By Esther Onyegbula
Modinat Ododfin, the 28-year-old woman who narrowly escaped being hacked to death by her neighbours at their compound in Igbesa area of Ogun State, over the week, gives a vivid account of how she survived the attack.
Speaking from the hospital bed where she is undergoing treatment, the mother of one told Crime Guard that she was lucky to be alive after the ordeal she passed through in the hands of her neighbours and the daughter.
How the trouble started
Trouble, according to her, started after she returned from the popular Igbe market last penultimate Sunday, and met her seven year-old son, Hassan, crying profusely. “When I inquired from him, he told me that Alhaja’s grand-children beat him up. While I was scolding the children who had beaten my son, their grand-mother, Alhaja, rushed out. Angered that I was cautioning her grand-children, she began to abuse me. Later, Alhaja and her daughter attacked me with razor blade during a scuffle that ensued in Ipodo compound, Igbesa area of Ogun state.”
Modinat said the Alhaja who lives four buildings from her compound slapped her several times, tore her clothes and made away with the wrapper where she tied money from sales she made from the market. “I warned her to stop insulting me but she continued. When the insult became unbearable, I insulted her too. Immediately, she attacked and slapped me. I slapped her back and we began to fight. She tore my clothes, took the head tie of my wrapper in which I tied the N10,000 I made from sales from the night market and my phone. Although the scuffle was temporarily brought to an end when neighbours intervened and separated us, all attempts made by them for Alhaja to return my head tie fell on deaf ears.
“Later in the night, she brought some miscreants popularly called area boys to my compound which is about four houses from hers. Luckily, the main entrance to the compound had already been locked so they could not enter to attack me. The next morning, some elders in the community who took it upon themselves to broker peace said they would resolve the issue early in the morning after our usual prayers in the mosque. Obviously, still brooding over the fight, Alhaja and her daughter attacked me again on Wednesday evening with a blade which they used to cut my hand, neck and belly. The attack took place while I was going to buy candle.
She kept shouting that she was going to pluck out my eyes. I didn’t know she was holding a razor blade.
When she attempted to cut my face, I used my hand to defend myself and the blade cut my hand. It was at that time that Alhaja held me and her daughter slashed my neck and belly with the blade. I was lucky that the blade didn’t slit my artery if not, maybe I won’t be alive today. They timed the attack because people were praying inside the mosque and could not come to my rescue even when I was shouting and calling for help. I kept shouting till people who were praying in the mosque finished their prayers and rescued me. By the time they arrived the scene, it was already late as I was bleeding from different parts of my body.”
When Crime Guard visited the community, some residents who pleaded anonymity gave their own account of the incident. One of them who witnessed the incident said, “we were at the mosque praying when we heard people shouting. By the time we concluded the prayers and came out from the mosque, it was already late as Modinat was bleeding from different parts of her body. We had to call the police from Igbesa division who came and arrested Alhaja Barsira Akinde and her daughter, Saheedia Akinde. The case was later transferred to Agbara divisional police station. It was the police that took Modinat to the private hospital where she was admitted.”
Pleas for amicable settlement
While the victim is still receiving treatment at Agbara Medical centre, the suspect and her daughter have been granted bail.
It was, however gathered that family members of the victim have decided to withdraw the case following pleadings from the suspects for amicable settlement. Husband of the victim , Baba Odofin, confirmed that much and stated that “we initially wanted to go to court but due to the pressure from the people who attacked my daughter, we decided to settle the case. We hand the case over to God.”