This is a follow-up story on a wicked woman who killed her husband after 17 years of marriage as reported by The Punch.
The mother, eldest brother and one of the children of Akeem Salawudeen, whose wife allegedly led an assassin to murder him for marrying a new wife, share their stories with FEMI MAKINDE
Omotayo repaid me with sorrow despite being kind to her — Akeem’s mum
Tell us about yourself.
I am Alhaja Rafatu Mosobalaje Salawudeen, 83, the mother of the late Akeem.
Did you support the marriage from the beginning?
Their courtship was not long. They met in Zaria. He impregnated her and Akeem said that he would marry her but my husband asked if she was a Muslim but he said Omotayo was a Christian and my husband said no. He said he did not like his son to marry a Christian. Akeem married Omotayo at a tender age. She was young and since he was old enough to marry, I didn’t object to their marriage. I was only worried that she was young but God made the deliveries of all her children easy.
Did you notice any sign of crisis in their marriage before the incident?
He never reported anything to me. I didn’t see them quarrel. I did not see anything more than the usual quarrel between husbands and wives and there was nothing scary about that. I used to give Omotayo money so that there would be any reason for her to feel that she was not being taken care of. But despite that, Omotayo repaid me with sorrow in my old age. According to her confession to the police, she and a butcher Omotayo hired were the ones that killed Akeem.
What do you think prompted the deceased to marry a second wife?
He was a Muslim and there is nothing wrong with marrying more than one wife in Islam. Akeem said Omotayo herself promised to practise Islam. But anytime they quarrel, she would tell him to go and marry another wife to know if such second wife would not also complain. The other wife he married was brought to me and I admonished him to be fair to the two of them.
Did you hear that Omotayo allegedly attempted to kill the second wife?
I heard that Omotayo went to the house of the second wife and attempted to set her ablaze. You know that I am old and there was no way I would go from house to house monitoring whatever is happening in my children’s marriages.
Did you have any premonition about any untoward occurrence in their union prior to the development?
The only thing I can remember is that there was a time I called him and I told him that I was afraid and that I wanted him to live long to take care of his children.
What type of person is Omotayo as your daughter-in-law?
There is no way one can know. One cannot smell wickedness no matter how observant one is. I didn’t know that she could kill her husband. I used to take care of her and her children after childbirth. I didn’t know that she was wicked. I didn’t know she could do that. If I knew she could do such I would have raised the alarm. How would I open my eyes and keep quiet about a death that would claim my son?.
What do you want the government to do about the case?
I have been cheated. Akeem left four children. Three from Omotayo and one child from the second wife. There should be justice. I am empty now or should I remove my dress for you to see that I am finished. I have other children but no one can be happy to lose a son at my age. I can’t give birth to another child at my age. If I knew she would kill my son, I would have cried out to the government. My son was hard-working and he made himself equal with labourers where he was selling.
Have you heard from the family of his wife?
They came and commiserated with me and when they came I said, “You have come to kill me because my son is dead and your daughter is alive?” After they left, I passed out and landed in the hospital. It was when I woke up at the hospital that I realised what happened. That was after two days. I pray to God not to allow evil spirit to possess any of the children left behind by Akeem. When their father died, they did not cry, but they cried when their mother was arrested. I am the only child of my parents. I have no brother or sister before or after me. I spent 11 years before I gave birth to my first born. I have told my other children to take care of them like their own biological children because their father had great plans for them.
She attempted to set the second wife ablaze in March — Brother
Tell us briefly about yourself.
I am Alhaji Jimoh Adesina Salawudeen, eldest brother of the deceased.
How close were you to the deceased?
He was my younger brother, the fifth behind. We were of the same father and mother.
How old was he when he died?
He was 43 years old.
How did he meet Omotayo?
He was with me in Lagos but he later travelled to meet his sister in Zaria. They were there together, during that time, I had a cause to leave Lagos for Maiduguri on transfer because I am an engineer.
I settled my family in Kaduna around 1998. Akeem was into rewinding and maintenance work. He had to leave Zaria to join another sister of ours who is into business. I went to see my wife in Kaduna and she told me that my younger brother had impregnated a lady in Zaria. That was in 1998.
It was when he impregnated a lady at his youthful age that he had to move to the South. The elder sister of the lady came to me and told me the whole story. That was how their relationship graduated into marriage. We went to Zaria to do the introduction.
That means your family was in support of the marriage?
We had no option. I never knew the lady until then. He impregnated her and he did not deny it. He got the consent of the family and that was how they got married.
Did you notice any disagreement between him and his wife before the incident?
