Man allegedly kills pregnant wife for money rituals, says it was a mistake


Had anyone told Rita Onyebuchi Atansi,  that her meticulous care at choosing Ikechukwu Atansi, as a life partner, among several other men who sought her hand in marriage, would end up in regrets, perhaps, she would have given such person a scrutinizing stare. This is because aside being older than other suitors who came flaunting their wealth before her,  she also considered him a better choice because she claimed she knew his source of income, unlike others.

With this conviction, both set out for their traditional marriage rites on January 10, 2020. She was quick at advertising her husband’s good sides to those close to her. One of such was his pampering, such that he would prepare the meal before she returned from work, as he came home before her. But that was short-lived! This is because as you read this piece, the remains of 31-year-old  pregnant Rita, lies in the morgue.

Her decomposing body was found in the pool of her blood last Thursday, March 26, 2020, inside her husband’s apartment at  Chimas House Ezimezi, Amawbia in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, with flies hovering all over the premises.

All fingers are pointing at her husband as the alleged culprit. Information at Crime Guard disposal had it that he was found right inside the apartment, when policemen from Central Police, Awka, who were alerted, broke into the room.

One of her brothers,  Onyebuchi  John Paul, who spoke on behalf of the bereaved family, explained that he and his late sister, worked with  Philip Smith Security Limited, in Awka, the Anambra state capital. Apprehension according to him, set in on March 24, 2020, when his elder sister did not show up at work, an act he described as unusual of her.

He said he attempted to reach her on her mobile telephone to ascertain why she was absent but could not as the phone rang without response.

He said, “After close of work that day,  I went to her house  but it was under  lock and key  and her  husband’s car was  not in the compound. I  banged at the door  but there was no response. “I  headed home and requested for her husband number. When dialed, I discovered it was switched off”.

Next day, being Wednesday, March 25,2020, Johnpaul , reported to work as usual but, again, did not see his sister. Tension, at that time heightened.  He said he dialed her number again and that  as the previous time, it rang but  there was no response. He called her husband’s line but it was still  switched off.

He could however not check on her that day because he said he closed late from work. On reaching home, he informed his mother who also said she had been trying to reach her daughter and son-in-law  on the phone to no avail.

Determined to know the exact cause for her sister’s absence from work, Johnpaul said he decided to stop by her place, on his way to work last Thursday. But the sight that greeted him at the entrance of her building signaled unpalatable findings.

He said, “ On reaching the compound  I  saw policemen and a crowd gathered. When the Special Crime Unit of the Police arrived, I  was taken to my sister’s room, only to find her lifeless body in its decomposing state,  in the pool of her blood. The whole place was smelling and  there was blood all  over the bedroom.

I was too shocked to speak. “I could not tell my mother who also came to know why her daughter wasn’t answering her calls because she is suffering from high blood pressure. I had to tell some people to take her away from the scene”.

Explaining how the Police got wind of the happenings, spokesman for the Anambra State Police Command, SP Haruna Mohammed,  said, ”On March 26, 2020,  a distress call was received by the Central Police Station Awka, by 8.30 am,  that an unusual odour was perceived by neighbours,  from the room of one Ikechukwu Atansi.

Following the report, police patrol team led by the Divisional Police Officer,  CSP Chucks Nwoke ,rushed to the scene, opened the door and discovered a decomposing body of a woman who was later identified as Mrs Rita Uchechi Atansi  of Enugwu-Agidi ,lying lifeless in the room.

After careful analysis of the scene by police detectives, marks of violence was observed on the body of the victim and blood spilled all over the room. “Consequently, photographs of the victim, as well as the scene, were taken and the corpse removed and deposited at Amaku General hospital mortuary for autopsy after it was confirmed dead by a medical doctor. ”Surprisingly, the deceased husband, one Mr Ikechukwu Atansi, of Umudum village in Isuanochia, was right inside the room with the deceased when the door was opened and could not give a satisfactory account of what actually transpired. Instead, the husband claimed that he was injected with a substance by unknown persons who according to him must have killed his wife. “The husband was subsequently arrested and he is assisting the Police with useful information to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident”.