‘My Wife’s Ghost Still Crying For Justice Seven Years After Her Murder’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘My Wife’s Ghost Still Crying For Justice Seven Years After Her Murder’

Posted: Jun 22, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Ajibola Abayomi Lagos

The dust raised by the death of Mrs Funmilayo Abudu in Sagamu, Ogun State seven years ago is yet to settle as her husband is yet to recover from the tragic incident.

Late Funmilayo AbuduAt about noon on December 12, 2008, the story being told in the media by the Ogun State Police Command was that a 38-year old woman, mother of four, Funmilayo Abudu led a robbery gang to raid First Bank PLC, Ijoko, Sagamu earlier in the day and was subsequently killed during a gun dwell with other robbery suspects at Isale-Oko in the town.

The police later displayed the deceased’s corpse with bullet prove vest at the Headquarters of Ogun State Police Command, Abeouta.

But contrary to the claim by the police, the employer of the deceased, Demirs Poultry Farms, her husband and concerned residents in the area refuted the allegation vehemently.

They argued that the woman was unlawfully killed by overzealous policemen while talking a cover at a nearby bush when the robbery gang was engaging the security operatives in a desperate attempt to access an escape route.

Funmilayo, the bread winner of her family who was on N8, 500 monthly pay was said to have been sent on an errand by her manager, Rasaq Asiwaju and he indeed confirmed that  he sent her to buy fuel at a nearby Texaco Filling Station within Isale-Oko that morning where the incident happened.

After the deceased was paraded by the police, Femi Falana Law Chambers battled the police to a standstill and proved that she was a victim of extra judicial killing and a cover up.

Nevertheless, the police held on to her corpse until December 18, 2009 when Justice B.I. Molokwu of Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Ogun State ruled that she was killed illegal by the police after months of legal fireworks led by Barrister Oludare Falana on behalf of the family.

Unrelenting Oludare went further to press charges against the police authority and  Justice M.A. Dipeolu of Federal High Court, Abeokuta on February 7, 2002  2012 not only upheld that the woman was illegal and unjustifiably killed, he also ordered the police to pay a sum of N5m as damages  to Mr Abudu.

Not many people noted the role played by Sagamu hunters during the saga.

The leader of Sagamu Night Hunters Association , Chief Yisau Sowole  revealed to Daily Independent Metro in Sagamu the role played by his men.

Waliu Abudu and his children

Waliu Abudu and his children

“I led the hunters’ team that pursued the fleeing robbers seven years ago when the incident happened. After the innocent woman was killed and paraded by the police that day, many people went to the police station to tell the officers that the deceased was not a robber because we know ourselves in this community (Sagamu).

“We were displeased with the submission of the police, so we decided to go after the robbers the following day because none of them was caught the day the incident happened. The three robbers were from Delta State. Unknown to them, they ran into a swamp as they attempted to escape from Isale-Oko.

“We are used to our community, so we knew they could not go through the swampy forest just like that.  We got in touch with our colleagues in Iperu, the neighbouring town and we were able to arrest two of them. One was already dead by the time we caught two of them. The third one was later apprehended at a forest in Iperu on the third day. All of them were handed over to the police. What happened to them thereafter, only the police officers can tell.” Minutes after the hunter rounded off his submission, Waliu Abdu led our reporter to the tomb of his wife in the town.

Perhaps, the poor vulganiser’s wailing with his four children living in a room apartment will have to continue until justice is fully affirmed by the concerned authorities.

That early Friday morning, around 6:30 am on December 12, 2008, when his wife, left their home at No. 6 Water Works Road, Sagamu, Ogun State for her work place, she never knew she was embarking on her last journey.

Expressing his sadness over the development, Abudu said: “The police neither appealed nor complied with the directive of the court as regards the damages they were to pay my family till date.

“I am like a broken rib without my wife. It is now done on me that I am the only one to cater for the four kids she left behind. On this matter, I know, I am not alone, God is with me but the agony is becoming overwhelming as all those who promised  to give helping hands have forsaken me.   “The police took away my joy, comforter, help mate and most reliable companion. Those police officers that killed my wife and lied that she was a robber might be walking free on the street, but God will judge them. My wife’s spirit is not at peace yet until justice is done.” Those are his words while pouring out his emotions at the grave of his heart rob.

He didn’t stop there. “When the police were engaging the robbers, everyone took to their heels and the police officers descended on my wife after the robbers escaped and shot her.  She was dragged out of the bush where she was hiding and abandoned on the road.

“When the people in the neighborhood got across to me that my wife’s corpse was lying fallow at the scene of the incident, I went there, but before I got to the spot, the police had forcefully dispersed the crowd and took her corpse away. “Unknown to the officers, people took photographs of my wife’s corpse while she was abandoned in a pool of blood with her dress.  So when the police tried to twist the truth after changing her dress and got her dressed in a bullet proof vest, they acted in bad faith. Not only that, they placed an AK47 riffle no 1968BH6569 besides her body while she was being paraded in Abeokuta to give impression that she was a robbery suspect.”

Shedding more lights on the matter, Oludare said: “We have commenced the process of compelling the police to comply with the court verdict because no appeal was filled.

“Funmilayo’s murder was a total violation of her fundamental human right. We have proved before the court that she was not a robber as claimed by the police authority.”