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Japa couple crisis: Nigerian kills wife in UK over bills

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Japa couple crisis: Nigerian kills wife in UK over bills
• Late Taiwo Owoeye Abodunde with her husband, David Olubunni Abodunde
In a heart-wrenching turn of events, Nigerian nurse and mother of three, Taiwo Owoeye Abodunde, met a tragic end on a chilly Tuesday morning at Newmarket, Suffolk, the United Kingdom (UK). The circumstances surrounding her death unravelled a tale of marital discord, domestic turbulence, and a police response now under intense scrutiny. As the community grapples with the loss, there are questions about the adequacy of interventions, weaving a narrative that transcends borders and cultures. 

On a chilly Tuesday morning, Suffolk Police, England responded to a grave incident at 259 Exning Road, Newmarket, Suffolk — a suburban terrace in the market town of West Suffolk. It was here that they discovered the lifeless body of Taiwo Owoeye Abodunde, a nurse and mother of three, lying on the floor of her living room. The police’s grim discovery was an unplanned encounter, prompted by a follow-up visit related to a previous report of assault made against her estranged husband, David Olubunni Abodunde.

According to the police, the visit was scheduled as “a pre-arranged meeting to gather evidence in relation to the assault allegations made against Olubunni Abodunde on November 27 by Taiwo, which led to his arrest.” The police report indicated that they arrived at 259 Exning Road, Newmarket, Taiwo’s home address, at 9:55 am on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. Upon entering the residence, they discovered her unresponsive on the living room floor. Despite prompt medical attention, paramedics declared Taiwo dead at the scene.

Olubunni Abodunde, the husband, was found inside the residence and subsequently arrested on suspicion of her murder. He was then taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning and later appeared at Ipswich Crown Court and Suffolk Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is also investigating the force’s response as officers had been called to the address earlier. A spokesperson for the IOPC said: “We can confirm we have received a referral from Suffolk Constabulary in relation to this incident and we are carrying out an assessment to determine what further action may be required from us.” The intervention of IOPC was prompted by a suspicious failing by the Police over a previous correspondence with the Taiwo’s family on November 27, 2023, over previous assault.

The Police added: “On Monday 27th November 2023, Taiwo contacted Suffolk Police reporting an assault by Olubunni on her that day and a further assault from 15th August 2023. Olubunni was arrested on suspicion of both assaults at 10:23am 27/11/2023. He was released from police custody at 6:20pm 27/11/2023 with police bail conditions. The Police Bail conditions imposed were: Not to go to 239 Exning Road, Newmarket, CB9 0AY. Not to contact Taiwo Abodunde directly or indirectly except via a third party to arrange child contact.

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“The incorrect address of 239 Exning Road, Newmarket on the bail condition should have in fact been recorded as 259 Exning Road, Newmarket. When Suffolk Police attended Taiwo’s address on Tuesday 28th November, this was for a pre-arranged meeting to gather evidence in relation to the assault allegations that were made against Olubunni Abodunde on 27th November which led to his arrest. Because of these recent police contact with Taiwo, Suffolk Constabulary have made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

“We will keep you updated on this process. We also want to make you aware we initially identified two scenes in relation to what happened but following our enquiries we have removed one scene, but one remains in place. This continues to be a location where evidence is present.”

David Olubunni Abodunde and Late Taiwo Owoeye Abodunde during their wedding 

More than anything else, this chance finding by the police of the dead formed a leg in the intrigue and misfortune suffered by a family that was enmeshed in marital distrust, domestic abuse and the struggle for economic survival right out of the sleepy towns of Ipoti Ekiti and Igogo Ekiti. The late Taiwo was a native of Igogo Ekiti and Olubunmi from Ipoti Ekiti. They both met at Otun Ekiti in 2004 during a 7th Day Adventist Church social-religious camp for young people. It wasn’t love at first sight, but Taiwo would later agree to date and marry Bunmi following persistent pressure and persuasion from the husband.

Both Ipoti Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area and Igogo Ekiti in the Moba Local government area are located in Ekiti state -Southwest geopolitical region of Nigeria. Known for its myths and festivals, the two towns are roughly 15 miles of each other. Igogo Ekiti is popular for its royal folklore of Queen Oronsen who while married to King Rerengejen fled the palace in anger because of the conspiracy against her. She would be immortalised with a terra cotta image near ‘Igbo Oluwa’ a sacred forest in the town. Natives make annual ritual sacrifice of different articles, such as dried fish, colanut, alligator pepper, and bitter cola in return for her spiritual protection of the kingdom.

