Two families in Ile-Ife, Osun State are currently locked in a bitter battle over the suspicious death of a 28-year-old woman, Olusayo Onikuyade,
Olusayo, up until her death, was a youth corps member in Zamfara State.
It was learnt that Olusayo was found dead in her home on Lane One, Ajegunle Street, Ile-Ife, Osun State in the early hours of Wednesday, November 11, 2015.
A family member told our correspondent that the deceased’s body was found in the apartment she shared with her husband, foaming in the mouth and nostrils.
But her family said the police must get to the root of the matter because her husband, Niyi, whom she slept in the same apartment with on Tuesday night, was nowhere to be found by the time neighbours forced the door open and found her body.
Olusayo’s uncle, Rev. Gbenga Gbadebo, explained that the neighbours forcibly opened the door because they said it was unusual for the couple’s apartment to remain locked when everybody was awake and going about their businesses of the day.
“The neighbours said since Olusayo and Niyi did not indicate they were travelling the night before, they decided to knock on the door of their flat but when they got no answer, they forced the door open only to find her body sprawled on the floor in the apartment,” Rev. Gbadebo said.
According to the couple’s neighbours, they became curious when they could not find the husband and while they searched for Niyi, they called his line which was initially switched off.
The neighbours said they were alarmed when they eventually got through to him and he said he was in Ghana.
The neighbours later notified the deceased’s family who in turn kept trying to call Niyi.
“He kept giving different locations. Sometimes, he would say he was in Togo and sometimes Ghana or Ondo,” Rev. Gbadebo said.
It was learnt that the couple got married in April and in October, Olusayo proceeded for her national youth service.
The deceased had only been back home a couple of days when she met her death.
According to the deceased’s family, Niyi occasionally had disagreements with his late wife over financial issues as his business was reportedly not doing well. He trades in mattresses.
Olusayo’s family said she frequently complained that her husband was not living up to his financial responsibilities in the home.
The deceased’s father, Pastor Rotimi Gbadebo, said she once complained that her husband gave her just N500 when she was leaving for NYSC camp. She was said to have sought the help of her mother, who ran around to arrange money for her.
However, more than 24 hours after Olusayo’s death and after series of calls to Niyi, an uncle of his, a priest, who stood as the father figure during their wedding, prevailed on him to return and he finally made an appearance at the Moore Police Division where the case was reported.
Our correspondent spoke with the father of the deceased, who in an emotion-laden voice gave an account of her daughter’s short and very rocky marriage.
According to him, few months after his daughter’s wedding, the husband started to misbehave.
He said, “In August, they had a fight and I had to call them to a meeting along with the family of the husband. I warned them that I must not hear of any fight between them again.
“In October, my daughter travelled to Zamfara State for her NYSC. She came back on Saturday, November 7. She came first to our house. She left for her husband’s house on Tuesday. There was no communication between us for a few days.
“But on Tuesday, November 10, she called for financial assistance and I promised her that I would send the money the following day. That was the last time I heard from my daughter.
“Some of her neighbours called my wife about the terrible news and she informed me. I was in serious shock. I had to watch myself because I am hypertensive.
“The man had been misbehaving all along. He would sometimes abandon the house and leave my daughter uncared for, for days at a time. Sometimes, my daughter would be sick and he would tell her to go back to her parents’ house to get treatment.”
Olusayo’s father alleged that there was a time she was ill and spent three weeks with them and the husband neither visited nor called.
“The next thing I heard after all these was her death. How do you expect us to take that?” he said.
The neighbours who found Olusayo’s body said she was found on the floor of their sitting room.
It was learnt that an autopsy was conducted on the body of the deceased at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, but the result has not been released.
The body of the deceased was about to be buried last Saturday, November 14, but an argument between the Gbadebos (family of the deceased) and the Olukuyides (family of the husband) degenerated to the extent that the corpse had to be returned to the mortuary.
The priests who were to officiate the interment later went home after waiting endlessly.
The deceased’s family alleged the Olukuyides were treating Olusayo’s death with levity while the husband’s family insisted Niyi had no hand in her death.
When our correspondent contacted Niyi, a brother of his, Olayinka, who picked the call, said that he was in custody and as such, did not have access to a phone.
Olayinka, who spoke on his behalf insisted that it was not true that Niyi was at home when his wife died.
He said, “My brother travelled the day his wife died and there is no way the mother of Olusayo can deny that. When they informed him about her death, he only expressed shock and said what if he had travelled to a far place like Ghana? He did not actually say he was in Ghana.
“He had the intention of going to Ghana initially but financial challenges had been delaying him. We have visited the house where his wife died with the policemen investigating her death and some of the neighbours attested to the fact that Olusayo was always sick.
“The deceased always complained of headache, which they said sometimes disoriented her. The truth is, my brother did not spend enough time with her during their five-year courtship. Her family rarely allowed them to see each other, which was why he did not know about her health challenges.
“My brother kept asking about the result of the medical test they were mandated to do by the church before their wedding. He kept asking but they did not show him.”
Olayinka alleged that on the day the burial was supposed to take place, some members of Olusayo’s family attempted to attack him, which was why the body was returned to the mortuary.
According to him, while they were coming back from the mortuary, some of the deceased’s family allegedly cornered them and while they were trying to attack him with cutlasses, he escaped to the police station and reported the threat to his life. He alleged that the leg of one of his uncles was fractured in the process.
The police said Niyi had been transferred from the Moore Police Division, Ile-Ife, to the Osun State Police Command’s Department of Criminal Investigation in Osogbo, for further investigation.
The spokesperson for the command, Mrs. Folashade Odoro, told our correspondent on the phone that investigation is still ongoing in the case.
“At this point, it is important we determine the cause of her death. All I can say is that we are still investigating,” she said.