Double jeopardy: Couple steals mad woman’s baby after 15 years of childless marriage

For a Nasarawa State-based
couple, it was like divine love made in heaven when they consummated
their marriage 15 years ago. A few months into their sizzling affair,
both agreed to abstain from sex until the completion of their
traditional marriage rites, unknown to the wife, Theresa, that Awaji
Chodi, her 43-year-old heartthrob who suggested the idea, was born

Husband born impotent, wife has no womb
Unfortunately, Theresa, aged 41, had also lost her womb
while she was a student at the Government Secondary School, Nyayan, a
suburb of Abuja, where she graduated in 1996. But it was a secret she
closely guarded after doctors told her some years ago that her womb had
been damaged by a quack she had contracted to procure an abortion.
For her, it was a painful discovery, which had earlier
cost her marriage proposal from a man she identified as Mr. Solomon Aku,
who divorced his wife after 10years of childless marriage. To avoid a
repeat of his unpleasant experience, Aku had insisted she conceived
before their marriage as a test of her fertility. However, after several
attempts and a search for solution, which yielded no result, the man
walked out of the relationship and left her in the cold. It was during
the search for a solution to her inability to conceive that Theresa
discovered her womb was no longer in shape.
Double jeopardy
Though depressed but desperate to marry, she thanked her
stars when her new found love, Chodi, who hails from Nigha district of
Akwanga, Nasarawa State, suggested they abstain from sex till proper
marriage was conducted, and kept him in the dark on her predicament.
Signs that she faced double jeopardy manifested a year after their
marriage in March, 2002, when her husband consistently failed to perform
his conjugal responsibility despite several efforts she made to lure
him. Each time she made an attempt, he gave excuses, fuelling her
suspicion that something was terribly amiss.
“Barely a year after our marriage, I had a strong feeling
he was impotent because no able-bodied man would spend a year with a
woman sleeping on same bed without having sex, more so, when the woman
is your own wife. Several times, I attempted to lure him into sex by
deploying my romantic skills while putting on sexy night gowns, but he
was never moved.  Initially, I
didn’t know he was avoiding sex because of his impotence. When we got
married, he wasn’t doing his job at night; the situation was really bad
and made me sad. Any time I approached him for sex, he gave one excuse
or another and we never had sex. I was so depressed. Almost every night,
I cried and cried because I didn’t know what to do. Inside me, I also
knew I don’t have a womb to conceive even if my husband had performed
his duty as a man, but the truth is that I loved him so much and I
didn’t want to commit adultery. It however got to a point in recent
times when I couldn’t bear the urge for sex and had no choice than to
succumb to advances by some guys to satisfy myself”, Theresa revealed in
a chat with Saturday Sun.
15 years without sex
For 15 years of their marriage, the couple had no child
though firmly guarded their individual plight. But she was fed up with
persistent probes by friends, relations and neighbours at Utaba Alefi, a
community in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa, where they
resided. She battled to control a stream of tears whenever she came
across couples savouring the joy of a new born baby, and the pain in her
heart intensified daily. For her, the sad reality of her inability to
bear a child in her lifetime refused to fade from her mental landscape.
That was the situation until January, this year, when Theresa, a native
of Nyayan Gwamdara, also in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa
State, decided to let the cat out of the bag so as to find a solution.
It was a moment of truth when she woke up in the early
hours of a day in January, this year, and summoned the courage to
confront her husband on the issue. “I told him I had discovered he was
impotent, that there was no way he could have sex with me to bear
children. It was so glaring that he couldn’t deny it; he admitted the
fact and told me he grew up to discover he was impotent”, she said.
Then, it was time for her to throw her own bombshell. “I equally
revealed to him what he didn’t know all these years of our marriage;
that even if he had been able to have sex with me, I wouldn’t have
conceived because my womb had been damaged long ago in the course of
aborting an unwanted pregnancy”.
Plot to steal madwoman’s child
As a way forward, the couple resolved to apply to the
social welfare department of the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory
(MFCT), for adoption of a male child after waiting endlessly for divine
intervention. While the process was ongoing, Theresa hatched a fresh
plot after noticing a heavily pregnant mentally challenged woman in
their neighbourhood. The plot, which her husband readily acceded to, was
to steal the baby when the mad woman popularly known as Hajia Adave,
believed to be an Ebira from Kogi State, delivered her baby. They
prepared to relocate to a distant community if the plot succeeded to
create an impression that they had the baby biologically.
With a solution seemingly in sight, Theresa religiously
monitored and made moves to be acquainted with the mad woman, who she
