Henry Nnadi, the 38- year-old dry cleaner that killed his 1-year-old son, Ebuka, and burnt his wife, Mercy,36, with hot iron for allegedly sleeping with his 65-year-old father, has finally spoken on the circumstances that led to his beastly act from the confines of his prison cell at Kirikiri, Lagos.
Looking remorseless over the pains he inflicted on his wife of two years, the fair-skinned Henry only showed regrets when the issue of his dead son came up. “That was the worst thing I have ever done in my entire life. When he woke up crying for milk, I looked at him in anger and a voice came saying kill him, he is not your son. In obedience to that voice, I hit him hard on the neck several times.”
Insisting that he was unsure of the paternity of the boy, Henry gave vivid details of what transpired on the fateful Saturday, April 7, 2012. Excerpts:
“I am sure of what I am talking about. My wife, Mercy has been sleeping with my father. Before the incident, I have cautioned her to stop going to my father’s house because I suspected their moves . But she wouldn’t listen. Then one day, when she was about going out, I told her not to leave the house but she disobeyed me and went out. I waited for a while before going straight to my father’s place which is not far from where I live .
And to confirm my claim, immediately I arrived there, I knocked and my father opened the door with a towel round his waist. As I made to go in, he prevented me by blocking the entrance with his hand. I do not know how my wife managed to escape . But after waiting for a while, I left and immediately I got home, my wife had reached the house, I laughed and went to smoke to cool my temper. I was keeping all that in mind until that Saturday night.
“As I was ironing my customer’s clothes, I looked at my wife where she was sleeping on the bed and anger surged inside of me. I then heard a voice instructing me to go and ask her why she was sleeping with my father. By then, the iron was very hot and I thought I could use that to scare her.”
Burning her with the hot iron
I woke her up and asked her to tell me the truth on how many times she had slept with my father. But she refused to talk. Then the voice came to me again to place the hot iron on her and I did. As I was placing it, she told me she had slept with my father three times.
Immediately she mentioned it, I lost my cool and placed it harder on her out of anger. At that point, the child cried, wanting to suck breast. I looked at him wondering if I was actually his father. I thought to myself that it could be possible my father was responsible for the pregnancy that resulted in his birth.
How I killed my son
At this point the suspect kept quiet, bowed his head, shaking it intermittently in self pity. And when he raised his head, his eyes were filled with tears. Thereafter, he rested his chin on his palm and looked at the sky, muttering. After a long pause, this reporter asked him if he actually killed his son.
In reply, he said, “ that is the worst thing I have ever done in my entire life. When Ebuka woke up from sleep that night, crying for breast milk as he always did, I looked at him in anger and the voice came again saying , ‘kill him, he is not your son!’. In obedience to the voice, I hit him hard in the neck several times.”
Asked to described exactly how he did it, he raised his right hand like a boxer, hitting it severally on his left arm, causing this reporter to move backward, for fear of the unknown.
Continuing, he said, “You know he is a baby and very fragile. When my fist landed on him the first time, he screamed. At that point, the mother lifted her hand to prevent my next fist from landing on the boy , but I planted the hot iron on her hand”. Henry, reportedly landed another fist on the little helpless creature . At the third hit, Ebuka, as gathered, could no longer cry. He was still .
When Henry was asked why he was always beating his wife as claimed by neighbours, he admitted that they have had series of quarrel, most of which was caused by his wife’s alleged clandestine relationship with his father. He posited however that “there is no way a man and a woman would live under same roof without quarreling. It is impossible. Yes, we quarreled and settled” .
Asked if he had any regrets for his action, he replied, “sure , I do, mainly because of the death of my son. Why should a child be killed over an offense he knew nothing about? His death will continue to haunt me all the days of my life. I may not live to even atone for this sin but if by sheer providence I do, I will never forgive myself for taking the life of my innocent boy.
All this is the handiwork of the devil. If I had known, I would have not touched my son that night. I know I am going to die because I have killed my son. If it had been my wife, I would not have bothered much . But my son, ah! I have done the unimaginable” he stated in an emotion- laden tone.
When contacted for his reaction to his son’s claim, 65-year- old Theodore Nnadi described the allegation as baseless and unimaginable, wondering how a father could stoop so low as to sleep with his daughter in-law. The light skinned man swore with both visible and invisible substances, denying ever having any feeling of such towards a woman he considered as a daughter. The father of eight who said his name had been dragged in the mud following the allegation and wondered how on earth a son could mete such injustice on his father.
Recalling with pains how he tried all he could to give his son, Henry, a good future, Pa Nnadi revealed that signs of his present predicament reared its ugly head after Henry’s secondary school.
Hear him, “ After his secondary school , he began to move with irresponsible people and street urchins . In order to keep him busy, I took him to a school of engineering where he specialized in factory generator repairs. But before I knew it, that turned out to be my greatest undoing as he went into snatching of motorcycles from riders.
