Family of my husband’s killer tried to bribe me with chicken –Widow of driver murdered by colleague in Ekiti
Two years after Ojo Ogunsakin, a 42-year-old commercial driver in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, was murdered by a colleague, the wound still remains fresh in the heart of his widow, Adesola. A visit to her house at the Ajilosun area of the town will testify to this as the once bubbly woman has become an old shadow of herself.
Even when an Ado Ekiti High Court sentenced the killer, Abednego Ajibola, popularly known as Abengo, to death about 107 weeks after her husband was killed, it was with mixed feelings that the mother of four, who valued the quality time her late husband spent with her and their children, received the news.
Ogunsakin was killed on March 10, 2017 by Abengo at the Akure Garage along Ikere Road in Ado Ekiti following a misunderstanding between two drivers at the park. According to the victim’s widow, the judgment of death on the culprit was not only divine but a consolation for all the pains she and her children had suffered since their breadwinner was taken away from them by death. Every day and night, the 40-year-old woman wishes that her husband’s death could be a long dream she could wake up from.
“How I wish my husband could return home one day,” she said while fighting back tears. “How I wish the news of his death was a dream I could one day wake up from. Losing him is one pain I may never get over,” she added painfully.
The petty trader, who has been raising their four children – two boys and two girls –alone since Ogunsakin’s demise, said “life has been rough and tough. But I thank God with whose mercy we are forging ahead”.
Commenting on the death judgment delivered on the killer of her husband, the woman said: “It is God that judges. The judge saw that what he (the killer) did was bad.
“It is the judgment of God. Since the day my husband was killed, I have been saying the killer must pay with his life. There is no way you can take a human life and expect to walk freely.”
According to her, when the people of Abengo sensed that he might be sentenced to death, they started making entreaties to her and her husband’s family members for them to withdraw the matter.
“On December 24, 2018, I received a call from one Tope, a younger brother to Abengo, who said he wanted to see me.
“When I, alongside three others, met him at a popular junction, he brought rice, yams and chicken which he said were for me and my children.
“He said he would want me to write and sign a paper to withdraw the case from court. They wanted to bribe and buy my conscience with chicken but I rejected his gifts and told him that there was no price that could replace my husband and that secondly it was a government case.
“Funnily enough, all of them had abandoned me and the children since my husband was killed up until that time.
“About two weeks before the judgment, a friend of Abengo also came to me with a document imploring me to sign it for onward presentation to the judge so that the case could be withdrawn.
“I told him to go and meet with the family of my late husband because such a decision could not be taken by me alone,” she said.
Justice Lekan Ogunmoye had on March 29, 2019 sentenced Ajibola to death by hanging for killing. While delivering the verdict, the judge said, “The ingredients of the offence of murder had been established against the accused person and he is convicted accordingly.
“The accused person is hereby sentenced to death by hanging on the neck till he dies. May the Almighty God have mercy on his soul.”
In the course of the trial, prosecution counsel, Mr Gbemiga Adaramola, called six witnesses including the Investigating Police Officer, Sgt Kamaru Momoh, wife of the deceased, and Dr. J.A Omotayo of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, who conducted the post mortem on the body of the deceased.
Abengo had in his confessional statement to the Police, said a brawl broke out between him and the deceased over loading arrangements on the said date, adding that he was slapped by the victim, a situation which provoked him to retaliate by attacking Ogunsakin with a stone thereby causing his death.
But wife of the deceased, claimed that the condemned person was economical with the truth. According to her, the killing of her husband on March 10, 2017 apart from being a plot by Abengo to satisfy a selfish and evil agenda, was the climax of the conspiracy against him by some individuals at the park. The distraught woman said Abengo could not account for her husband’s commercial vehicle in his care, which he claimed was involved in an accident and impounded at a police station in Akure, pointing that it could be the reason for her husband’s killing.
Speaking further, the widow told Saturday PUNCH that trouble began in November 2016 for her husband, who was deputy chairman of the unit, when he was suspended from the park based on flimsy reasons.
“Sometimes in November 2016, drivers from the park came in about 20 buses to my former shop at Agric Olope area of Ado Ekiti.
“They came with cutlasses and canes and said they had come to kill my husband who was on suspension and at my shop that moment.
“They beat him up, scattered everything in my shop and whisked him away. But the saving grace that day was that one of the drivers was kind enough to open the door of the vehicle for him to escape. He told me later that their plan was to kill him.
“So, I told him to be staying at home rather than coming out which could expose him to further attacks. It was in January 2017 that he was recalled to the park, I think after the intervention of some officials from other levels.
“I was not even favourably disposed to his return to the park when he was recalled, but he said everything had been settled.
“On the day that he was killed, he got a call from the unit chairman at the park that they needed to go to Akure and that it would be an opportunity to see his vehicle at police station in Akure.
“But about 30 minutes after he left home, somebody came to inform me that something had happened at the park.
“I rushed down, I met my husband in a pool of blood gasping. I cried that he should not be allowed to die. We rushed him to a private hospital nearby before he was moved to Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital where he died two days later.
“They killed my husband for no reason and threw me and my children in everlasting pain,” she said.