The family of late Ronke Shonde (nee Bewaji) has reacted to the allegations levelled against her by her husband, Lekan.
The first and only surviving child of the family, Bolatito Bewaji, told PUNCH Metro on Tuesday that Lekan allegedly killed her sister due to jealousy and insecurity.
She said the problem started when Ronke discovered that her husband had a child outside wedlock, which affected their marriage.
Bolatito said her sister had endured a long period of domestic abuse, adding that sometime in December 2015, she almost packed out of his house.
PUNCH Metro had reported how Lekan, a dockworker in the Apapa area of Lagos State, allegedly killed Ronke, his wife of eight years, at their home in the Idimu-Egbeda area last Thursday.
The matter was reported at the Idimu Police Division.
Lekan, who spoke to our correspondent while in hiding, had claimed that his late wife was unfaithful to him, adding that he caught her discussing her sexual escapades with a lover on the telephone.
On Monday, the 51-year-old Abeokuta, Ogun State indigene, submitted himself to the police.
Bolatito, who spoke at the family house on Ogunsiji Close, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, however, said her sister would not have died if she had listened when she (Bolatito) and their mother begged her to leave the house after a series of abuse.
She said, “The first case of abuse which I can remember happened sometime in 2012. The most recent was in December 2015, when we were still mourning the death of my brother. My mother was in the house with them when he started to verbally assault her. It was getting heated and my mum had to immediately leave the house. My mum called me and I went to a police station closest to the house. The policemen there said I could not report the case since I was not the victim.”
She said she went to her sister’s house, but her husband refused to let her go, which created a scene on their street.
“My mother said I must make sure she packed her belongings. I started begging her to follow me, and she stood up and went ahead of me. But as I stepped out, I discovered that she had gone back. When I returned to their house, I found her in bed.
“I called her and said, ‘my sister, do you want to die? We don’t want to lose you. We just lost our second born. I know you are a loving person and you care about your family, but you have to quit this marriage.’ At this point, she (Ronke) started crying,” Bolatito added.
It was learnt that a pastor on the street and the landlady of the house came out to intervene and beg on behalf of Lekan, who was also pleading and saying it was the devil’s handiwork.
Bolatito said her mother insisted she followed them back or she signed an undertaking at a police station that whatever happened to her, the family would not be involved.
She said her sister’s latest problem started after a woman turned up in their home with a child.
She explained that Lekan, who was caught unawares by the visit, started begging his wife for forgiveness.
Bolatito said, “My sister called me and said her husband had a child outside wedlock. She said somebody brought the child to the house and said her husband was the father. She was shattered by that news and from that time, she started keeping to herself.
“Lekan asked her to forgive him, saying it was the devil’s handiwork. He would kneel and beg in the kitchen and bathroom. He promised to do a DNA test to know if the child was truly his own, but he didn’t do it. He started sending people to beg her. But she decided to stop talking to him.”
On the infidelity accusation, Bolatito said her sister never had any relationship out of wedlock, saying the relationship between Ronke and the manager in question was professional.
She also said Lekan did not buy her two cars as he claimed.
“She has been struggling to raise N70,000 to change the gearbox of her car. My sister would sometimes ask me for money for her children’s school fees and other things, but he (Lekan) would check her account and ask who sent the money and they would start fighting over it.
“Since we lost our brother, the two of us became close and we promised to stay together to take care of our mum. But now, see what he has done to our family,” she added.
Another family member, who asked not to be named, said when Ronke refused to take any action on the child born out of wedlock, her husband checked her phones to know if she was dating another person in retaliation.
He said aside from the general manager that the suspect mentioned, he had accused her of dating at least three other people in her office.
He said, “He would pick her phone and would query her on numbers not in her contact, he would ask who it was and why he was calling. Before she got her job, whenever she was going for an interview, he would commission a motorcyclist to trail her and check if she actually went for the interview or not.
“If she told him she was going to see a friend, she would call that friend some minutes later and said he could not reach his wife on her mobile phone and would like to talk to her through the friend’s phone; just to check if she was there.
“At another time, he started waiting for her at the gate at night to see who would drop her at the gate.
“It got to a point that he sent friendship request to all her male friends on Facebook and got their contacts and started calling them and harassing them. The man is insecure and jealous.”
The family member described the late Ronke as a loving woman who cared for her family and died because she refused to leave her family.
He said, “Ronke was a loving person. The only thing that mattered to her was her family and her children. Even when things were bad, she would call her sister to borrow money to pay rent or pay the children’s school fees.”
Meanwhile, our correspondent gathered that the family were already making plans to bury the 36-year-old, as the police await the result of the autopsy.
The police spokesperson, SP Dolapo Badmos, said investigations were ongoing.