“He would mount a motorcycle, give the rider his destination. But midway, he would pour pepper into the rider’s eyes, causing him to loose balance and in the process make away with the motorbike and sell same at give -away price. He was arrested in one of the occasions and was imprisoned for eight years.
After he finished serving his jail term, I took him to a church where deliverance was carried out on him. Before everybody in the church, he promised never to go back to his past again. After that, he started the dry cleaning job.”
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The suspect, Henry Nnadi
I warned his wife
After the introduction ceremony and the wife moved in with him, I started getting series of report on how he was maltreating her. Several times, the matter was reported at Ago police station where he was made to write undertaken never to raise his hand on her again. But he never complied. When the beating became unbearable, I personally told his wife never to return to my son when she traveled to her vilâ€
Asked if he actually slept with his daughter-in-law, Mr Theodore screamed in anger, â€œ how can that be? That is an abomination! Before God and man, I never did that. Ah! This child wants to take me to an unprepared grave. I reject that. It is not my portion .I can never try such disgusting thing in my life. Oh my God, at this age?His intention is to soil my name. Go and ask about me where I live, or even from the village I come from. This is unimaginable. Come to think of it, I have a wife.
Also asked to clarify his son’s claim that he met his wife in his house where the father blocked the entrance, Pa Nnadi replied, almost in tears, â€œOnly God will judge this matter. This child is a bad child. The wife used to sell pap and she usually brings it to my house where she sold to my wife .
Whenever she is leaving my house, my wife would give her some ingredients because my son was not taking care of her and their baby. For instance, when she gave birth to my grandson , Ebuka, it was one of my daughters that brought out N120,000 for the delivery bill because she gave birth through caesarian. But do you know what happened, my son, Henry, stole out of that money from where it was kept and when asked, he argued that the money was too much, that it ought to have been given to him to buy a motorcycle.
He is a pain in the neck. In fact, he had beaten me before in public, simply because I reprimanded him for fighting with his cousin. Since that incident, my people vowed never to visit his house again. I swear to God, I never did that abominable act. I have passed such stage. Besides, I am a God fearing man. Come to think of it, (grins) I live in that apartment with my wife and my other children. How on earth would that happen?
Emotions, promises, pour in for burnt housewife
Meanwhile, following Mercy’s story published in Vanguard, some concerned Nigerians and groups have continued to call in, signifying their interest to assist Mercy with the medical bill and a possible transfer to another hospital. Among those that called were Zahara Women Foundation, CENTA For Organizational Development, Bimbo Odukoya Foundation and other individuals from different parts of the country and beyond. But none of them, as at Thursday morning, had made any monetary donations.
For Bimbo Odukoya’s Foundation, it promised to visit mercy at the hospital on Thursday evening with a view to carrying out on the spot assessment and proffer possible medical solution.
Zahara Women Foundation on its part, promised to visit the victim yesterday, (Friday),where its co-ordinator who called in from Canada said the foundation would do all within its reach to give Mercy legal backing as well as playing a role on her medical expenses.
Dr Eze of New Revolution hospital located in Ago, Okota area of Lagos hinted that although Mercy was responding to treatment, there are fears that some sensitive parts of the affected area were still to get healed. â€œFor instance, her breast and chest region and her thigh close to the vagina are part of the critical areas.â€
Vanguard Crime Guard observation revealed that fluid was still pouring out from under the breast , which seemed to be defiling treatment. The cause, as gathered, was because it was not exposed to air. As a result, the region is always damp with the burns causing sores. She is still going through excruciating pains, with serious anesthetics being administered to her on daily basis.
But the doctor assured that things would take its normal shape with time, disclosing that part of the burns on her back, stomach and hand were getting healed. The doctor also disclosed that as at Thursday evening, only N60,000.00 has been donated by a lady who pleaded anonymity.
But for Mercy to get back quickly on her feet again, she needs funds, first to clear the backlog of close to N600,000 which the hospital claimed was her medical bill. Out of this amount, the hospital said Mercy’s father in-law was only able to pay the sum of N50,000. Presently , Pa Theodore who owns a mini boutique along Ago-Palace Way is finding it difficult to foot the bill.
Crime Guard reliably gathered that the 65-year-old man had resorted to borrowing from people in order to ensure Mercy gets back on her feet again. Plans, as gathered, is on the pipeline to open an account for Mercy where well- meaning Nigerians are enjoined to pay in their widow’s mite, as this will, no doubt, go a long way in ensuring Mercy’s speedy recovery.
And if this is not done on time, there are fears that the burns, particularly in the sensitive areas, could be affected, which unfortunately, can be disastrous for the helpless woman.
Meanwhile, her husband has been charged to the Ebute-Meta magistrate court,where he appeared last Tuesday. But the case could not be heard as his file with charge no G/23/2012 was referred to the Directorate of Public Defender (DPP) for advice.
However, while waiting for the account to be opened, concerned individuals can make their donations in person to the hospital- New Revolution hospital located in Ago, Okota, Lagos or reach Vanguard Crime Editor through: [email protected] or 08023145281.