Gist: Widow narrates how robbers shot her husband and waited till he breathed his last  (Read 1402 times)

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Nigeria won the African Cup of Nations on Sunday, February 10. That night, many people celebrated Nigeria’s victory.

Like other families in the country that night, the family of Mr. Olayemi Akinyomi had watched the AFCON final match between Nigeria and Bukina Faso and celebrated the win with neighbours. Little did they know that tragedy was lurking around.

Less than 30 minutes after the match ended, 60-year-old Olayemi said goodbye to about 20 friends who had come to watch the match in his house and retired to bed, leaving some of his children and other family members in the living room.

Olayemi, who was the Chairman of the Community Development Association of Akinyomi Street in Ewupe, Sango Otta, Ogun State, was shot dead a moment later by men who came to the house and ordered all members of the family to lie face down on the floor.

Olayemi’s wife, Elizabeth, broke down in tears as she narrated the incident when our correspondent visited the family on Monday.

Elizabeth said she was already preparing to close up her shop for the day when a young man came and pointed a gun at her.

She said, “One stood as a guard the door while the one with the gun ordered are to lead him to the doorway at the back of the shop. The door leads to the main house.

“They took my phones and told me to hand over all the money I made that day, which I quickly handed to them. When I got to the house, I had no idea that two other men had already got in and asked everybody to lie down.”

With a gun pointed to Elizabeth’s head, she was led inside the house, she told Saturday PUNCH.

They got into the house and asked Elizabeth to lie down on the floor with other members of the family as they raided the house of all valuables. Olayemi was in his bedroom, oblivious of the happening in his house.

“They took phones and every valuable they found and when they were done, they asked me to stand up and take them to my husband’s  room.

“One of the men took a pestle as they followed me. When I got to the front of the bedroom, the men kicked the door open.

“My husband jumped up from the bed immediately and asked what the problem was. I told him ‘the boys are here, please let’s cooperate with them.’”

Elizabeth told Saturday PUNCH she was very afraid at the time, but was silently praying they would survive the incident.

According to her, the men were asking her husband, ‘Where is the money? Where is the money? We know you, you are very stubborn.”

They stripped her in the presence of her husband, beat her and hit her with the pestle.

Before Elizabeth was led into the house from her shop, the first member of the gang who had gone into the house had encountered Segun, one of the deceased’s son, in the kitchen.

Segun said, “The young man came in and said, ‘We are armed robbers, lie down on the floor now.’ I thought it was a joke because I had seen him in the shop earlier, thinking he was there to buy something.

“I waved him off thinking he was a stranger trying to play some pranks, until he brought out his gun.

“The man said, ‘You think I am joking? Lie down now!’ So, I quickly obeyed. Because I was reluctant to give him my phones when he asked for them, he hit me across the face.”

Segun said when two other members of the gang came in and ordered other people in the house to lie down, they took his mother into their father’s room.

According to him, members of the family were paralysed by fear as they lay face down, but heard as they beat his mother while she kept begging them not to harm her husband.

He explained, “Immediately they kicked the door open, I heard them saying ‘Are you not Akinyomi? We know you well. Are you not the chairman?’ A moment later, I heard a gunshot and everything stood still.

“Later, I heard, ‘If you don’t keep your mouth shut, I will kill you. I will shoot you.’”

Elizabeth said when the men stripped and beat her brutally in the presence of her husband while they were asking him to “bring out the money,” kept begging them.

She said, “He said he did not have any money and told them to take anything they wanted in the house.  It was a Sunday so he could not have gone to the bank to withdraw any large amount of money that day. He could not bear them beating me anymore and he kept asking them to stop beating me. He said they should beat him instead.

“But one of they asked him to shut up or they would kill him. One of them suggested they should rape me. I even asked them to do so if they would spare my husband’s life. But one of them prevailed on the others not to rape me. A moment later, amidst pleading, they shot him in the chest.

“I could not believe it. I pleaded with them to let me attend to him as he lay panting in a pool of his blood. Please, let me help him, I told them. But one of them said ‘This one will die. He must die.’”

The family told our correspondent that the assailants waited in the house for about 25 minutes ensuring that nobody went in or out as Olayemi was breathing his last.

It was learnt that the assailants also robbed neighbours of the Akinyomis.

Two of the neighbours, who had initially ventured out to put off their generators, were also led into the Akinyomis’ home and asked to lie down there as they carried out their operation.

Immediately the men left, Elizabeth let out a scream, rousing all the neighbours.

“They have killed my husband, they have killed my husband,” she wailed as she neighbours rushed in to help.

Olayemi was pronounced dead at Medicare Hospital, Sango, while the incident was reported at the Sango Police Division.

“My father had told us in the past to ensure we don’t keep him in the morgue beyond two days,” the deceased’s eldest child, Christopher, told our correspondent.

He said this was why the family requested for Olayemi’s body from the police on Tuesday, two days after it was taken to the morgue, pending the conclusion of investigation.

Christopher said, “The police asked us to submit an affidavit directing them that we want to close the case. We did so. They said that was the only reason they could hand over the body to us.

“My father did not have business dealing with anybody. He is an open person. He did not keep secrets from any of us. Someone would have known about it in this family if he had any business with anybody who would be after him.

“So, I cannot understand the motive behind his killing and the fact that they waited till they were sure he was dead before leaving.”

Christopher said the whole family was still in shock. Their father was regarded as a community leader in the area.

He had spoken with his father on the phone the previous day (Saturday), with a promise to pay him a visit the following day.

“I did not know that was the last time I would speak with my father. I had spoken with my mother on the phone a short while before the incident and there was no inkling of the tragedy that was about to befall our family,” Christopher said.

Olayemi was a manager in UBA until his retrenchment in 1997.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, told Saturday PUNCH that a suspect had been arrested in connection with Olayemi’s murder.

Adejobi said, “The young man we arrested is a suspect in a robbery case being investigated by the State Anti-Robbery Squad but his name came up while investigating the Sango murder.

“What we have decided to do is to let SARS its own investigation. Then the state Criminal Investigation Department will commence its own. But we assure the family this case has not been closed at all.

Meanwhile, life continues for the family even though they have yet to come to terms with the fact that the patriarch of their house was gone.

The somber atmosphere witnessed in the house when our correspondent visited portrayed the sadness that has overwhelmed Olayemi’s children.


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