By Evelyn Usman
Locating number 5 Folorunsho Street in Oworonsoki area of Lagos didÂ not come easy as those asked for directionÂ around Iyana-OworoÂ feigned ignorance of the area by simply shrugging their shoulders, while others who deigned to render assistance merely misdirected this reporter.
The area came in the news following what has been described as the mysterious death of a couple on Saturday. The couple, Mr and Mrs Stephen Abiola, wereÂ last seen on Friday, hale and hearty, wearing same attire as they walked towards their apartment, while exchanging greetings with fellow residents. But little did the residents suspect that would be the last time they would see the couple alive. Regrettably, as you read this story, the remains of the couple are lying at the Isolo General Hospital Mortuary. They were reportedly found stone dead in their apartment the next morning, with a foamy substance oozing fromÂ their mouths.
The circumstances surrounding their deathÂ are still shrouded in uncertainty as the PoliceÂ are yet to unravel the cause. Investigations by the Police, according to the Lagos State Police Command spokesman, Mr Frank Mba , revealed that there was no sign of struggle or mark of violence on them to suggest whether they could have been attacked.Â Mba who described the incident as mysterious,Â also saidÂ that there wasÂ no left-over food or drink when the entire apartment was searched.
Investigation by Vanguard Metro revealed that 45-year-old Stephen got married to his 35-year wife four years ago, a union which unfortunately didÂ not produce any child. Kemi, an Oyo State indigene was said to have left her husband for another man she had a baby for but returned back to her matrimonial home last year.
Kemi, an auxiliary nurse, as gathered, hawked medicine around the area, a trade described as lucrative as she enjoyed a lot of patronage. But for this trade, nobody would have known them because they were said to have moved into the area in January this year. Stephen, on the other hand, was a painter.
A neighbour who pleaded anonymity described the late Stephen as a perfect gentle man. According to him: â€œHe loved his wife so much that he did almost everything for her. He would wash the plates, cook and even wash her clothes. There was never a time they would be going to church without themÂ being dressed in same clothing material. You would never find them fighting or even quarreling over the issue of their childless state. So this came to us a deadly blowâ€.
There is, however, a twist in the whole incident as the couple were suspected to have mistakenly poisoned themselves as a can of insecticide was said to have been found just by their bed side. Baale of Idi-Araba, Oworonsoki , Mr Razaq Jankalawi Ayodele who described the incident as strange, told Vanguard Metro that: â€œ Two of my chiefsÂ informed me of the incident and my Otun and I immediately followed them to the place to find out what happened. When we got there the landlord had gone to call the police . When I entered,Â I saw the gory scene and was shocked. The husband was in front while his wife was behind him.Â Even the soup they prepared had finished. I opened the pot myself and nothing suspicious was found .
â€œWhat is mysterious to all of us is the fact that none of the three phones found in the apartment had a SIM card. The SIM cards could not be found even after a search was conducted round the apartment. I think they killed themselves. But the reason for this we cannot sayâ€.
On his part, the landlord of the house, Mr Lanre Adekoya who was sighted at theÂ Oworonsoki Police Station, Monday, when he was invited for questioning, refused at first to speak. He only said the late couple moved into his house in January 10, 2010.
But his statement with the Police showed that he had on that fateful day gone to call the late Stephen for a meeting. According to the statement, the deceased had initially informed of his inability to attend the meeting between his landlord and other tenants, saying his wife would represent him.
But at about 8am, some customers who had come to buy drugs from Kemi were said to have banged on the door several times without response. The landlord, as gathered, told the customers to leave and come back later, apparently thinking the couple could have gone to a vigil the previous night.
But apprehension reportedly set in at about 9am when neither Stephen nor his wife was present at that meeting. Out of curiosity, the landlord was said to have gone to call them only to be greeted with silence from within. It was not until the door was forced open that they beheld the unexpected.
Effort to get the reaction of a man who claimed to be a relative of the late Kemi failed as he said he was too heart-broken to speak.Â As at the timeÂ Vanguard Metro was leaving, no relative of the late Stephen was said to have visited.