A family of three has been found dead inside their mini flat on Church Street, Lagos Island, after allegedly inhaling some chemical substance.
Who sprayed the chemical into the apartment had been a thing of concern to the victims’ family members and residents of the area.
The deceased are 30-year-old Ibrahim Yusuf, a tricycle rider; his wife, Saidat; and their five-year-old daughter, Rodiat.
PUNCH Metro learnt that neighbours had heard a scream from the victims’ apartment in the early hours of Monday which they ignored, thinking it was a sign of disagreement between the couple.
At about 2pm, Ibrahim’s friend, Quadri Aderibigbe, who lives on Freeman Street, said he became worried when he did not see him.
He said, “Usually by 7am he should be at the park. When it was 9am and I did not see him, I sent a boy to check on him. The boy came back and said he knocked on his door but didn’t get any response. When it was 2pm, I went to see his mother if she had seen him, she said no.
“We decided to go to his house. As we got there, we heard a faint voice from inside, but the door was locked. We forcefully entered through the window and met Ibrahim and Rodiat dead. Saidat was still breathing. There was no food around them to suggest they took a poison.”
Aderibigbe said Saidat was rushed to a private hospital, from where they were referred to the Lagos Island General Hospital, which pronounced her dead on arrival. He added that they had been buried according to Islamic rites.
“We later went back to the apartment and smelled some chemical, which suggested that the room had been sprayed with chemicals. But who sprayed the chemicals into the apartment is our concern now. The three of them have been buried.
“We reported the incident at the Adeniji Adele Police Station. A policeman who came to inspect the house said they were likely killed by generator fumes. However, the exhaust of the generator pointed outside the apartment,” he added.
Saidat’s father, Biliaminu Sodeinde, who resides in Idumota, said he was in the office when his wife alerted him to the incident.
“I rushed to their (the deceased’s) house and met the husband dead. Rodiat was taken to the Mercy Hospital, but she did not make it either,” he said.
Sodeinde’s father, Chief Lateef Olohunje, said he wanted Saidat’s corpse exhumed and a postmortem conducted on it to ascertain the cause of the death.
A friend of Saidat, who identified herself only as Bilkis, said, “I don’t believe the deaths are natural. An autopsy should be carried out to ascertain the causes of the deaths.”
A neighbour of the deceased, who did not want his name in print, said he was surprised by the deaths, adding that some co-tenants claimed to have heard shouts from their apartment.
He said, “Some of our neighbours said they heard screams from their room, but thought it was a fight. If I heard, I would have come out and checked on them because I have never heard them fight before.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the incident. She added that the police had commenced investigation into the case.
She said, “The matter was reported to the police on Tuesday. Although the corpses have been buried, the police are still investigating the matter. As the case progresses, we will brief you.”