Jeremiah OYELEKE/Enoch OYEDIBU
It was a sad weekend for Mr. Taiwo Muraina as in one fell swoop, he lost his wife, Rofiat and two kids, Aishat (under 5 years old) and a boy (about two years old), in an accident that occurred when a car veered off the road and rammed into them in their shop at Isale-Crown, City Area, Ogbomoso last April 17. Azizat another little girl who had gone to play with Aishat, also perished in the tragic incident.
Shops/kiosks are put up by the walls of the fence of a building very close to the road and it had been like that for long without incident but this day fatality reared its ugly head causing the untimely death of the four.
According to an eyewitness, who however pleaded anonymity, late Mrs. Rofiat Muraina was carrying her six month-old baby in the shop while Aishat was playing with her friend, Azizat, whose parents live in the area, when the car, a Jeep, which just branched off the Ikoyi road into the street veered off and sped into the shop killing the four on the spot.
The eye witness continued, “It was like a movie, three shops were destroyed on the go, the car branched off the Ikoyi road and as he descended the sloppy road, his acceleration increased and then he veered off the road to ram into the shops, causing the death of the four persons.
“Only God knows what happened and perhaps the owner of the Jeep knew because as he hit the shop (three other shops were affected), he seemed to press the throttle the more and the vehicle was only stopped by an electric pole and the fence of the building against which the shops were erected. It was a tragic incident.”
The informant now added, “But the old man that drove the car was not wounded. In fact, after the incident, he opened the car door and ran away. What is most amazing is, after a while, the man came back to his car, picked his money bag and went away again.”
Another eye witness however suggested that the man suddenly had stroke while driving and so lost consciousness saying that accounted for his increased acceleration instead of applying the brake.
Meanwhile this claim of stroke attack was refuted by some children of the old man who, fired, while responding to a question by The Insight, “Our father did not have any ailment like stroke.”
The owner of the Jeep whose name could not be ascertained (as his people whom The Insight met were not cooperative) but owns a popular nursery and primary school at Papa Alajiki/Randa area, Ogbomoso, it was gathered, later reported himself at the Police station where he is being detained as at the time The Insight visited the Owode Police Station.
Reacting, a distraught woman who claimed to be a relative of Rofiat (as she disclosed Rofiat’s parents are no more) expressed grief that “Daddy Dolapo” as the owner of the Jeep was addressed by a relative (who refused to give his name), was being kept behind the counter and not in the cell.
According to the woman (who also did not give her name), “When at first I got to the station, the D.P.O did not allow me to see the man but after so much pleading, he allowed me in. But to my surprise that Baba wasn’t put in the cell; it was behind the counter that I met the Baba.
“And as I got there I met him taking his meal. I was surprised and I said, ‘Baba, so you can still eat after taking four lives?’ And he responded, ‘Ah! I haven’t eaten since three days ago when the incident happened.’”
“The man now told me, after I had asked him what caused the accident, that he was returning from where he went to repair his car and then went to fill his tank at a filling station, when the carnage occurred. The man did not have stroke, I believe those saying he suddenly had stroke just wanted to cover him.”
Mr. Muraina Taiwo, the bereaved husband and father, did not utter a word when The Insight visited his residence except to sob, “the police did not allow me to see the killer of my wife and children, at least to have a word with him.”
But one man who simply gave his name as Ogundele, another relative, was furious that the body language of the police showed that the man would be left off the hook, positing that this was why Nigeria is not at peace.
He said justice is never served in this country, emphasizing that it is ever perverted on the altar of money.
“If the police should release the man on bail, there is no justice in Nigeria. If they are following the word of God, ‘whoever kills with sword, such must die by the sword.’
“This is why Nigeria is not at peace. There are many innocent blood crying for justice. When you get to the court of law, you know that there is no justice in this country. Someone that killed a whole four nations, if he be released or granted bail, that will not be justice served.
“By what is happening in Nigeria, we are being told that anyone that commits murder and is caught should be killed instantly because once the person is taken to the police station, he would be freed by the police.”
While insisting that punishment must be served, Ogundele pleaded with the police to do a thorough investigation “because I believe the car was not faulty or had brake failure after all, the man said he was coming from his mechanic.
“Between the main highway where he branched off and where he crushed the victims is not up to 200m, so, how could he have picked up so much speed to have lost control of the car and caused the accident?”
“While we were young when Nigeria was still a good country, the perpetrator of such heinous incidents would never have gone unpunished. Then, the police don’t take bribe, no kick back, it is kick to jail.”
Meanwhile, The Insight learnt that the family of the deceased had resolved to put everything in the hand of God and avoid pursuing the matter in court.
Those who knew Rofiat described her “as an easy-going, very cheerful woman, who would not hurt a fly no matter what you did to her.”