He stood at a corner of the living room panting for breath. His eyes were fully dilated and were as red as fire. He could feel tightness in his chest as if it were being squeezed. His heart was racing so fast and his hands trembled involuntarily. With enormous anger, he took the led television which was hung on the wall and smashed it on the ground. Mobayo cried out in fear as she ran under the dining table to protect herself. It was another episode of her husband’s madness.
A few minutes later, he came back to his senses and tears trickled down his face. He felt so ashamed and remorseful for what he had done. Mobayo crawled out of the dining table after asserting that he was mentally okay and sane. “Mobayo, I’m sorry” Tunde muttered crying uncontrollably as he saw his wife.
“You are sorry? Sorry, my foot!! We were just having a trivial disagreement and you just blew the situation out of proportion. Well, I know it isn’t your fault but this is too much for me to bear especially in this condition. It’s just too much!!” Mobayo replied as she ran into her room crying.
Tunde was suffering from a mental disorder called ‘Intermittent Explosive Disorder’ (IED). It is a mental disorder which is characterized by sudden episodes of aggressive and violent outburst. In this case, one reacts grossly out of proportion to a situation. It has no exact cause but can be traced to some environmental and biological factors. Tunde was physically abused severally while growing up as a child coupled with the fact that his grandfather had the same mental illness and so, that explains why he had it. The intermittent explosive disorder has no cure but it can be managed by medications and psychotherapy.
“ Babe, we need to talk,” Mobayo said as she laid on the same bed with him. You know it’s been three weeks since you had an episode of that disorder. You are also aware that I would be due for delivery in less than two months from now and so I have a suggestion. I think it’s better I stay with my aunt pending the time I deliver the baby to avoid any casualties while you keep taking your medications correctly. What do you feel about this dear? Mobayo said choosing her words correctly in order not to upset him but something terrible happened after that.
Tunde jumped out from the bed furiously and gave her a resounding slap. “So I am a mad man now? I am a murderer now? You are very stupid. I would show you that I am truly a mad man” Tunde screamed in rage as he held Mobayo’s neck strangling her. “That’s not what I mean Tunde. Leave my neck alone! Leave me, please!! I can’t breathe Tunde” Mobayo said struggling for life. Tunde didn’t listen to her pleas but strangled her till she took her last breath. When he realized what had happened, he burst into hot tears. Was his wife truly dead?
“Mobayo!!! Please wake up! I’m sorry love. Don’t tell me you are dead? Wake up, please. What about my unborn child? Don’t tell me I killed the both of you. I’m sorry please.” Tunde cried his eyes out till they were swollen. It all seemed like a dream to him. He couldn’t sleep throughout the whole night. He wept all through.
The next day, he immediately moved his wife’s corpse to an empty room in his house and locked the door. He was confused. He couldn’t tell anyone about what he had done because he would be arrested. Out of fear, Tunde grabbed a small bag, packed a few clothes into it and ran away from his house. He wanted to save his head and so he went to lodge in a hotel some distance away from his house pending the time he comes up with a good plan.
One week later, he came up with a plan. He was going to tell everyone that he travelled and when he got back home, he met his wife dead. “Was that a good plan?” He thought. Well, that was the only thing he could do and people would probably believe him if he acted it well.
Tunde hastily rushed back home ready to put up the act. When he got to the room where he kept his wife, he opened the door and the stench emitting the room was terrible. It was worse than the smell of rotten eggs. He had to hold his breath as he entered the room, covering his nose with a plain blue handkerchief. He saw the most gruesome thing he had ever seen before. The sight was frightful, repelling and horrible that he nearly passed out.
Mobayo’s body had turned almost green. Flies were buzzing around her body and maggots were feasting on her body. Aside from that, something laid in between her thighs that caught Tunde’s attention. The sight was so appalling. It was a creature and it had something like a head and also had tiny hands. Tunde moved towards it and took a closer look. Mobayo’s black netted pant was on her ankles and the creature laid in between her thighs close to her vagina. “Is this a baby?” Tunde screamed as he ran out of the room fearfully.
“Stop there!” A man in a light-blue uniform shouted as he got to the corridor. It was a police officer. “You are under arrest Mr Tunde for the murder of your pregnant wife,” He said as he beckoned to another police officer to put the handcuffs on him. “Ahhh! Mr Tunde, so you murdered your wife. Your pregnant wife for that matter!! I knew my suspicion was right. That very night, I heard your wife screaming and the next day when I peeped into your compound, your car wasn’t there. I tried calling your line but it was switched off. I also tried calling your wife’s number but it kept ringing and she never picked. So, I knew something was wrong. When I saw you drive in today, I decided to call the Police.” Mrs Olofofo, their neighbour said in tears.
Everyone was shocked at the creature they found lying in between Mobayo’s thighs. After thorough scientific analysis, it was postulated that it was a coffin birth. You might be curious to know what a coffin birth means. Well, a coffin birth which is also known as ‘post mortem fetal extrusion’ is the expulsion of a non-viable fetus through the vaginal opening of a decomposing deceased pregnant woman. When a corpse starts decomposing, the pressure of intra-abdominal gases increases in the body and it is this pressure that is responsible for the expulsion of the non-viable fetus. This implies that a dead pregnant woman can give birth some period after her death. However, this post mortem delivery is rare because nowadays, chemical preservatives are pumped into the body to replace natural fluids and remember that Mobayo’s corpse was left unpreserved.
Tunde was sentenced to death by hanging notwithstanding that he had Intermittent Explosive Disorder which was the reason for the murder. Having this disorder wasn’t his fault so I think the judge could have been more lenient with him. I also feel that Mobayo should be blamed for her murder. Was she supposed to remain in the same house with her husband despite his mental illness? Considering Tunde, why did he keep having episodes of this disorder? Was he doing something wrong? If you were to be a judge over this matter, what would be your view on this?
Sadly for the couple, their precious baby was birthed in one of the scariest and spine-chilling – COFFIN BIRTH!!
Writer: Isibor Precious
Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria