by Oluwasaye Rachael
A resident of Ketu community, Lagos Mainland, Mr. Sulaimon Okunola, has accused a mobile policeman identified as Ibuka Steven and the policemen at Alapere Police Station, Ketu of killing his wife, Aramide Okunola.
Aramide was said to be living with her family in the same compound with the Stevens in Ketu area of Lagos. Steven was alleged to have horsewhipped the woman who was a sickle cell patient, mercilessly for fighting with his wife, Juliet and then dragged her to Alapere Police Station, where she was detained and prohibited from taking her drugs.
It was learnt that Juliet and Aramide had a dispute over sweeping the compound and washing of the toilet on Tuesday last week. The quarrel snowballed into a fight. In the course of fighting, Aramide bit Juliet’s lips and she was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
When Sulaimon heard about the fight, he rushed home to beg Juliet and paid her medical bills. But Steven was not happy that Juliet was bitten. He returned home in a fury on November 23 and stormed into the Okunola’s apartment and dragged the sick woman out. He then started horsewhipping her in the presence of her three-year-old daughter, who earnestly cried and begged him to leave her mother alone.
According to the bereaved husband, “I thought that after taking Juliet to hospital, that the matter would have been settled. I never knew that Steven had other plans in mind. While he was flogging my wife, some of our neighbours pleaded with him to allow her to be, but he refused. After satisfying himself, he then called policemen from Alapere Police Station to come and arrest my wife. When I got a phone call from our neighbours that my wife has been detained, I went there to secure her bail. When I got there the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) refused to grant her bail. She passed the night in the station. I took food and drugs to her at the station; but the policemen didn’t allow her to take them.”
Sulaimon explained that he was preparing to go to the police station the next day, when one of the policemen called him to come to the station with any amount to secure his wife’s bail. When he got there, the IPO collected N3,000 from him and asked him to quickly rush his wife to hospital.
He said they were heading to Gbagada General Hospital when he noticed that his wife was unable to speak and was just crying. He encouraged her to exercise patient that everything would be alright. She died when they got to Oworoshonki and Sulaimon had to turn back home.
It was also gathered that immediately the mobile policeman and his wife got information that Aramide was dead, they immediately moved out of the compound.
One of the tenants, who spoke with our correspondent said: “We have 15 rooms in the building. The only troublesome couple in the building is the mobile policeman and his wife. Juliet believed that because her husband is a policeman, nobody can dare her. The policeman and his wife always refuse to cooperate in anything we have to do. Even our landlord is not helping matter. He’s always taking side with the policeman.”
The deceased’s younger sister, Mrs Rukayat Adekoya, said: “It’s unfortunate that my sister died in such a circumstance. On Friday when her husband called me that my sister fought with a tenant and that the person sustained injury, I had to call my elder sister who lives in Badagry to go there. Aramide and my elder sister begged the policeman’s wife, and the matter was settled or so we thought. I was shocked when her husband later called me on Tuesday to say that she was dead. The policeman went into her room to drag her out and beat her with horsewhip as if she was a child. I’m calling on Nigerians and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, to fish out this killer policeman and those that denied her access to drugs at Alapere Police Station. I don’t want my sister to die in vain.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Bala Elkana, while confirming the incident, insisted that it was a case of assault. He explained that on November 23, at about 12:40pm, Juliet Ibuka reported a matter at the Alapere Police Station that Aramide Okunola bit her lip due to a brawl between them and she sustained injury.
Elkana, however, added: “The State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu has directed that the case be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, for discreet investigation.”