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Interestingly, the tradition and folklore of Ipoti Ekiti is also woven around a wife who was assured after Ifa divination that she would have three male issues on the account of faith, belief and offering to placate the gods. The late Taiwo and her estranged husband, Olubunmi Abodunde, have three male children David 16, Daniel 14 and Jetemi 11. The husband, Olubunmi Abodunde, 47-year-old self-declared engineer migrated to the United Kingdom in November 2022 with the three children to join his wife of 17 years. But their marriage, which withstood several challenges, soon began to disintegrate over controlling behaviour, domestic violence, allegations of infidelity and distrust. He became verbally violent, kept throwing fist and calling the wife unprintable names, said Adekunle Owoeye, the twin brother to the late Taiwo.

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It’s hard to overstate what a cataclysmic episode this was for the couple and the people of the two neighboring towns of Igogo and Ekiti where the case had dominated airwaves and street conversation since last week. Adekunle Owoeye, speaking on behalf of the late Taiwo’s family recalled an incident some years back in Igogo Ekiti when Bunmi and Taiwo attended an event where the couple exchanged hot arguments and fists over where to sleepover after. Bunmi was said to have hit the wife and the mother-in-law who protested his violent behaviour. The matter was later resolved by the two kings of the towns; the Onigogo of Igogo Ekiti HRM Oba Sunday Adewunmi, Okinbaloye the 1st and the Olupoti of Ipoti Ekiti, HRM Oba Oladipupo Kolade.

HRM Oba Sunday Adewunmi, Okinbaloye said he was very disheartened to hear about the sudden demise of the late Taiwo because of the hard-work put in by the royal house to make the marriage work and the guidance he provided for Taiwo to help the family in their pursuit for better life overseas.

“My sister had endured a lot of assaults from Bunmi over petty marital issues,” said the twin brother Adekunle Owoeye.

Adekunle described the past 18 years as a ‘living nightmare’ for the late sister. But he added: “I was elated and relieved that my sister was traveling overseas where domestic violence cannot happen. She had not long earlier retrieved her academic certification from the husband after he hid it for 10 years over envy to stop Taiwo from earning her own income independently.”

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The relocation was indeed ominous as family members recalled the worry and excitement that greeted the news of their relocation to the United Kingdom. Elder Ayo Abodunde, who is an uncle to the husband, said he was very happy but also worried about the couple given the previous intervention of third parties in their issues.

“I counselled Bunmi to be very patient and understanding when dealing with women and especially a wife. I told him that he has to avoid any situation that will lead to arguments and fights, especially because of their children and the domestic law in the new country.”

He added that the tension is now very high in the two towns over the sad development. “I have now arranged for our family to go to Igogo Ekiti on Wednesday (today) to visit and engage the other family (late Taiwo’s) on the way forward.

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A neighbour living near the unfortunate home of the couple in Newmarket described her routine observation: “I came home to see that the whole street was just covered in police and ambulances, but two days prior there were police. I knew it was something really bad with the amount of police here and the way they were not telling anyone anything. Normally they say something, but they were very hush-hush.”

Another added: “It’s just awful, everyone is really shocked. I used to see some young boys kicking a ball about in their garden.”

In a condolence note penned through his social media handle, the Kehinde Owoeye said; “I want to tell the entire member of Owoeyes’ family to stay calm (though painful) as justice will be served on the killer in due course; be rest assured. I want to thank UK Govt, Detectives Peter, Amy and the hired Private investigators, as well as the Nigeria Embassy in London for their professionalism. To the Onigogo of Igogo-Ekiti and sons and daughters of Igogo, with a lot of our friends especially in the United Kingdom, we say thank you for your efforts so far. To the people that came from far and near to console, we appreciate.

“To my mum, though it’s an irreplaceable loss, please take heart (though not easy), it’s only God that can console you divinely. To the entire Amuludun dynasty, please NO to derogatory post, calm down as we await his trial in the Court of the UK. Thanks for your understanding the children are currently being taken care of by the UK social services.” (THE NATION)

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More pressures on pockets as food inflation rises to 40%

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More pressures on pockets as food inflation rises to 40%

•High electricity tariff to drive further rise — Analysts

•It’s bad for businesses – NACCIMA •Small businesses to lose capital base— ASBON

At the backdrop of sustained rise in prices of staple food items in the market, Nigeria has recorded an unprecedented food inflation rate of 40 percent in March 2024.

