A 52-year-old housewife, Olasunkanmi Lawal, has lost the use of one of her eyes after a scuffle with her mother-in-law, Aduke Awakan.
The mother of two was also said to have been attacked by her sisters-in-law, Bose Showole (39) and Oduntan Enitan (24), at their family house on Isale-Agbede Street, on the Lagos Island area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the case was reported at the Adeniji Adele Police Station, leading to the arrest of the suspects.
The victim explained that she was attacked because she stopped giving money to the septuagenarian.
She said, “My husband and I live in the family house and we have been there since 1989. We have two children.
“However, my mother-in-law started keeping malice with me after I stopped giving her money. I lost my jewellery business due to the demolition of my shop in 2014 and because of that; I could no longer support her.
“On Saturday, January 16, around 4pm, I returned from work and I met her at home. When I greeted her, she shunned me. I was surprised because I never had any disagreement with her.
“Before I knew it, one of her children, Bose (Showole), punched me in the left eye. I fought back. Her grandchild, Enitan, used stone to hit me in the same eye, while the woman herself hit me with a chair. Blood started coming out from the eye.”
She said she reported the assault at the Adeniji Adele Police Station and from there, she was referred to the Lagos Island General Hospital, where the doctors told her she had lost the use of her left eye.
A medical report from the hospital, signed by one J.O. Owuye, said the victim was diagnosed with, “left periorbital swelling, abrusion at anterior chest wall.”
It was learnt that the police arrested the 79-year-old, but later released her on bail after the two other suspects, Showole and Enitan, were produced by the family.
Lawal, however, accused the Investigating Police Officer, Ajekigbe Sarah, of siding with the suspects against her.
She alleged that the IPO deliberately prevented her from completing her statement at the station.
“She stopped me midway and said I should go to the hospital for treatment.
“But when I returned to finish writing the statement, she said it was no longer necessary. Even the DPO queried her for the action,” she added.
Her father, Alhaji Ahmed Oshodi, called for justice.
But the septuagenarian suspect, Awakan, denied the allegations.
In her statement to the police she said, “It was about 4pm. I was at home when Alhaja (Lawal) came in and greeted me and I told her not to greet me again.
“Alhaja is the wife of my son. I asked her not to greet me because the previous day, she abused me indirectly and I decided not to reply her greetings again.
“So, when she came in and greeted me, I shunned her, but one of my daughters intervened.”
She said Lawal and her daughter had an argument which degenerated into a fight.
“I don’t know how she got injured in the eye,” she added.
Showole, in her defence, said she intervened because Lawal, who was her brother’s wife, was “abusing my mother and pointing a finger at her”.
“I pushed her hand and she slapped me on the face.
“Then we started fighting. She held my clothes and I did the same. I don’t know what happened to her eye,” she said.
Enitan denied involvement in the fight.
She said the fight was between Lawal and Showole.
The police, however, arraigned the trio before a Tinubu Magistrate’s Court on three counts of assault occasioning harm.
The charges read in part, “That you, Aduke Awakan, Bose Shobowale and Oduntan Eniola, on January 16, 2016, did unlawfully assault one Olasunkanmi Lawal, by giving her fist blows and injuring her with a crate of eggs and stone that led to injury in her left eye.”
The police prosecutor, I. Okeke, said the offence was punishable under sections 409, 171 and 170 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and elected summary trial.
The Magistrate, Mr. A.A. Adefulire, admitted them to bail in the sum of N20,000 with two sureties in like sum.
The case was adjourned till March 24, 2016.