A row has broken out over the death of a two-year-old girl, Rachael Oyeniyi, in a well in Egbeda, Lagos. Her mother Mrs Adenike Oyeniyi has alleged foul play in Rachael’s death. The Nation learnt that the Oyeniyis had not been living together in the last three months. Mrs Oyeniyi lives in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital; her husband, Gbenga stays in Gowon Estate, Egbeda, where the incident happened. Mrs Oyeniyi said she could not believe that her daughter was singing on the well when she fell into it and died because she had not started talking properly. If our neighbour really heard her sing, why didn’t she ask her to leave the place? Whenever we spent weekends with her dad, Rachael usually played with the landlord’s children and not on the well,” she said.
The 40-year-old woman said she was bathing her second child when her husband came to her place in Abeokuta, adding: “I heard footsteps in the sitting room but when I asked who was there, I heard no voice. As I went into the sitting room, I saw my husband. He frowned his face and asked me to change her clothes. I declined and reached for my daughter because she had not eaten. As I went to the kitchen to bring her food, I didn’t see them.”
Mrs. Oyeniyi, a civil servant, said she then came down to Lagos, but on getting to her husband’s place, she saw him and Rachael sleeping. She said: “As I tried to carry her beside him, he woke up and dragged her from me. I even informed his sister who lives in Ibadan but she did not say anything. I left there around 3pm to avoid embarrassing ourselves in the neighbourhood. I even went to the extent of asking a woman on the street to inform me whenever my husband went out so that I can pick my daughter.
It was around 10pm someone called my parents and told them my own Rachael was dead. Why was it that day she died? No medical report; no autopsy. The reason my husband and I are partially separated is because of his sister who lives with us. He beats me because of her and accuses me of insulting her because… I was also told my husband went to buy bread for Rachael. I can’t believe all I heard because when we were together, we always sent his sister on errands and also I saw puff puff with my daughter when I carried her while sleeping.”
Mrs. Oyeniyi said when she saw her husband at the Gowon Estate Police Station, he was incoherent. She said: “It is really painful. She was buried in Atan cemetery. Two of my family members at the burial ground told me they didn’t dig up to six feet. I think they want to exhume my daughter’s body. I want Nigerians to help me. I want police officers to help me unravel the truth. Our marriage will be four years in July. I really miss my baby. I can still hear her cry in my head when she wanted to follow me on that day.”