About two weeks after Mr Nkereuwem Etim Ema of Mbiabam community in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State killed his wife, his people who had to flee the family compound are yet to return home for fear of arrest.
When TNN visited Mbiabam and the scene of the murder, in the early hours of Wednesday last week, the compound was deserted. Those who chose to remain hid in their houses and only peeped from their window once they heard strange movements.
Chairman of Mbiabam Village Council, Chief Patrick Martin Usen who conducted TNN round the village expressed shock and wondered why the suspect could commit such a crime.
Usen told TNN that after the incident, relatives of the deceased mobilized their youths in Ikot Ekop – a neighbouring village, for a revenge mission to the family of the suspect only to meet an empty compound as all the brothers of the suspects had escaped.
He said after much pleading with the deceased family, both parties agreed to move forward. He said they agreed to bury the corpse and relocate the children to their maternal grandparent for their upkeep, pending when both families would re-unite.
TNN investigation in Mbiabam revealed that the couple had been quarrelling often, and that at a point, the deceased had to leave her matrimonial home for her parents house at Ikot Ekop.
After much pleading and persuasion from friends and in-laws, the deceased returned home to continue in their marriage only to meet her waterloo last week. But what surprised everybody in Mbiabam community was that this time, there was no quarrel.
A neighbour who pleaded anonymity told TNN that the suspect started fending for himself early in life and in his quest for riches and wealth involved in money rituals. He said the suspect later violated one of the rules in the ritual money making which caused him to be insane and was rushed to prayer houses and other healing homes until he was healed before he got married to the late wife.
The source explained that though he was cured of insanity, the psychiatric problem re-occurred few weeks before he slaughtered the wife and maintained that the late wife took him to prayer houses.
Further checks reveal that the psychiatric problem compelled the suspect to engage in excessive drinking of alcohol all his life even while at work as a vulcanizer.
When TNN visited the suspect's workshop, a woman was found selling local gin also known as “Combine” where the suspect patronizes as a regular customer.
Police authorities in Uyo have said that the suspect was still in detention and would soon appear in court.