hired Abba to assist in her shop at the Aco Shopping Complex, Lugbe, Abuja where she used to sell some household items and sacramentals.
Though she did everything to please Abba, she never knew he had a sinister motive to send her to early grave.
Narrating his experience, the widower, Mr Ralph Wilcox, who miraculously survived Abba’s murderous intent, could not hold back his tears, saying, ‘‘Abba has blown my life away’’, wondering how he would cope with life without his soul mate. Mr Wilcox, who was a Director in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture until 11th March 2020, when he retired from service said, ‘‘It was about 8 pm that fateful day that I drove in to my compound and he (Abba) opened the gate for me and when I entered, I asked, ‘Abba why is it that there is light everywhere and there is no light here?
“He responded saying, ‘‘there was an explosion in the metre and that the Mummy was aware, so I decided to switch on the generating set’’.
“I told him to give me a few minutes to park so as to check the metre where I asked him to wait for me. When I couldn’t see my wife, I asked, where is Mummy? he replied,
‘‘Mummy is in the house.’’ Not suspecting anything sinister, Wilcox said he went into the house, only to be greeted by darkness all over the place, where the generator did not produce light.
‘‘I went in, dropped the birthday gifts I bought for my wife and my Automated Teller Machine, ATM cards and rushed out with my phone,’’ he continued.
At this point, he said he never knew Abba had killed, wrapped his wife in a nylon bag and found later that he put on the generator to muzzle the sound of his wife’s cries when he (Abba) was killing her.
Not too sure of what was playing out, Wilcox said he called one Alhaji and succeeded in calling him once to come to his aid and the number did not go, and now facing the metre to find out what the problem was, he heard “the sound of an axe on my head”.
‘‘He started hitting me and hitting until I collapsed, I fell on the floor and felt tick blood over my head. By then I was weak and when he thought he had killed me, he went inside the house to look for the key of my newly bought Jeep in the house,’’ he narrated.
Continuing, he said while Abba was still busy looking for the car key, he regained consciousness and crawled close to his bedroom and started banging the window, beckoning on the wife ‘‘mummy, mummy come out, we are under attack, Abba is attacking us,” not knowing she had been dead for long.
According to him, ‘‘it was God Almighty that raised me after I collapsed again and battled to draw attention in the pool of my blood.’’
After mummy did not respond to his calls, he gained little strength and crawled again to the gate to seek help, noting that if Abba had started the car then; he would have run over him, and lock the gate.
‘‘If he had succeeded, my corpse and that of my wife’s would be here decomposing and nobody would even know, maybe after few days would start smelling before people will realise that we were dead.
“But God foiled his plan, woke me and gave me the strength to manage to open the small gate because he (Abba) forgot to lock the pedestrian gate as he was locking the main gate.
“That was how I escaped to the road, where I met someone coming with a jeep who saw me and reversed to call security men,’’ said the widower.
According to him, as at the time the security men came, he was already unconscious, adding that it was much later they told him that the person with the jeep he had met on the road went to bring people. Abba did not know that he had gone out to bring people.
At that point, he said the sympathisers now believed him (Abba) and packaged him and asked him to drive him to National Hospital. Abba while serving his master pretended, he never knew how to drive.