It could have been a Nollywood flick but it was real. On February 2, the ancient city of Ibadan witnessed a tragedy, the twists and turns of which have somehow attracted a lot of speculations and heated discussions.
One Mr Oyelowo Oyediran Ajanaku, a successful Nigerian businessman based in France, was in Nigeria. Then, a quarrel ensued between him and his wife, Yewande Fatoki Oyediran, a lawyer with the Oyo State Ministry of Justice and daughter of a cleric. According several media reports, the wife was livid with rage that her husband had a child from another woman. “The News” magazine, citing a friend of the late businessman, gave a detailed account of what happened thus:
“Last night, Lowo and his wife Yewande had an argument in their Akoko home in Ibadan, where they reside, over his proposed business trip scheduled for later in the week. Lowo was to travel to Europe for business purposes and then stop over to visit his child (from another woman) who’s also living in Europe with the mother.
“This didn’t go well with Yewande I suppose and the squabble continued into late in the night. In the process, Yewande stabbed her husband Lowo on the shoulder missing his heart by just a few inches.
“Their neighbor – the Landlord – intervened in the matter and took Oyelowo to a nearby hospital for treatment as he bled profusely. After treatment, he was released to return home and instructed to rest as he had lost a lot of blood. On arriving home, the landlord’s son offered Lowo his room to pass the night. But he declined the offer stating clearly that all was fine as he trusted his wife and she believed she didn’t mean to harm him.
“Few hours later, a shout was heard again: it was the cry of a man in agony. Oyelowo was battling for his life, blood was gushing out of his neck and mouth. His wife, Yewande, had used a knife to stab him once again, unfortunately, it was in the neck, a very delicate part of the body. He was whisked to the hospital where he was certified dead on arrival.”
As if this was not weird enough, the attempts of the estranged wife and her family to twist the sad event and circumvent the course of justice with the connivance of the state institutions are told. Already, there are different sides to the story but what is certain is that she took the life of her husband.
The “Nigerian Tribune” reported that when the docked killer-wife was brought to court this Tuesday, “she was given a VIP treatment”. She was brought in a separate bus “while other inmates brought in the Prison Black Maria were screaming that journalists should report it well that they came late to court because of her.”
She was escorted to the court by eight heavily armed prison officials and her face was covered. This prompted the lawyer to the deceased, Kehinde Adesiyan, to lament that there was no suspect before the court but a masquerade. His words:
“I will say that no one before the court, there is no suspect in court today but a masquerade. What they are doing is unknown to law and jurisprudence. That a suspect will appear before a court and no one will be able to ascertain the identity is strange. That has gone beyond protection. No one appeared before the court today. It was a masquerade.”
At least, three quick points can be extrapolated from the whole blood-chilling scenario. The first is that it is ironic that a person who trained as a lawyer directly committed murder. The training should have prepared her against taking the law into her own hands. A doctor that smokes, an accountant without a personal budget and a lawyer who breaks the law are all evidences of a failed education. The purpose of education is to imbue character, first of all, and learning.
Two, justice must be allowed to prevail regardless of whose ox is gored. The impression being given that Yewande, being a worker in the temple of justice or Department of Public Prosecution of the State Ministry of Justice, is being covered up, should not be allowed to linger. A country can survive corruption, as odious as it is; no country can survive injustice. I, therefore, strongly support the #justice4lowo campaign.
Three, spousal killings appear to be on the rise in recent times. It is a sign that less attention is being paid to the family. Governmental and non-governmental organisations should intervene through family workshops and seminars for couples.
MURTALA MOHAMMED: 40 YEARS AFTER, STILL A HERO
Last weekend (February 13), Nigeria marked the 40 anniversary of the painful death its illustrious leader, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed. His assassination was indeed a deadly blow to Nigeria, especially the masses, who were so much loved by the General.
Not only was he a darling to the masses, in fact, the officers who seized power from General Yakubu Gowon admitted that it was only his personality that could sell the coup to Nigerians. Forty years after, the General lives on in the memory of a grateful nation, whose citizens continue to see him as the quintessence of the leadership Nigeria requires anyday.
Described by President Muhammadu Buhari, also a man of unblemished character, as a man of high “professional excellence, competence, straightforwardness and genuine interest and concern for up-and-coming officers like myself”, one attribute of him that leaders of today would do good to imbibe is that he did not seek power. Power sought him. As General Joe Garba records in his book, “Diplomatic Soldiering”, it took a lot of persuasion to make him concede to the offer himself to lead Nigeria.
Besides, unlike many women of today, his wife was averse to his being the Head of State. When he was the Head of State, his family did not live with him, as revealed by his daughter and Executive Officer of Murtala Mohammed Foundation (MMF), Mrs Aishat Oyebode. “We never lived in Dodan Barracks. All the while, we lived in our own house,” she told “Daily Trust” this Sunday (February 14, 2016). It is like the family of the President not being in Aso Rock.
For his simplicity, honesty, discipline and zero tolerance for corruption, he will continue to be missed. May Muri continue to rest in peace!