An engineer, Shittu Yusuf, tells TEMITOPE ADETUNJI how his 30-year-old sister, Rafiat, was allegedly killed by her husband after smashing her head on a wall during a heated argument in the Gas Line area of Ijoko, Ogun State, on August 6, 2023
What is your relationship with the deceased?
My name is Shittu Yusuf. I am an engineer. I am the deceased’s elder brother, 34 years old. I am from Epe. Her name is Rafiat.
Is it true that your sister died during a visit to her husband?
It is very accurate.
Can you narrate what happened?
I was told that she went over to ask for money for the thrift she was involved in. I wasn’t there to know the full details. My wife was the one who informed me about the incident. She called me on the phone and told me she heard that my sister had died after her husband had hit her head against the wall of his house.
My sister’s husband must face justice for her death – Brother.
According to eyewitnesses, my sister visited her husband in the Gas Line area of Ijoko that day to collect her thrift money and some money for her children’s upkeep. He refused to give her, and the matter developed into an argument between them, and her husband smashed her head against the wall, and she fell.
Did she die in his house?
She was rushed to the hospital immediately and was declared dead. I ran to the hospital at Ijoko, but she was already dead.
When exactly did the incident happen?
It happened on Sunday, August 6, 2023.
What else did the eyewitnesses tell you?
There were two witnesses, and they were the ones who told us about the argument that transpired between my sister and her husband. I was told that after the husband hit her head on the wall, he tried to run away but was arrested.
What type of relationship did she have with her husband before the incident? Had there been a misunderstanding between them?
Yes. They had issues because the man did not want to cater to his children.
How many children do they have together?
My sister had two children for him. I had talked to him about the domestic violence issue, and he only promised to change. There was even a time this year or late last year when my sister reported being beaten by her husband and his younger brother. I spoke to him then, but he has killed my sister.
What was your sister’s occupation?
She was a fashion designer.
How did your family react to the news of her death?
It was a rude shock to all of us. We have not recovered, and it can only take the grace of God.
Are your parents still alive?
Yes, they are.
How are they coping?
They are pretty coping. We keep them company and try as much as possible to encourage them. It is not easy to lose a child. She was the last child of my parents.
Where are your parents?
They are in Ogun state.
Were your parents in support of their union?
Well, they did not have a legally binding marriage or a traditional marriage that had the formal endorsement of our parents.
What else do you know about her husband?
He is a motor mechanic; some people also say he is a businessman. He is 41 years old.
Is he also from Epe?
There was not much familiarity between us because I was mostly busy. I can only say he is probably from Oyo State or elsewhere. I am not sure.
Did your late sister ever live with her husband?
They were not legally or traditionally married. He got her an apartment. They didn’t live together, so she used to go to his house whenever she wanted to get anything from her.
Does he have another wife?
The wife he lived with packed out some time ago. So he has lived alone ever since with his first child and younger brother.
How will you describe the temperament of your sister?
Well, anyone can be temperamental. It depends on the level, but she was just a bit grumpy.
Have you heard from her husband’s relatives since your sister died?
Yes. Ever since he was arrested, they have been begging us to withdraw the case, and we should do everything to prevent him from facing the wrath of the law.
Who has been taking care of the children left behind by the deceased?
We all in the family she left behind are caring for the children.
How many and how old are the children?
One is nine, and one is six years old, and she had other children for a man before she met the husband that killed her. Let me just say that most aged children from her first husband should be 14 or 16 years old, and the second one is 13.
What other things can you say about your late sister, Rafiat?
Rafiat was a good sister. Frankly speaking, there is none without one form of temper or the other. So, she could be a little bit temperamental, but she was good and not troublesome.
What is the present state of the case being handled by the police?
The body language of the police is to let go of the case. I tried to gauge the feeling of one of the police officers by asking if we could retrieve my sister’s body from the mortuary, and he said yes. That indicated the case would be closed if I recovered the body without an autopsy.
Do you intend to continue with the case until you get justice or let it go for the sake of the children your sister had for the suspect?
For now, it’s justice! Such a barbaric act reveals a heartless individual. We also have wives at home, which offend us even when we display self-control. He (Rafiat’s husband) could have done any other thing but hit his wife’s head against the wall. Justice is all we want.
She has not been buried even though we are Muslims. We want to also carry out an autopsy because if we bury her, the case will be forgotten. We want justice.
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