Lagos police arrest woman over suspicious death of housemaid

Fortune Nwankwo suspected of beating housemaid to death in Lagos

Police in Lagos have arrested a woman, Fortune Nwankwo, for the suspicious death of her housemaid, Joy James.

Mrs Nwankwo is being investigated by officers of the Lagos State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba on the suspicion that she staged the victim’s suicide at her place of residence on Ogundola Street in Bariga.

Her husband, Steven, had reported at the Bariga Police Division on Monday that Joy hung herself to a fan in her room.

However, officers who went to the scene of the incident saw marks on Joy’s body and suspected a case of murder.

The corpse was then evacuated to the Yaba General Hospital for autopsy.

Lagos police spokesman, Bala Elkana, said in a statement that the police suspect a case of murder.

“On April 20, 2020, One Mr Steven Nwankwo, 40, reported at the Bariga Police Station that one Joy James killed herself by hanging herself in her room with a belt. We mobilised to the scene, examined the scene and a critical analysis of the crime scene and the corpse raised suspicions on the possibility of a murder.

“We have evacuated the corpse to the Yaba General Hospital’s mortuary for post-mortem, while the complainant and his wife, Fortune, 31, were transferred to the SCIID for discreet investigation,” the statement said.

It was gathered that Steven has been released while his wife remains in custody.

Nwankwo denied the allegation that she killed the victim while speaking with The PUNCH.

“An agent, Johnson Odewu, brought Joy to work in my place on January 10, 2020. She worked with my family for a while, but all of a sudden, she became reluctant to work; so, on April 9, I spoke with her and involved her relative, Blessing, who told her to behave,” she said.

Nwankwo also accused the deceased of stealing her clothes and her children’s toys.

“So, I brought her to the parlour on Sunday morning, informed her relative and flogged her. In the night, she refused to eat when I served her. Around 7 am on Monday, I went to check on her but saw that she had hung herself to the ceiling fan and I screamed,” she said.