“THE woman who gave me a substance told me that it was a charm meant to endear my husband to me. I never knew that what she gave me was acid. All I was trying to do was to keep my husband’s love so that he would not think of leaving me, because I know that my marriage with any other man would not endure because of my barrenness.”
These were that words of Remi Agunbiade (38), a resident of Ita Barika, Foko area of Ibadan, Oyo State, after she was arrested by the policemen from Iyaganku Division over an alleged attempt to kill her husband, one Olawale Shola, by pouring acid on him on January 27, 2016.
The incident occurred less than 24 hours after a similar happening at Oje area of Ibadan where a man allegedly poured a bottle of acid on the mother of his two kids for reasons best known to him. But the difference is that while the Oje suspect ran away after committing the act, the Foko victim, Shola prevented his assailant from escaping as he ran after her and held her until neighbours came to assist him in preventing the lady from running away.
Crime Reports learnt that the Foko incident happened at about 9a.m while Shola was lying down in a room he stayed with his partner, Remi.
In an interview with Remi after her arrest, the lady, who also got some of the acid on her skin, claimed ignorance of the substance she poured on her partner, saying that she thought it was a love charm.
According to her, “I met Shola in 2003 and we have been together since then. He was the one who forced me to abort for him twice, and since then, I have not been able to get pregnant again. Then, he had a wife with two kids.
“When I had my first pregnancy, he said that his wife was also pregnant with their third child, asking me to abort mine, which I did. He used to schedule his stay between the two of us. We used to quarrel often and this got me worried because I knew that if he left me, I would not be able to have another steady relationship since no man would be willing to live with a barren woman.
“I met a lady called Iya Azeez at a provision stall at Agbeni market, Ibadan. During our discussion, I intimated her of my challenges and said that I didn’t want to leave my husband. She replied that I would have to resolve the issue through self-help. I asked for assistance to stop further quarrels between me and my husband and she said she would help me get water that had been prayed into from an Alfa, stating that all I would need to do is to sprinkle it on my husband, after which he would love me without holding anything back. She gave me a bottle containing the liquid substance on Tuesday, January 26.
“On Wednesday morning, my partner, Shola, was lying down when I took the bottle and poured the content on his head. He cried in agony from sleep and I also shouted and ran out. But he followed me and caught up with me beside the house next to ours.
“He asked people to help him hold me so that I would not run away. By then, a huge crowd had gathered and it was then they started saying that it was acid that I poured him. Some of the liquid got rubbed on my body when he held me, giving me some burns.”
The suspect claimed that she did not know the residence of the friend who gave her the purported bottle of liquid, saying that she only met the lady about two months ago. She confirmed that she quarrelled with her husband concerning accommodation, since she already told him that she was tired of living with him in a room she rented herself.
“I decided to pack everything out of the room to another place, leaving it bare. His friends intervened and he came to sleep in the room with me on Tuesday. My action was because I didn’t want to have another husband.”
She also disclosed that her husband started dating another lady in her neighbourhood about three years ago, and that the lady used to scorn her childlessness. Remi added that her husband rented a room for the lady.
Crime Reports was also at the Burns Unit of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan where the victim was on admission. He narrated his experience thus: “Remi and I have been together for over 11 years. My relationship with her caused a friction between her and my first wife who has four children for me.
“I used to defend Remi anytime she had a quarrel with my first wife, especially because she had yet to have a child. At a time, I abandoned my first wife to be with Remi when the first wife cursed Remi and said she would never have any child till she would quit relationship with me.
“Also about three years ago, I started dating a lady. This caused Remi to be threatening her. She even went as far as quarrelling with the lady. Last year, I discovered that my first wife was already dating another man because of the neglect she suffered from me. As a result, I called Remi in October 2015 and told her that I would have to share days of the week between her and my first wife. Initially, she was angry at my suggestion but later said I should start in January 2016.
“I went to my first wife twice in January and by the I returned to Remi’s place, she had changed the lock and had packed all her belongings and mine. She also collected my phone from me under the pretext that she wanted to use it. After my friend’s intervention, she returned on Monday, January 25. But I went to sleep in the third lady’s house. On Tuesday, I went to Remi’s place and stayed there with her in the bare room.
“On Wednesday, I was lying down, waiting for a friend. Suddenly, I felt a warm liquid on me. As I opened my eyes, I saw as she was about to run out and I went after her. I raised the alarm and people came. I told them that she had already threatened that she would do an unforgettable thing to me. That was how I was rushed to the hospital.”
Shola admitted asking Remi to have an abortion in the past, but said it was only once.
The Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, who confirmed the story, said that the suspect was still undergoing investigation, adding that she would be arraigned to court at the conclusion of investigation.
Ajisebutu warned members of the public against adopting acid as a weapon of revenge, saying that the act was criminal.
Speaking on Shola and the second patient, Abimbola, the Public Relations Officer of the UCH, Mr Deji Bobade assured that they would get the best of treatments. According to Bobade, “it is good that they have passed the critical stage. We hope that in a matter of days or weeks, depending on how fast the healing process is. they should be discharged home.”