For the three children of the late Alhaji Hakeem Salaudeen, life suddenly turned upside down recently, when their mother, 39-year-old Omotayo allegedly connived with an ex-convict, Oladapo Dolapo, to murder him.
Expectedly the tragic incident has put the children in a pathetic condition of having to fend for themselves while their mother is now gnashing her teeth in regret in custody at Ilesa Prison, where she was remanded by the court following her arraignment by the Osun State Police Command.
The children, Barakat, 17, Uthman, 15 and 12-year-old Fatima, despite urgings by members of the extended family, have elected to continue residing in their parents’ home, to keep it warm and open, as it were, rather than relocate to the family house in the Agowande area of Osogbo. Since the gruesome murder of their father, they have been living alone in the big apartment located on the sleepy street.
One of the children, Uthman and the elder sister, Barakat, told Sunday Sun they preferred to live in the house alone located in a suburb of Osogbo, the capital city of Osun State.
“We can only go out when we want to visit our grandma,” they said together. The grandmother he referred to is the 95-year-old mother of their late dad, and who is fondly called Alhaja Mosobalaje.
Prodded to explain how they have been coping, especially with respect to food, Barakat said: “We still have foodstuff in the house. The foodstuff that mummy bought is still remaining. That is what we are eating now.”
But how will they survive if the food finishes, Sunday Sun sought to know, and she said: “We don’t know. That is why we want the law enforcement agents to forgive our mummy so that she can come back home and take care of us. Family members alone can’t do everything for us.”
At this point, the three children could no longer hold back tears and they began to sob, wondering what would become of the beautiful plans their father laid for them.
Barakat, who just finished from Delightsome Group of Schools, wants to study at the Obafemi Awolowo University to become an accountant. Her brother, Uthman wants to go to the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) and become a soldier. But the youngest, Fatima wants to study Theatre Arts and become an actress.
Uthman and Fatima will be in SSS III and JSS III respectively in the same school as from next session.
Meanwhile, more details have emerged on how the tragedy that befell them, when residents of the sleepy area woke up and heard the shocking news that one of their neighbours had been hacked to death by an unknown assailant the previous night.
Sunday Sun gathered that Salaudeen, who was in his 40s, was gruesomely murdered in his house about 3.00 am by his wife who hired an ex-convict, Oladapo Dolapo. The ex-convict is alleged to have stabbed Salaudeen in the stomach with a knife as his wife choked him with a pillow.
At the headquarters of the Osun Police Command, where she was paraded along with her accomplice, Omotayo confessed that she and Dolapo connived to commit the crime.
“I choked him with a pillow, after having s*x with him and Dolapo stabbed him to death with a knife. I never thought it would turn out this way. I hired Oladapo Dolapo to help me kill my husband.”
Dolapo, 24, admitted that the woman contracted him to kill the man after promising to give him whatever he wanted if the operation was successful. He disclosed that the deceased’s wife, promised him a befitting accommodation and other largesse.
While parading the suspect, the Commissioner of Police, Olafimihan Adeoye disclosed that Mr. Salaudeen Adesina Jimoh of 3, Engineer Adesina Salawu Street, Osogbo, reported the case at the station on May 12, 2017. He said that on the fateful day about 3:00 am, two unknown men entered his brother’s house, stabbed him to death with knife but nothing was carted away.
Adeoye further explained that a team of police detectives and patrol men went to the scene, where the following inscriptions were found on the wall of the deceased’s house: “No Price, No Pay,” “Aye Axe” and “Forgiveness is a sin.”
The CP said investigation by the police revealed that Omotayo did not only hire Dolapo but actively participated in killing her husband.
The police later arraigned the suspects in court, from where they were remanded at Ilesa Prison.
In an interaction with Sunday Sun, Omotayo said she had lost interest in her marriage, though she confessed that her husband was a good person who always took care of her needs and the needs of her children.
“We’ve been married for 17 years. We are blessed with three children aged 17, 15 and 12. He did not offend me. I was just mad at him,” she said.
Sunday Sun’s investigations indicated that Omotayo and her accomplice after murdering the man, made it look like armed robbers killed him.
A family source said that Dolapo, who made open confessions to the family members at the police station, before he was paraded alongside Omotayo, said that after he had agreed with the woman to carry out the dastardly assignment, she smuggled him into the house around 6.00 pm when the deceased had not come home and hid him inside a small shack made of woods at the back of the house. He remained there until the husband came home in the night.
