Exclusive: I can categorically say I have never beaten my wife- Man accused of beating pregnant wife to death in Lagos speaks to LIB
Over the weekend, news filtered in on social media that a 34-year-old pregnant woman, Olayemisi Ogunbi, was allegedly beaten to death by her husband of seven years and father of her three children, Lukman Ogunbi, at their home in the Ijesha area of Lagos state.
Anonymous persons who posted the news online, accused Mr Ogunbi of beating pregnant Olayemisi, a makeup artiste, and sending her to her parent's house and that the father of the deceased chased her back to her matrimonial home even after she complained that Lukman physically assaulted her in her pregnant state. The anonymous persons alleged that he had finally killed his wife, insinuating that Mr Lukman had subjected Olayemisi to domestic abuse for a long time.
The man in the middle of it all has come out to deny the allegations and has threatened to take legal action against those peddling the rumor.
Speaking to LIB at their home in Ijesha on Wednesday February 5th, Mr Lukman recounted how himself and Olayemisi, his deceased wife, met, fell in love and got married
Olayemisi's family and my family have been family friends for over three to four decades and we happen to live on the same street and while we greeted each other on the street, affection developed and inbetween, we felt it was right for us to wed. So our wedding was July 7th 2012. Just like every other family, we had our dark days were we have our challenges that we resolved like every other couple would resolve their quarell.
We enjoyed our lives together and had happy moments together. We never had any reason for Olayemisi to pack out of my house and there wasn't any moment or a record to show that she was abused.
It's hard to have a session like this because no one planned for early death considering the fact that Olayemisi had two kids, one aged seven, the other one five and the unfortunate incident led to the birth of another which makes it 3.'' he said
Lukman said the sad journey to the death of his pregnant wife started in January when she complained of having contractions when she was just 30 weeks into her pregnancy
''Olayemisi complained of contraction with me, she was 30 weeks pregnant, i.e 7 months. Five days before visiting the hospital, she complained to me about the contractions. That informed her going to LUTH. She had the first and second babies at LUTH and the third baby that we are talking about, she had the antenatal care at LUTH. Apparently, when she had frequent contractions, it informed her decision of going to LUTH.
She visited LUTH on Monday January 13th and she called me and told me that she needed to see a doctor. I was not around at the time as I went out. It was a Monday. So I couldn't go along with her so I requested her elder brother to join her but he was not disposed as well. So I joined Olayemisi about an hour after she arrived the hospital.
She was admitted into the Labour ward and was assessed. The doctors tried managing the pregnancy as it was not her due time to deliver and based on that, they placed her on some medication to reduce any pregnancy induced contraction.
So the doctors were able to manage it from on the 13th to on the 15th. I was always going to her, giving her food, at the same time taking care of other family needs like taking the other two kids to school.
On the 15th, the doctors decided that it would be in her best interest to deliver the baby because even babies can be delivered within that time. At about 5pm, she delivered our baby boy on her own. She did not complain of any major thing. She wasn't rushed to the hospital. She went on her own. She had opportunity for doctors to acess her. I was there all through.
Shortly after the delivery, there was loss of blood so they had to transfuse a couple of pints of blood to stabilize her. The doctors had to contend with the irregular blood pressure as it was going up and down, there was loss of blood and also Sepsis, blood infection. I learnt they (doctors) had to prioritize as they could not attend to all the issues at the same time. They were able to reduce the blood loss by transfusing blood to her and the high blood pressure was managed.
But I was advised at the same time that it is better we have a CT Scan and that she goes into an Intensive Care Unit and that with that, we stand a chance of getting her healthy on time and we committed hundreds of thousands to secure a bed space in the ICU.
Olayemisi was there, we were battling with all of this, Sepsis and between the 15th and 28th, we were there with my inlaws, the father, her only sister, one of her brothers was there all through. We were there to give her the best of attention and prayers that would help her overcome the health issue.
But unfortunately, we lost Olayemisi on the 28th. She was laid to rest on the 1st of February. So having to mourn and contending to stop this false information has been very challenging because if prayer or money can actually stop them. I don't see my wife dying because If I am not in the capacity to do that, I see my inlaws having the capacity to afford that care or prayer or whatsoever would make Olayemisi not to die.'' he said
The bereaved husband said he was still in the hospital working on how he would bury his late wife when he got wind of the false news that he beat her to death. Speaking further, Lukman said
''While I was there at the hospital, because I am a Muslim while Olayemisi was a Christian and according to my faith, I am supposed to lay her to rest but I respected her even when she was alive. So whatsoever she loved was what I loved. So I needed to actually lay Olayemisi to rest on the 29th but because of the enormous bill at LUTH ICU and the need for us to comply with the Christian procedure of laying a body to rest, we could not secure all of this the next day. We needed almost two million Naira to lay her to rest because of the enormous bill at LUTH and also because of the need to secure a permanent space at Atan cemetery.
So in between all of this on the 29th, I got hold of this news. I knew if I attended to it, it would be a distraction. The deserved burial and the deserved last honor to my wife, will not be given. So I decided to ignore it for that period because I was grieving. I now have time to actually attend to my challenges because if I had not done what was needed to my late wife at that time, I wouldn't have another chance to do it beause it is not something I could go back to.
For that reason I chose to ignore the fake news while I told my lawyers to attend to the people that pioneered the fake news. Those that instigated the fake news have been served letters. The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State is on notice and an investigation is ongoing.
If you look at the death certificate, there is no aspect that it was stated battery or assault. There is no evidence to back up any claims that there were marks on her body, and if anyone has a doubt to clear, she was there in LUTH from on 13th to 28th of January, they can visit to find more information.'' he said
Lukman who said he is an engineer and an agriculturist, that he has never raised his hands on his wife.
''Like I mentioned earlier, if there is anyone that has evidence to say that I have beaten up my wife, they hsould come up with a picture. We have seen on social media the people that beat up women to death, seen pictures where they have swollen faces and broken hands.
If there is any evidence to prove to me that I have ever beaten her or beaten her to the point of death, they can come up with a picture or support it with any evidence. I am not saying that we had a perfect marriage or that I never had issues with my wife.
Every home has its ups and downs, but to the point of physical assault or to the point of death, I categorically say No! Categorically, I have never raised my hands on my wife.'' he said
LIB spotted the death certificate of Olayemisi which was signed on January 30th by one Dr. Onoro of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and according to the doctor's report, the primary causes of death were
1a: Hypovolaemic Shock
1b: Massive Haemoperitoneum
1c: Splenic Rupture with Haemoglobinopaty.
He told LIB the new baby is still on admission at the hospital because of the infection he got from his late mother, Olayemisi.
''Because of the infection Olayemisi had, the baby had slight infections too which is called Sepsis and he is undergoing treatmet. The baby is fine.'' he said
The grieving husband said he will always miss his wife and that he will ensure her legacy lives on. He mentioned that in her absence now, he is getting to know how much she cared for himself and their kids. He said this is not a pain that will heal so soon and that he will forever love her and miss her.