A trader, Funmilola Adeodu, has committed suicide in Ilogbo-Eremi, in the Morogbo area of Lagos State.
The 28-year-old mother of two was said to have taken a local insecticide, Sniper, to spite her mother, Ifatunmibi Adegbenle, for allegedly maltreating her niece, Rachael Balogun.
The deceased’s husband, Samuel Adeodu, told PUNCH Metro that Ifatunmibi always fought his wife for indulging Rachael’s bad behaviour.
Rachael was said to be living with Ifatunmibi, but usually ran to Funmilola’s house anytime she was beaten for misbehaving.
Samuel said, “My wife and I had no fight. In fact, we woke up on the same bed on Friday, October 26, when this incident happened. The issue was among my wife, her mother and the niece.
“The niece, Rachael, is very stubborn. Whenever her grandmother corrected her, she would run to my place to meet my wife because we all live within the same neighbourhood. This usually caused disagreement between my wife and her mother. The mother usually cursed her for indulging Rachael. I heared her saying that nobody could take Rachael away from her because she had been nurturing her since she was a baby and my wife used to say that she was going to kill herself over it.
“I was working when I received a call that my wife drank Sniper. They even said before she drank the insecticide, she had taken a local rat poison in the presence of her parents, but people gave her palm oil. It was after that attempt that she went out to buy Sniper and drank it before they could stop her.
“My thinking is that when she was rescued after taking the rat poison, it should be clear to them that she meant it when she said she would commit suicide. So, they should not have released her to go back to her shop alone; what were they thinking? It means that they killed her, because she died in their presence.”
Ifatunmibi told PUNCH Metro that she had on several occasions cautioned her daughter against encouraging Rachael’s misconduct.
She explained that Funmilola had already taken the rat poison before coming to her place, adding that efforts to prevent her from drinking the Sniper proved abortive.
The Osun State indigene said, “Whenever I corrected Rachael, she would run to Funmilola’s place to report me and I always pleaded with her to ignore Rachael, but she did not listen to me.
“Rachael was abandoned when she was just 11-month-old and I have been taking care of her ever since. She’s about 16-year-old now and I see nothing wrong in correcting her for doing something wrong since she lives with me.
“On the day of the incident, I wanted to correct Richael for stealing N50 when she ran to Funmilola’s shop. When Funmilola came, she shouted that I always maltreated Rachael and that she was going to kill herself to give me a bad name.
“We were begging her when someone said she had already taken rat poison. We quickly held her and gave her red oil and coconut water to calm her down.
“We thought that it was over when she said she was going back home, until she returned with Sniper and drank it. We tried to stop her, but it was too late. I don’t know what Rachael told Funmilola that made her to commit suicide.”
Funmilola’s father, Hassan, said the deceased also attempted to poison her own son, Joseph, but was stopped, adding that she was counselled for hours after her first suicidal attempt failed.
“I was the one that stopped her from poisoning Joseph. In fact, Funmilola had already opened his mouth to give him rat poison before I took him to my wife’s shop. It was at that point she ate the remaining poison before people intervened and rescued her.
“Funmilola’s friend even counseled her for three hours and when she was fine, she told me that she was going home. I gave her the go ahead and warned her not to fight with anybody. I also told her to pay me a visit the following day and she left. All of a sudden, she came back with Sniper and started saying she was going to kill herself.
“We had some distance between us, so before I could collect the local insecticide from her, she had taken it. She even bit me while trying to stop her,” the 50-year-old said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, confirmed the incident, adding that the deceased committed suicide over custody of the niece.
He said, “We are investigating a case of suicide. Unfortunately, the person that is at the centre of the story is gone; she did not leave a suicide note. But from what we gathered from the family, she had a tussle with her mother over the custody of a child that was raised by the mother. She wanted the girl to live with her and the mother refused and that was a source of frustration for her.
“From what we gathered, that was the only issue she had against her mother. But nobody ever imagined that she would be so pained to the point of taking her own life.”