There are lots of things I don’t know about them because of the nature of my job. I don’t stay in Osogbo. But one or two disagreements I would say was due to the new marriage the deceased contracted.
The first one I got to know was that the wife went to the new wife’s house and caused a scene. She is so crafty that she was able to locate the new wife’s house and also duplicated the key to her house without anyone’s knowledge. Her husband did not also know.
One of the atrocities she committed was that she went to the younger wife’s house around 9pm when the lady was already in bed. She attempted to open the door to the lady’s house with the key she made. The lady raised the alarm by shouting thief, and she attempted to run away but she was apprehended and beaten up. She was stripped naked. She told her attackers that she was not a thief but only she wanted to attack the woman who snatched her husband. Somebody picked interest in the bag she was holding and by the time they opened it, they found petrol in 1.5liters bottle, a new knife, a rope, a match box and some dangerous things.
She said she wanted to kill her, her husband who she thought was there and also hang herself. Some of the landlords reported the case at Dada Estate Police Station before the whole issue was solved.
When was that?
It should be around March 2017.
Was she charged to court after that?
They did not charge her to court when she attempted to kill the new wife and commit suicide. The case is still in police station.
There is another one according to the junior wife’s statement at the state CID. The deceased was a foodstuff seller and he used to move from one market to the other to sell on market days.
The younger wife’s family gave the husband some foodstuff to give to her. Akeem came to Osogbo and because it was a bit late, he went straight to the house where the senior wife stayed. He rented an apartment for the new wife but when he got to the home, he told the senior wife that the things he brought were for the junior wife. The following morning, he packed the items and went to the junior wife’s house and dropped them there. The younger wife called him after a while and told him that the oil in sachet, which was one of the items, was leaking and that she wanted to cut the sachet to transfer it into a pet bottle and when she poured it, she realised that it had changed colour. He went there to see it himself according to her statement. The husband had to throw it away and recalled that he had some pesticides for fumigation which the senior wife must have poured into the oil.
Are you insinuating that she has been attempting to kill the junior wife?
Yes. The husband said he would not take it lightly as he kept the items in the boot of his car but up till now, the car is not opened because we couldn’t find the car key.
Who has the custody of the children?
The children have not decided but my take is that they are at liberty to choose where they want to live. After their mother was arrested because she confessed in front of her dad and the state Commissioner of Police, I told them to come to my house. When this happened, I went to their school to find out how they were doing and I was told that they had not paid their term fees and we paid. So, they are neither disowned nor abandoned.
How many children did your younger brother have?
How old are they?
The eldest daughter is Baraka, 18, while the one that followed her, Usman is 16 and the last born is 12. I gave them three options that they can go back to their house; stay with their maternal father or with their paternal grandmother. I told them that they should stay with their grandmother but they said they would manage and stay in their dad’s house. I gave them some money when they said that.
What do you think could have made Omotayo behave the way she did?
It is jealousy. I never went to their house to settle any quarrel. They had disagreements and such was normal between husband and wife but not something to cause anxiety. There was nothing serious
Was their relationship cordial before this incident?
The relationship was okay. The deceased bought another car for Omotayo to appease her when he married a second wife.
Where did he meet the second wife?
They met outside Osogbo where Akeem traded. She doesn’t know anybody in Osogbo apart from her husband’s family. She requested that she should be allowed to go to her family and she is no longer in Osogbo.
We don’t know why mum killed our dad — Son
Who are you?
I am Usman, the son of Omotayo and the late Akeem Salawudeen.
Why are you staying alone inside the house with your sisters after the incident?
We just want to stay here
How have you been coping?
We are coping well
Who is taking care of your feeding?
We have food at home.
Who is paying your school fees?
The family paid our school fees.
Do you feel bad about what happened?
Were your parents close?
Yes. Also, I and my siblings were close to my dad and mum. I am close to my mum. My dad and mum were very close. I like the way they lived and this made me to want to have their type of marriage.
What do you think made your mum to lead and assist an assassin to kill your dad?
I don’t know.
Did your mother complain to you about the second wife your dad married?
She did sometimes. She said she didn’t like what my dad was doing because he did not behave the way he used to behave to her.
Were there times they fought in your presence?
They used to disagree but there was never a fight.
Did they use to go out together?
Yes. My mum has a car and my dad also had but the two of them used to go on outings in my dad’s car.
What is your message to the government on this case?
They should help us and forgive our mum. Our dad is no more. We don’t want to be orphans. We want to be living with her in our house. The family can’t do everything for us. There are things we cannot discuss with anybody except our mum since our dad is no more.