Itohan Dan Carlo knocked on the door of the Idemudias at Central Road in Benin City. She was the first cousin of late Uyi Idemudia who died in a ghastly motor accident while she was in Italy.
“Yes? Who is there? Osaro, please see who is at the door?” Mrs Idemudia said.
“You’re welcome, aunty. Mom, it’s aunty Itohan,” Osaro announced.
Rita Idemudia came out of the kitchen cleaning her wet hands with a kitchen towel. “Itohan, what a surprise! When did you come into the country?”
“I came in yesterday and was told of what happened. That’s why I decided to see you and express my heartfelt condolence,” Itohan said glumly.
“Thank you. This is very considerate of you.”
“How are you coping with taking care of the children and their education?” Itohan Don Carlo demanded.
“My husband’s death had been a big blow to me and the children. Since his death we’ve been finding life very dificult. I have been managing to pay the school fees for the younger ones in primary and high schools, but Osaro who should have been studying medicine in the university has to sit at home. You know I’ve been a stay-at-home mother.”
She looked a moment into space, thinking of her ex-husband. It seemed so strange and sad to know he was gone, even when Uyi Idemudia had been so vital and alive.
A search of Uyi Idemudia’s papers and records in Benin City and elsewhere turned up no money except the records of a single bank account containing twenty thousand naira. If there was anything else, it was never discovered.
“What a pity! What is Osaro’s age now?”
“She’ll be sixteen next month. On the 15th of July, precisely,” Mrs Idemudia replied grimly.
That was the right age for her purpose. “I should be about to help you with Osaro’s education.”
In high school Osaro gulped knowledge insatiably and proved something of a prodigy in science subjects.
“Oh! Thank you. That’ll be a great relief.”
“You know my husband Don Carlo is an Italian. I’ll phone him tonight to get admission for Osaro in one of the good universities in Italy. Once that is done, I shall ask Osaro to come over.”
Rita Idemudia heart jumped with joy and hope.
“Osaro come and hear this,” Rita Idemudia said heartily
Osaro had felt her father’s death most. She was very close to him. And his death had aborted her ambition of being a medical doctor. When Rita Idemudia looked into the children’s bedroom, Osaro was holed up in the room, as always since her father died. When she saw her daughter sprawled on the bed, eyes closed, tears slipping down her cheeks, her jaw tightened, she felt depressed.
“Stop crying; God has heard your cry and sent a helper.”
Osaro reluctantly came out of her room, her eyes red with weeping.
“Your aunty Itohan has promised to help sponsor your education in Italy.”
“I’m not going.”
“You’re not going?” Rita Idemudia yelled. “Have you gone mad? You’ve been crying since your friends resumed classes in University of Ibadan three months ago. Now you’ve a golden opportunity of not only going to college but in Europe, and you’re turning it down.” Turning to Itohan, “Please don’t mind her. I’ll talked sense into her head later.”
“That’s all right. I shall be going. Sorry about what happened. I shall visit you again before I travel back.”
“Thank you for calling. In fact, after I have talked to Osaro, I shall bring her to see you. She must apologize for this insubordination.”
“You’re welcome any time. Please have this ten thousand naira to buy something for the children.”
“Thank you very much. God will bless you for thinking of coming to our aid. My husband’s brothers sold his house and car and shared the money among them. They claimed I killed their brother because I wanted to inherit his properties. I was given the water with which his corpse was washed to drink to prove my innocence.”
“When my father condemned the action, one of the younger brothers replied, ‘What do you mean we’re not being fair? She did everything in her power to keep him from us, and he’s dead and she isn’t, and that drives me completely crazy. From what I learned, she told him he should learn to live with her and without us or learn to live with us and without her. And our brother decided to live with her and without us. She is a bad woman.’ My shook his head in lamentation.”
In African it was believed that any woman who killed her husband supernaturally when she drank the water used to wash his corpse she would die shortly afterward.
“That was very unfortunate,” Itohan said, “some of our culture is bizarre.”
Idemudia’s extended family evicted his family and sold his house; accusing his wife of being the cause of his death through witchery. His car was sold for less than its real worth and they pocketed all the money. Rita Idemudia and her five children were only allowed to take away their clothes and other personal possessions. It was the money sympathizers gave her that she used to rent two rooms that they now occupied.
Itohan Don Carlo was the biggest human trafficker from Nigeria, the brutal Madam, who beats up young girls and made them whores in Italy.