The younger sister of late Mrs. Roseline Sougie, who was allegedly killed by her husband of 26 years, says the suspect nearly beat her to death sometime in 2015.
The sister, Mrs. Philomena Shaibu, told Punch Metro that the husband, Jafaru Sougie, in anger used a pillow to stifle the mother of five while she was sleeping.
She added that Roseline’s death on Friday in their rented apartment on Araromi Street, Oshodi, Lagos, was the end of a long period of domestic abuse.
This is just as the last child of the family, Happiness, marked her 9th year birthday at Shaibu’s house in Ikorodu on Sunday.
Punch correspondent had reported that unemployed 49-year-old Jafaru allegedly used a knife to slit the wife’s throat around 2am on Friday, after which he took a poison.
He was vomiting in the bathroom when one of their children, Richmond, and his aunt, who had slept in the living room, went into the inner room to wake up Roseline only to discover that she was dead.
Forty-six-year-old Roseline, a frozen foods seller in Ijora, was the breadwinner of the family and had reportedly wanted to quit the marriage, but was advised to rescind her decision for the sake of the children.
However, Shaibu on Sunday, said her sister fled to their village in Edo State in 2015 after the husband stifled her during another argument.
She said, “Last year, my sister was sleeping when her husband used a pillow to cover her mouth and she nearly died. She managed to escape and fled to our village. The case was reported to the police in Oshodi. He went to the village to beg her and after three months they reconciled.
“It was the children that kept her in the relationship. It was unfortunate that she died because of the children. All I want is that he should not go unpunished. My sister suffered a lot to keep the marriage going. We want justice for her.”
The President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said her group had contacted the police on the matter and would monitor it to ensure justice in the end.
She said, “There is a curious rise in the spate of domestic violence; husband killing wife and vice-versa. People must be careful about the kind of relationship they get into. We have taken this up. Roseline’s death is a colossal loss. We stand with the family at this time of grief. We wait for the autopsy report of Roseline. Jafaru must be alive to face justice.”
But the second child of the family, 16-year-old Richmond, a Senior Secondary School 2 pupil, said he had forgiven his father.
“We just have to move ahead with our lives. Mum meant a lot to us; she was our hope, but at the same time, I have forgiven dad,” he said.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that Jafaru, who is in the custody of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, had yet to speak to investigators on the incident as he was still recuperating from the poison he took.
The Lagos State deputy spokesperson of the police, DSP Damasus Ozoani, said, “The matter is still under investigation. The suspect has not given the police his own version of the incident and the circumstance in which the act was committed has yet to be determined.”