For about eight months now the remains of Mr Adeyinka Olusa, a former auditor at the School of Health Technology, Akure, Ondo State, have been in the morgue of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State.
It was gathered that the deceased had not been allowed to rest in peace because of the controversy surrounding his death as his relatives and widow are at daggers drawn.
A member of the family and immediate younger sister of the deceased, Modupe Taiwo, who resides in Ibadan, Oyo State, alleged that the 57-year-old suffered domestic violence before his death.
She claimed that a death certificate in her custody showed that although he died from sepsis and bronchopneumonia, the secondary cause stated “extensive superficial burns injuries.”
However, the widow, Toyin Olusa, told PUNCH Metro that the autopsy report read to the family by the police absolved her of culpability, blaming the death of her husband on Taiwo, whom she said took the deceased to UCH, Ibadan, where he died.
The spokesperson for Zone 11 Police Command, DSP Sola Babalola, said to avoid being seen as partial, the police referred the case file to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for advice.
The deceased’s sister, Taiwo, said she was not aware that her brother was sick and had an operation until a relative hinted her in October 2017.
She said she contacted Toyin on the telephone, who confirmed the information and requested money for his treatment.
“She said my brother was ill and had an operation and that they were in a private hospital. I asked for the nature of the sickness, but she said she did not know it. I told her that I would come to see them, but she said I should not bother because all they needed was just money. She sent an account number and I sent some money. I asked them to take him to a general hospital,” Taiwo said.
She explained that she later visited Adeyinka at the hospital, adding that some of the workers allegedly said the wife had been maltreating him despite his sickness.
She said after she returned to her base in Ibadan, attempts to get updates on the brother’s treatment were frustrated by the wife who allegedly shunned her calls.
Taiwo said she later sent a representative to the hospital, who told her that the victim, who had been discharged due to the wife alleged misbehaviour, was readmitted after he suffered burns.
She alleged that the victim sustained the burns after the wife poured hot water on him at home.
“I was told that while my brother was at home, his wife poured hot water on him, claiming that it was to wake him up after he went into a coma. When I confronted her, she admitted to it. I have her on record.
“He was rushed back to the hospital and the management asked her to sign an undertaking that she would step aside while the treatment lasted.
“I went to the emergency ward and saw that his condition had become critical. I asked that he be transferred to the UCH Ibadan,” she added.
She said she reported the incident to the nearest police station, adding that although Toyin was invited, she did not make a statement.
Taiwo noted that after the victim was stabilised for a few days, he was transferred to the UCH, Ibadan.
“Before we left for the UCH, I asked the wife to bring his clothes and other things, but she refused. I called her telephone number many times, but it rang out.
“By the time we got to Ibadan, he had gone into a coma. I spent a lot of money, hoping that he would survive. He spent a few days at the emergency unit, before he was transferred to a ward.
“Although he could see what was happening around him, he could not talk. When he was told that his wife had come to see him, he shook his head and said he did not want to see her. Unfortunately, he died on December 28, 2017,” she said.
Taiwo said she applied for a “comprehensive autopsy report,” adding that the case at the time was being investigated at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Igbatoro, Akure.
The woman alleged that policemen at the SCIID were compromised and wanted to turn the case against her, adding that her lawyer wrote a petition seeking the transfer of the case to Zone 11, Osogbo.
The petition, dated February 23, 2018, accused the Investigating Police Officer, one Inspector Bayo, of siding with the widow and demanding a N100,000 bribe from Taiwo.
The family lawyer, Babafemi Akenroye, who wrote the petition, alleged that Toyin’s action was based on her discovery of a child that Adeyinka had before their marriage.
“Sir, very recently, it has come to the knowledge of our client that Mrs Toyin Olusa had been assaulting her said husband, late Mr Adeyinka Olusa, for some months before his admission to the hospital based on her recent discovery that he has a 14-year-old daughter, which fact was never disclosed to her by her husband, and that she had sworn openly and severally that it is either she dies or he will die….
“Sir, based on the foregoing, our client honestly believes and reasonably suspects that the death of the late Mr Adeyinka Olusa was caused by the injuries and burns inflicted on him by the hot water poured on him by the said Mrs Toyin Olusa. And that this is in premeditated fulfilment of the aforementioned earlier criminal threats,” the petition read in part.
Taiwo said she later got the death certificate, which allegedly showed that the victim’s death was connected with the hot water the wife allegedly poured on him.
She said although the mortuary bills had been accumulating, she had vowed to get justice for her brother.
“I want justice for my brother and that is why I have not buried the corpse till now. I am comfortable. I don’t care about his property,” she added.
Toyin, in her reaction, said the autopsy report cleared her of any wrongdoing.
She said, “We have received the autopsy report at Zone 11, Osogbo. The autopsy reads, “Prostrate enlargement cancer with stones inside bladder.
“Secondly, it said, ‘Mrs Modupe Taiwo exposed her elder brother to lack of adequate care which led to pneumonia; her name was mentioned in the report.
“After that, she was asked to sign that she took a living person from Akure and brought back a dead person and she should ensure that she took him for burial in their village. That is what she is battling with now because she cannot pay the bills.
“Imagine the kind of hardship that a husband’s family make a widow go through. Modupe and her brother were at Zone 11 when we went to listen to the outcome of the autopsy. They had prepared that I would be jailed. But when they heard the report, they were dumbfounded.
“I was with my husband at the state hospital for eight weeks. How can I kill my husband, a man that did not have a job and God used me to bring him into civil service where he rose to become a director before his death? His younger brother, Soji; I assisted him to get a job at the Adekunle Ajasin University.
“The autopsy report has been out for the past two months. I am a level 13 officer in civil service. Why will I kill my husband? I did not kill my husband. They killed their own family member.”
On the hot water allegation, the widow said it was a lie.
The Zone 11 Police Public Relations Officer, Babalola, said the case file had been taken to the DPP.
He said, “We have the autopsy report and we saw that the deceased died from bronchopneumonia; that is an infection of the lungs, which resulted in the damage of his body tissues and organs.
“The doctor’s opinion said there was no feature of strangulation or violation or struggle on the body of the deceased and there was no evidence of dispute between the deceased and his wife. The allegation, for now, cannot be established.
“However, we decided to transfer the case file to the DPP and we are awaiting its advice.”