Alhaji Abass Street, Ogudu, Lagos State, has turned into a theatre of the absurd after a 29-year-old resident, identified simply as Biodun, allegedly cut off the tongue of her confidant, Babangida Sulyman.
It was learnt that 23-year-old Babangida was an errand boy to the unmarried woman, helping her to buy food and deliver messages.
They both reside in the same compound, where the incident happened last Tuesday.
While Babangida lives with his mother, Biodun squats with her married elder sister.
Punch Metro learnt that the duo had enjoyed a mutual relationship for about two years, until sometime in March 2017 when Babangida’s mother asked him to quit the friendship after a disagreement broke out between him and Biodun.
Punch correspondent gathered that Babangida, after his mother’s directive, kept Biodun at arm’s length.
Biodun, however, reportedly approached Babangida for reconciliation two weeks ago, and pleaded with him to resume his role as her errand boy, which the latter rejected.
The strained relationship, it was learnt, assumed a new dimension around 8pm on Tuesday when they met at the shop of a woman in the area.
Biodun was said to have rebuked Babangida, which prompted the shop owner to ask him what went wrong.
Babangida reportedly declined to speak with the woman in Biodun’s presence and promised to discuss the issue with her (the woman) the next day.
He had gone to the toilet around 11.30pm to urinate and was about to leave the restroom when Biodun allegedly sneaked in, squeezed his neck and forced him to open his mouth. She subsequently yanked out part of his tongue.
The victim’s mother, who is the landlady of the building, Hassanat Ali, said she was asleep when Olumide Agbolade (aka Olumba), the husband of Biodun’s elder sister, raised the alarm.
She said, “They related with each other like siblings. She used to send him on errands as far as Ikeja and they used to go out together. I had warned him to stay away from her six months ago when they had a disagreement and she called him an ingrate. I saw them together three days before the incident happened and I warned him again.
“I was sleeping when Olumba banged at our door, calling Musa, Babangida’s elder brother, to come and see what Biodun did to Babangida. By the time we got to the toilet, there was blood everywhere. My son could not talk. I saw the severed tongue, while the jewellery Biodun wore was covered with blood. I asked her what happened, but she did not say anything.
“People rushed into our building and started beating her. I cautioned them and she was handed over to the police. Three different hospitals rejected Babangida before he was eventually admitted to the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.”
One of the Babangida’s brothers, Yahaya Sulyman, said the Investigating Police Officer in charge of the case visited the victim at the hospital to obtain his statement.
He alleged that the IPO later altered the statement and claimed that Biodun injured Babangida while he was kissing her.
He said, “I am not living with the family. I got a call on Wednesday about the incident and rushed to the hospital. I met Olumba there and asked him what transpired. He said he wanted to urinate when he heard Babangida screaming and on getting into the toilet, he was bleeding from the mouth. Doctors said they could not attach the severed tongue.
“A policeman came to the hospital to obtain his statement. He could not talk. He gave him a pen and paper and he narrated what happened in writing. We were surprised when we learnt that the IPO was saying he wanted to kiss her.
“Biodun’s family was pushing for settlement through the police. They brought a document for us to sign and offered us N30,000, but we rejected it. The DPO directed that she should be charged to court.”
Olumba told Punch Metro that he had finished eating outside that night and was about to retire to bed when he heard Babangida screaming.
He said, “I wanted to urinate before going to bed. While I was approaching the toilet, I heard Babangida’s voice. He was shouting, ‘leave me alone,’ repeatedly. I initially thought it was a fight and wondered who he could be fighting with inside the toilet at that time.
“On getting there, the door was locked from inside. I had to force it open. I saw blood gushing out of his mouth. He could not talk. I asked Biodun what happened, but she said I should not intervene in the matter. I rushed to call Babangida’s brother (Musa).
“I have told the victim’s family that I would not be responsible for anything if she is freed by the police. She used to spend a few days at a time with us until May 2016 when she started living with us.”
Another resident, Rabi Muhammed, who was also outside that night, said she heard Biodun say, “Eyan kan ma ku lale yi (somebody would die tonight),” shortly before the assault.
The victim had yet to regain his speech, as of Saturday when our correspondent visited him. However, he managed to croak what transpired between him and the suspect.
He said, “We were very close and she always told me that she liked me. But we never had any amorous relationship. She introduced me to her friends and boyfriends. She used to complain that I only liked her friends’ pictures on Instagram.
“On Tuesday evening, we met at a shop on our street. She told the shop owner that I misbehaved and I told the woman to ask her what I did. I later told the woman that I would tell her what happened the following day.
“I was with Olumba and some residents outside that night, chatting. We stayed late outside because there was power outage. Around 11.30pm, I left them and went to the toilet to urinate. I did not shut the door. As I was about to come out of the toilet, I saw her (Biodun) at my back. Before I could ask her what happened, she held my neck and pushed me against the wall.
“Everywhere was dark and I could not tell whether she used teeth or an object to cut off my tongue. She thought I wanted to reveal her secret to the woman.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations, Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the assault, adding that the suspect had been charged to court on Friday.
It was learnt that Biodun was remanded in custody while the case was adjourned till October 18, 2017.