offered food and other items at regular intervals. “I kept tab on her at
an auto mechanic workshop where she stays in our neighbourhood, and
provided her needs; we thought she would deliver in August, this year,
but she didn’t until September 21. When she started labour early in the
morning, our plan was that if she didn’t deliver after eight hours, we
would take her to a hospital, but she eventually delivered at about”, she narrated. The couple wasted no time in moving the woman to a
room in a completed but unoccupied building close to their rented
apartment, and catered for her with an eye on the baby.
On October 2, 2017, Theresa told her husband it was time
to strike, and plotted how to execute an escape strategy in connivance
with Mary, her sister-in-law who was expected to visit them on the
D-day. The plan was to snatch the baby and take cover at the residence
of her mother-in-law at Akwanga, who is aware of her son’s impotence.
Thereafter, they would find a home elsewhere when the dust settled.
Three days later, precisely at about on Thursday,
October 5, she sneaked into the mad woman’s room, which was unlocked in
company with her sister-in-law, while her husband waited in their
get-away vehicle, a Volkswagen car which he uses for commercial purpose.
Theresa took the baby while the mother was still asleep, as well as a
mosquito net provided by a good Samaritan, and they zoomed off.
“I had already bought powdered baby food, a feeding bottle
and prepared hot water to feed the baby if he started crying while on
transit. My husband drove to his village at Akwanga and we told his
people I was delivered of a baby boy through caesarian session, during
which there were complications and doctors advised I should not
breast-feed the baby for now. To avoid suspicion, my husband returned to
our home at Utaba Alefi same day, and continued his work as a cab
driver. The next morning, the mad woman started crying persistently and
residents who gathered around her were shocked to discover that her baby
was missing, but none could fathom what had happened and the baby’s
whereabouts”, Theresa further revealed.
Bubble bursts
Four days after, the couple packed their belongings
without disclosing their actual destination to anyone, and relocated to a
suburb in Keffi, on the road to Nasarawa town, where a federal
polytechnic is situated. On October 11, they brought the baby from the
husband’s village at Akwanga, about 50 kilometres away from Keffi, to
settle at their new home. A few days later, Theresa took the baby in
company with her husband to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Keffi, for
medical attention, and that was when the bubble burst. It was on
Sunday, October 15. Austine Agbule, a former neighbour at Utaba Alefi
community where the mad woman’s baby was missing, sighted the couple
while trying to locate the infants ward at the hospital. He was on a
visit to sympathize with a friend involved in an auto crash that was on
Expectedly, Austine doubted the possibility of the couple
having a baby without Theresa nursing a pregnancy, and swiftly dodged to
create the impression he didn’t see them. The couple who thought they
were lucky not to have been sighted by their former neighbour got the
shock of their lives when he dealt a devastating blow on them.
Convinced that the couple stole the missing baby of the
mad woman back home, he alerted members of a vigilante group before
trailing them as they made their way out of the hospital to get drugs
prescribed for the baby at a pharmacy close to a flyover bridge in
Keffi. Oblivious that danger lurked ahead, the couple hurried home with
the baby after purchasing the required drugs, but walked into an ambush
of the vigilante men.
Plea for mercy
It was at this point our correspondent got to the scene
where a large crowd had formed as the vigilante men interrogated them on
the ownership of the child. They were later dragged to their new home
where they confessed to stealing the three-week-old baby from a mad
woman at Utaba Atefi, and pleaded for mercy. They do not want to be
taken to the police to face the wrath of the law, but the vigilante men
insisted they had no choice. “It was cruel fate which made both of us to
conceal the reality that led us to this mess; it was desperation to
have a child that pushed us into this devilish act”, they pleaded.
As a team of the vigilante men drove out of the scene at
about in a bus alongside Austine, for further investigation at
Ulaba Atefi, where the couple stole the child from the mentally
challenged woman, our correspondent took the opportunity, to engage them
in a chat, during which they told their heart-wrenching story.
Barely an hour later, the vigilante men returned with the
biological mother of the child to the scene, but the woman could only
manage to utter a few words and kept mute after being reunited with her
baby. For Awaji, holder of a Diploma in Public Administration from the
University of Abuja, it was a shameful act for which he would not want
to face prosecution. He wants the matter resolved behind closed doors.
Our correspondent could, however, not ascertain if he eventually
achieved his desire.
Police reacts
Kennedy Idrisu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, and spokesman for the Nasarawa State police command, told Saturday Sun
that the case had not been officially reported to the police as of when
he was contacted. He, however, said he was aware of the incident.

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