Following recent reports on the evil acts committed by maids, Nigerian mothers are more careful these days about the domestic staff they employ to take care of their kids.
Well, cooks are the latest perpetrators.
The other day, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo of Trinity House, a mega church in Victoria Island, Lagos, and his wife narrowly escaped death after one of their cooks attempted to poison them.
Now there’s a similar report.
Two cooks, who are nationals of the Benin Republic, Victor Hounkpe
and David Amusu, have been arrested by the police in Lagos for allegedly
poisoning their employers’ meal in the Lekki area of the state.
It was learnt that the employers, Mr. Nwogu Chinaka, and his wife,
Omowunmi were taken to a hospital outside the country after eating the
Apart from the couple, the security guards and other domestic workers
who ate the poisoned meal became unconscious and were all hospitalized.
On Wednesday, April 22, at about 5pm, Hounkpe, who had stayed for
about a month in the house, prepared vegetable soup for the family.
All members of the family, including the security personnel in the
compound, ate the soup which was served by the cook for dinner.
Minutes later, the husband, Nwogu, reportedly developed a severe
stomach ache and collapsed, while Omowunmi rushed him to a nearby
The wife, however, also became unconscious and fell at the gate of
the hospital after she had a severe stomach pain. The couple was treated
in the same hospital.
Hounkpe and Amusu reportedly fled from the house during the incident.
The police said the couple later wrote a petition to the Commissioner
of Police, Kayode Aderanti, on the matter, and after investigation by
the Department of Criminal Investigation, Yaba, the runaway cooks were
Owning up to his crime, 34-year-old Hounkpe said he put the substance
in the family’s soup to make everybody fall asleep so they could take
away valuables in the house.
“I am from the Benin Republic. I came to Nigeria in 2007. I have
always worked as a cook in Lagos. David was the agent who brought me to
the couples’ house. He was the one who gave me the substance to put
inside the soup. He told me the substance was a sleeping pill. The plan
was that everyone would fall asleep.
“They wanted to steal gold and other valuables. I put the substance
inside the vegetable soup. It was a powdery substance. I had worked with
them for about a month. The couple did not offend us. They were to pay
me N50,000 monthly. We just wanted them to sleep off. I ran to the Ogudu
area after the incident to pick up another job. That was where I was
Amusu, 33, added that the gang was about raiding the couples’
apartment when the duo became unconscious and was rushed to a hospital.
He said, “I was a former cook in the house. I was the one who brought
Victor (Hounkpe). On the fateful day, when Victor finished cooking the
soup, he called me to say the job had been done. But then, we learnt
that the couple was rushed to a hospital after falling unconscious. So,
we fled the area.”
The police added that the plan was to use Hounkpe as an insider to
give free access to the robbery gang. Amusu was to lead the gang members
into the compound. They added that the plan was foiled.
The CP, Aderanti, who paraded the suspects, advised residents of
Lagos to always do background checks on people employed into their homes
and places of work.
He said, “They have both confessed to the crime. The couple has been
flown abroad for treatment. I want the public to always be careful about
the people they bring into their homes. In Lagos, there is no place for
criminals to hide.”