A hairdresser, Folashade Odubayo, is cooling her heels in the police custody after she was arrested for throwing her two-year-old son, Rilwan Asore, into a well in Ajegunle, Ikorodu area of Lagos.
The boy was recovered dead from the well after some residents of the community, who saw his body floating around 8am on Monday, reported the incident to the police at the Owode Onirin Division.
Odubayo, who fled the scene, was reportedly tracked down on Wednesday at her residence in Iketu, a neighbouring community.
The suspect is an indigene of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State and her three children, including Rilwan, are fathered by three different men.
While the father of the deceased child, Olalekan Asore, claimed Rilwan was killed, the suspect said the kid died at her boyfriend’s residence in Ajegunle during a visit.
Odubayo, a 30-year-old hairdresser, told Saturday PUNCH that she threw the corpse into the well out of confusion. She said Rilwan had a hole in the heart which made him to gasp for breath occasionally.
She claimed that the complication recurred around 11pm on Monday while she was with the kid at her boyfriend’s residence in Ajegunle.
She said, “I gave birth to him on the road on my way to a hospital. He started gasping while she was six months old and I took him to Ikorodu General Hospital. I was told that he had a hole in the heart and that I would need about N1.5m to carry out a surgery on him in India.
“I was calling his father and telling him about our child’s case for one year, but he did not show up. I even told his sister about it.
“On July 30, I went to visit my boyfriend, Ola, and took Rilwan along with me. While I was waiting for Ola to come back from work, he started gasping again. I held him to my chest, but he did not survive it. I didn’t know what to do. I was confused. I threw his corpse inside the well because I didn’t know what to tell his father.
“I have two other children – a boy and a girl. I cannot kill my own child. Why should I kill him?”
But Rilwan’s father, Olalekan, stated that his estranged lover never told him that their son was suffering from a heart-related ailment, claiming that the boy was killed.
The 32-year-old, who said he always gave Odubayo money for Rilwan’s upkeep, explained that his sister also assisted whenever he did not have money for his upkeep.
While lamenting that he regretted his relationship with the suspect, the technician said he never knew she had borne two children until she became pregnant for him.
He said, “I am a technician. I usually work at Abeokuta, Ogun State and it can take me weeks before I return to Lagos. Anytime I come back, I always give her money to take care of our child.
“She called me last week and asked where I was. I told her I was at Abeokuta and promised to see her when I came back. On Wednesday morning, I went to her house, but I did not meet her. I was leaving when her mother called me back.
“She directed me to her son, Taiye, who told me my son had died and had been buried in Ikorodu. I was shocked and wondered what could have happened to him.
“Meanwhile, there was a time the man (Taiye) confronted me for not coming to visit my son. He said if my son died, he would throw his body away. My son was killed. Why didn’t they allow me or my sister to see his corpse before he was buried?”
Olalekan stated that Folashade used to call him that Rilwan was admitted to a hospital, but said he would not meet her and the boy on getting to the hospital.
“If I called her on getting to the hospital, she would say my son had just been discharged. I would go home to check on the boy, but I would not see any sign of sickness in him. She forced me to pay N10,000 for the treatment. At times, she would collect N15,000 from me. She did that often,” he added.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, said the suspect had been transferred to the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for further investigation.
Cc: Punch NG