It is no longer news that Mr Edward Kehinde Soje committed suicide.
However, the reasons behind his action may be far from the original speculations that he killed himself over non-payment of salaries.
His brother, Cornelius Soje has revealed that his brother died of a broken heart and that his wife had a lot to do with it.
Vanguard reports that the deceased was used to comfort, adding that his father was said to have retired from the police as Deputy Commissioner.
According to the reports, some of the deceased’s extended family members in Ogori community of Ogori/Mangogo local government area of Kogi State are said to be top politicians.
As earlier reported, Soje, a Director in Kogi State Civil Service, committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree at the Mammy Side of the Army Barracks in Lokoja state.
His dangling body was reportedly found by a farmer who raised alarm and alerted the Nigeria Army Command Record.
The deceased aged 54-year-old at the time of his death, took life nine days after his wife of 17 years gave birth to a set of male triplets in a private hospital in Abuja through IVF.
Soje was on Grade Level 16 in the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission and was owed 11 months’ salary as of the time of his suicide.
The reports revealed that Soje had travelled to Abuja leaving a suicide note for his wife who works in one of the federal ministries. The suicide note read: “Psalm 121:3: God will not suffer your foot to be moved: He that keepeth you will not slumber. Amen. You and the three boys, the God Almighty will keep you and prosper you. Amen. I love you”.
Kogi State Police Command Public Relations Officer, ASP
William Aya, while confirming the suicide, said that Soje’s body was found on a tree behind the barracks at about 5:55 pm on October 16.
Family sources also revealed that the deceased Director had been going through financial pressure due to the non-payment of his salary.
He was said to have sold his only car and a three-bedroom bungalow he was building at Otokiti area of Lokoja to ease his predicament. Sources also revealed that Soje’s financial woes became compounded following the birth of their first children through Caesarian Section in a private hospital in Abuja on October 7.
The deceased reportedly remained in the hospital to look after his wife and children until October 13, a day before the naming ceremony when he decided to come back to Lokoja.
Vanguard reports that Soje allegedly went to his bank to collect the remaining N30, 000 in his account and informed the bank in writing about his decision to close the account.
He rejoined his wife and handed over the N30, 000 cash to her. On October 14, a brief naming ceremony for the triplets was held in the hospital. He l
Sokje reportedly left the hospital on the pretext of picking a few things from the wife’s apartment in Abuja with a promise to return soon after.
The deceased however did not return and was not picking up his calls, forcing his wife to send someone to the ouse to find out what was going on.
After knocking severally without response and hearing the phone ringing inside the house, the person called on neighbours to help force the door open.
Soje’s handset was found placed on a suicide note on the centre table in the sitting room but he was nowhere to be found.
As soon as Soje’s wife was contacted, she immediately reached out to some people to begin searching for him in Abuja while relations and friends in Lokoja were also informed of the development. Efforts made to locate him proved abortive until relations decided to visit hospitals in Lokoja.
Their decision paid off eventually on Friday, October 20 when the corpse of Soje was found in the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.
According to a member of the family, the management of the hospital explained to them that Soje’s corpse was brought in by the police after it was found dangling from a tree.
He also described the late Soje as a “very quiet and lovable human being.”
In a plot twist, Mr Cornelius Soje said the Director’s wife’s action may have pushed him to suicide.
Cornelius alleged that the woman turned his brother into her puppet. He added that unknown to many people, his late brother and his wife actually had a child three years into their marriage who died eight days after birth.
He said the wife suffered multiple miscarriages. The brother explained that when some years ago the wife was transferred to Abuja from Lokoja, the development caused trouble in their relationship.
He said that the deceased shared the issues with him but after a while, he stopped doing so, leaving him to conclude that their family issues had been resolved.
This changed when the late Soje announced the birth of their triplet.
“My late brother called me on the phone and expressed to me that he was disallowed from naming the kids. It was the wife who gave the kids names. My late brother was not permitted to give them names. The wife did”, he alleged.
“My brother called me on the phone and told me that his wife said he was not the father of the triplets. My brother thought it was a joke until the woman stressed it to him by asking, ‘How can you think you are the owners of the babies?’
“My brother said he could not forget the statement and was seriously distressed by it. I told him not to take his wife’s statement serious but view it as a woman’s careless talk.”
Cornelius also quoted Soje to have said that immediately after the conversation took place, the wife asked him to go to her Abuja apartment to prepare food for her.
“He left the hospital and that was the last time anybody saw my brother alive” , he said.
Cornelius alleged that from the Saturday when the deceased went missing, the wife did not notify the family member until the following Tuesday when she called his sibling, Mrs
Alice Turkwo, in Ilorin.
“It was my sister in Ilorin who told me the wife called to say our brother was missing. When she did around 6pm on that Tuesday, I called her on phone but she kept telling me not to disturb her as she had migraine and needed to rest. Out of annoyance I ended the call. I tried to call her line later but, since then, she had put off her phone and none of us could reach her.
“It was a friend who hinted us of a suicide story in town. We checked with the army and discovered it was actually our brother that was in the photograph taken before they invited the police to take over the case”, he narrated.
Cornelius also dismissed the claim that it was financial depression that led his brother to commit suicide.
“The unpaid salary had nothing to do with his taking his life. My brother had been surviving without salary for months, why now? He could survive without salary for two years. The house he sold at Zariagi was because he didn’t like the location and he had started using the proceeds to build another one around Phase Two, Lokoja.
Cornelius, also claimed that the deceased suffered stroke around 2008 but had been healed and had been driving himself as well as carrying out other tasks for over five years.
According to Cornelius, the family members are not interested in an autopsy by the police.
He, however, noted that the family’s concern was to take possession of his sibling’s body and bury him.
Adding that they had accepted their fate but still viewed the triplets as theirs.
“Whether the claim by the wife, as reported to me by our late brother, that he was not the father of the triplets is true or not, the kids are innocent. And we are ready to take them as ours. And we’ll help them. My brother was a good man. We were the only two male children of our parents”, he added.