Economists and financial analysts explained that the development would put more pressure on the purchasing power of average Nigerian and they also predict that the trend will continue for some months before stabilising.

The food inflation drove the headline inflation rate to 33.2 percent, up from 31.7 percent recorded in the month of February.

The figures released yesterday by National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in its Consumer Price Index, CPI, report for March 2024, represented a 2.09 and 1.5 percentage percentage points increases month-on-month.

But the analysts see a wider headline inflationary rise in this month to 34.6 percent, representing a 2.4 percentage month-on-month rise resulting from the recent hike in electricity tariff.

Electricity tariff hike to drive further inflation – CardinalStone

Analysts at CardinalStone Finance Limited, a Lagos based investment house, indicated that further inflationary upswing should be expected following the recent drastic hike in electricity tariff.

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They stated: ‘’The inflation outlook is biased to the upside, a consequence of the recent implementation of a new electricity tariff. For context, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) have hiked price for Band A customer from N68 to N225 per kilowatt hour.

‘’Nevertheless, we see some downside risk from the recent currency sustainability. ‘’Overall, we project inflation to print 34.6% in April 2024.’’

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Further rise will be slower – Alpha Morgan

In the meantime, analysts at Alpha Morgan Capital said: “From our analysis, we project that inflation will further increase but at a continuously slower rate. We tie this prediction primarily to the recent monetary interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria in mopping up excess liquidity, curbing volatile exchange rate movement through various aggressive currency interventions, government fiscal policies, such as agricultural interventions, among others.”

Devpt is bad for businesses – NACCIMA

Meanwhile, OPS said that the persistent rising inflation could sound the death knell for small businesses in the country, with consequential loss of jobs and worsened insecurity.

Commenting, Director General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Sola Obadimu, said: “Persistent rising inflation is bad for business as well as for individuals.

“It erodes income in value terms and purchasing power becomes weaker for both individuals and businesses. Inventories will continue to grow.

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“It is bad for planning purposes and breeds growing uncertainty. Cost of doing business continues to grow leading to higher cost of goods. It’s cyclical.

“Even when businesses or individuals tend to earn higher income, the value (in real terms) becomes lower.”

In his reaction, President of Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON), Dr Femi Egbesola, said the development will worsen survival of small businesses.

He stated: “The new and rising inflation rate, affecting largely food, essential commodities, raw materials, electricity and alternative power generation, transportation among others, will continue to worsen the survival and growth of SMEs.

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It will, no doubt, squeeze out the meager working capital of SMEs and make us more vulnerable to extinction.

“Not all costs can be passed to the consumers but even at that, certain costs will be passed onto them, and since they also have had their disposable income eroded by inflation, sales of goods and services of SMEs will drastically drop. For an average citizen, their standard of living and welfare will significantly drop too.

“More Nigerians will suffer from hunger, and lack of access to basic necessities and amenities, worse of it is health and medical needs.

“Overall, the implications of this on SMEs is that many more businesses will die off and become ailing, job losses will increase as many more businesses will lay off workers.

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“There will be an increase in bad loans as more SMEs will be unable to fulfill their loan obligations leading to decreased access to funding from banks that will be more averse to lending to SMEs particularly with the increased interest rate, now coupled with inflation.

“More insecurity will prevail in the land for many will look for alternative illegal ways of survival. More will migrate in the name of Japa.

“The extinction of more businesses will open doors for imported products to take their space which eventually will also stress the Naira exchange rate.”

In its CPI report NBS stated: “In March 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 33.2 percent relative to the February 2024  headline inflation rate which was 31.7 percent .

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“On a YoY basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.16 percentage points higher compared to  the rate recorded in March 2023, which was 22.04 percent.

On food inflation the bureau said: “The food inflation rate in March 2024 was 40.01 percent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.56 percentage points higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2023 (24.45 percent).