He disclosed that when the man got home, his wife received him warmly and served him dinner. When the man was eating, the woman went out of the sitting room and met the assailant where he was hiding and told him that her husband had arrived and was eating his dinner in the sitting room.
Before then, when the eldest child, Barakat, noticed that her father had come back and wanted to greet him and also ask him to take her to a JAMB examination centre the following morning, her mother chased her back into the children’s room. She also asked all the children to go and sleep and warned them not to disturb their father.
It was at that point that she then took Dolapo into one of the rooms while the three children were in their room. When she got back to the room, she lured the husband to their room after he had had his dinner. She began to caress him and they eventually had sexual intercourse.
After the session, she left her husband in bed and went out naked, pretending to go and have a shower in the bathroom. Instead she went to meet Dolapo, where he was hiding in one of the rooms and told him that her husband would soon fall asleep so that they could execute their plan.
When she returned to the room again, she joined her husband in bed until she noticed that he had fallen asleep. That was between 2.00 am and 3.00 am. She then sneaked out quietly and led the assailant into the bedroom where the man was sleeping.
Once back in the room, she slammed a pillow on his face trying to choke him, while Dolapo attacked him with a knife and killed him.
To cover up the crime, they made inscriptions on the wall of the house to indicate that the deceased was a member of a cult group, whose members must have come to kill him. The inscriptions read thus: “No price, no pay,” “Aye axe,” and “Forgiveness is a sin.”
She collected the deceased’s phone which was left on a stool, went to the children’s room and also took their only phone, removed other items and gave to the assailant to take away, to make it look like the robbers who killed her husband made away with the items.
Sunday Sun gathered that she asked Dolapo to remove his shirt and hang it on top of the fence as evidence that it was left there by one of the robbers who was trying to escape.
For Dolapo to be able to escape, the woman gave her late husband’s jalabia dress to him to wear, to impersonate him in case he was confronted by vigilantes, who knew the husband often wore the jalabia in the neighbourhood.
Then she opened the gate quietly, to let out Dolapo, but he was noticed by some vigilantes, who truly mistook him for the deceased because of the jalabia he wore.
Sunday Sun gathered that the assailant sold the deceased’s phone to a friend. When the crime was reported, MTN was contacted and the police tracked down the buyer.
It was the buyer who helped the police to trace the assailant and he was later identified as an ex-convict.
When he was paraded by the police, Dolapo said he used to shuttle between Lagos and Osogbo “to do runs.” According to him, whenever he was broke, he would go to Lagos to do ‘runs’ and if he made good money, he would come and spend it in Osogbo.
He disclosed further that it was during his stay in Osogbo that the woman got in touch with him and they struck the deal that led to the killing of Alhaji Salaudeen.
The deceased’s younger brother, Adetunji Idris Babatunde, who spoke with Sunday Sun, said that his late brother told him two weeks before he was killed that he suspected that his wife was planning to kill him.
But when he asked if he had any serious contention with her, the deceased said there was no serious issue between them; but he was just having a feeling that the woman would kill him one day.
On the character of the deceased, Babatunde said: “He was a responsible man to the core. He was a businessman and very responsible and committed to his family. He didn’t live a wayward life. He even bought a car for the wife. I never met them quarrelling any day. Whenever I visited them, I always noticed that they loved each other.”
Asked what he could suspect as being responsible for the sudden change in the couple’s relationship, Babatunde said it could be due to his late brother’s decision to marry the second wife.
According to him, the second wife identified as Tawakalitu who lives in a different house and Omotayo often had quarrels.
Uthman also confirmed that his late father was a nice and responsible family man who loved his family dearly. His parents were very close and loved each other very well. He added that they used to go out together in his father’s car and also shared the same bedroom.
But did the mother ever complain about his late father’s attitude or character in the presence of the children? Uthman said: “Mummy used to complain sometimes that daddy’s behaviour towards her had changed since he married the second wife. She used to complain that daddy was not giving her attention like before and was not providing all her needs as he used to do.”
“Mummy was always disturbing daddy to look for a job for her or open a big shop for her but he did not do that. So, mummy was always complaining that she was not satisfied with the small shop she had. Since then, they would quarrel from time to time. But it was not serious.”
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