How bandits killed my husband in Lagos months after surviving kidnap in Abuja – Wife
Mrs Taiwo Fatunmbi has narrated how she lost her 40-year-old husband, Temitope Fatunmbi, when bandits with sophisticated weapons attacked their car on their way to Oyo State from Lagos State.
In an interview with Tribune online, the grieving mother of two said the criminals dressed in green khaki trousers, a black top, and wrapped white and black mufflers on their necks attacked them along Onigaari axis, less than 20 kilometres from Ibadan.
Mrs Fatunmbi revealed that her family relocated from Abuja to Lagos in 2021 after 10 kidnappers with weapons and AK-49 rifles attacked the area they live which is seven minute drive to the Law School in Abuja and abducted her 70-year-old father-in-law.
According to her, her father-in-law and 2 other victims kidnapped during the attack were made to trek for seven hours with no clothes or shoes from the house to where they were kept.
The man was held hostage for six days until a ransom of N4.6 million was paid. She said the bandits also asked them to buy cartons of Trophies, cartons of malt, cartons of milk, and recharge cards which were taken to them.
After the incident, her husband who was working in Lagos State relocated the family from Abuja to Lagos where they stayed for a year plus before bandits attacked them on their way to Ibadan and killed him.
She said, “As we were driving on the highway, two of the guys (kidnappers) came from the bush on our side of the road and started shooting, spraying the road with bullets. The bullets pierced the back door where our two children sat. They are nine and seven-year-olds.
“Their faces weren’t covered, they started shooting sporadically and the bullets came in through the back door where my children sat and pierced my husband in his back on the right side.
“Another one entered through my own door. In fact, several bullets touched the vehicle, but two entered. The one that came in through the door where I sat pierced the seat and went to my husband. It would have penetrated my body if I had relaxed in my seat. I was dodging because of the several bullets flying around.
“My husband didn’t feel it immediately. He continued to drive so that we would get away from the gunmen. However, my daughter started calling my attention because the force of the bullet penetration grazed my son’s hand.
“My daughter told me that blood is coming from her brother’s hand but I was telling her to stay calm. Then she shouted: ‘Mummy, mummy, see blood on daddy’s back!’ At that time, I shouted ‘Jesus!’ I held the spot, but the blood was gushing out as if a tap was opened.
“My husband said ‘wow! What is happening?’ I tried to pacify him. He then said he was not having strength. By then, he could no longer accelerate properly. His speed reduced. I was trying to encourage him to move because the gunmen were still behind us shooting.
“We were three vehicles moving together at that time, one of the vehicles, a white SUV, swerved as if the driver wanted to park. It eventually parked. The second one passed by us and was in the fast lane, and we were in the middle lane. As the vehicle was slowing down, I encouraged my husband to still move forward so that I could take over from him.
“He looked at me and said he was not having strength. Next thing he lost control and swerved off the road into the bush by the roadside. The vehicle moved a little bit and somersaulted. The bush covered us so that nobody would have known we were there. My husband’s head was down. The ignition of the vehicle was still on and the four tyres were up. I couldn’t help him as we were all still in the car.
“I tried to unlock the vehicle to open my door side but I couldn’t. The door was stuck. I tried to open his door but it was stuck too. I managed to unlock his seatbelt and beckoned on my daughter to open the boot of the vehicle but she couldn’t.
“My son tried his door and it opened. Immediately he did and we were trying to come out of the vehicle, the gunmen started shooting again. It was as if they surrounded the bush with bullets because they were all over the place. I dragged the children in and tried several times to call for help. I could not even trace my steps back to the road and my husband was still bleeding heavily, with his head down.
“I picked up my phone and started making calls. People coming from Ibadan who could have helped didn’t know where I was. Others were calling those they know and who was on the road to assist us, but they could not locate us also.
“After about 45 minutes, I noticed that I was hearing shooting again so I tried to use my body to create a way as the bush was above and covered me and the SUV.
“On getting to the road, the drivers of vehicles I was stopping were afraid, thinking that I was a bait planted there. Blood was all over me but nobody was willing to help. At the end of the day, three Sienna vehicles stopped but they didn’t want to enter the bush.
“They believed I was planted there. They asked for the name of the injured person and I told them: ‘his name is Temitope Fatunmbi. He’s my husband!’ They were calling him to come out but I said he couldn’t come as he could no longer talk. But at that time, my daughter said he was still breathing.
“Later, the people heard my children’s voices from the bush. They were shouting: ‘please help our daddy!’ That was what brought the people to the place. They didn’t help the man but took the children to the road, so I ran after them. I saw a Road Safety (FRSC) bus speeding past and ran after it, shouting.
“The bus stopped but there was no first aid in it. It only had a stretcher, so there was nothing to stop the bleeding. We were close to Ibadan but they took us to a hospital in Ogere. On getting there, the doctor referred us to another hospital. The following morning, I heard about his death,” Mrs Fatunmbi narrated.