“The rise in Food inflation on a year-on-year basis was caused by increases in prices of the following items garri, millet, akpu uncooked fermented (which are under the bread and cereals class), yam tuber, water yam (under potatoes, yam, and other tubers class), dried fish sadine, mudfish dried (under Fish class), palm oil, vegetable oil (under Oil and Fat), beef feet, beef head, liver (under Meat class), coconut, water melon (under Fruit Class), Lipton tea, Bournvita, Milo (under coffee, tea and cocoa class).” (Vanguard)

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N20, N10, N5 rendered ‘irrelevant’ as inflation bites harder

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N20, N10, N5 rendered ‘irrelevant’ as inflation bites harder
Naira

Across major markets, prices of goods are moving away from the lower denomination of the Naira currencies as inflation bites harder.

Not too long ago, a sachet of pure water cost N5.

However, in the past couple of years, these notes have struggled to get items they could be attached to.

A market survey by DAILY POST showed that more than half of Nigeria’s legal tenders cannot make purchases.

Despite this, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, recognizes the following denominations; 50 kobo, N1 and N2 which are coins, and N5, N10, N20 and N50 which are printed on polymer materials.

A sachet of pure water now sells for N30. Retailed sugar no longer sells for N10, while candies like Tom Tom are retailed at two pieces for N50. To further compound the woes of these notes, goods are now rounded up to 50 or 100, which further makes these currencies irrelevant.

In the past six months, the Naira has depreciated considerably. At one point, it was about N1,900 to a single dollar until the intervention by the CBN with the naira now trading at about N1050 to a dollar.

The implication of it is that N1000, which is Nigeria’s highest denomination, is less than a single dollar.

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Anyone with $1000 is a millionaire in naira based on the current exchange rate, and anyone with $1 has more than N1,000.

Despite the recent surge in the value of naira, prices of commodities have not shown any significant signs of climbing down.

Experts believe that Nigeria’s inflation is a product of many factors, with FX being one of the numerous factors.

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But despite this, the Nigerian government is still printing some of the lower denomination currencies at a huge cost.

According to reports, in 2016, CBN had to temporarily halt the printing of N5, 10, N20 and N50 due to the cost of production.

The report said it costs N1000 to print each lower denomination because Nigeria Security Printing and Minting plc (NSPM) is unable to print on polymer.

Now experts are calling on the CBN to discontinue the printing of the lower denominations and review the currencies in line with realities.

Abiodun Ayangbemi, an economist, emphasised that the CBN must discontinue the printing of the lower denomination because the majority of those currencies have failed the basic principles of money— means of exchange and store of value.

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“The monetary authorities cannot continue to print those denominations when there is basically nothing to use them for,” he said.

Lekan Olaleye, a monetary policy expert, asked the federal government to take a copy of the re-denomination policy adopted by Ghana some years back.

He argued that the CBN should remove two zeros from the existing notes.

It would be recalled that Ghana had in 2007, re-denominated the Cedis by striking out four zeros from their currency and producing the new Ghana Cedis.

A former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido had in 2012 announced a plan to introduce N5000 notes. In the same vein, there was also a plan to coin the lower bank notes of N5, N10 and N20.

However, the policy was met with a strong outcry from the public, who condemned the plan. Thus, the government shelved the plan.

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Years after the botched plan, prices of goods and services have spiked beyond the 2012 level. (Daily Post)

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We’re not aware of Ganduje’s suspension – Kano APC Chairman

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Ganduje, wife, son to be arraigned before Kano court April 17
APC National Chairman and former Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje

The Ganduje ward executives of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kano State, have denied the reported suspension of APC National Chairman, Dr Abdullahi-Umar Ganduje.

The ward executives made the denial while briefing journalist at the APC State Secretariat, on Monday in Kano.

According to the ward Chairman, Malam Ahmad Ganduje, those purported to have announced the suspension were not members of the party.

He said they were solemnly behind the APC national chairman and have confidence in his style of leadership.

The ward chairman added that they had passed a vote of confidence on Ganduje, and urged all party members in the ward and across the state to remain calm and law abiding.

In his remarks, the APC Chairman, Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area, Alhaji Inusa Dawanau, said the party will take legal action against those the “impersonators”, who announced Ganduje’s suspension.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that, Malam Haladu Gwanjo, who claimed to be the Legal Adviser of APC in Ganduje Ward, had earlier announced the purported suspension of party’s national chairman.
Gwanjo, who cited alleged corruption and other vices as reasons for the suspension, said that the decision was taken by nine executive members of party in Ganduje ward.(NAN)

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SEE ALSO:  Army releases pictures of 17 soldiers killed in Delta
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