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Family blames husband for pregnant wife’s death


The family of a three-month-old pregnant mother of six, Deborah Fawolere, who died at the Gbagada General Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday, has accused the husband of having a hand in the death of his wife.

PUNCH Metro learnt from the sister of the late wife, Toluwalase Adedoyin, that the husband, Idowu Fawolere, did not at any point in their relationship resist the urge to physically assault the wife, even while she was carrying his seventh child.

Although the husband denied the allegation during an interview with PUNCH Metro that he had never physically assaulted his wife, Adedoyin claimed that her late sister had left Fawolere’s house on account of assault and violence at different times in the past.

Adedoyin said, “My younger sister died this morning. The husband had been beating her before she died today. He used to beat her up. We believe the physical assault caused damage to her health, considering her condition. She had given birth to six children for this man. This was her seventh pregnancy before she died. She died during the pregnancy.

“Just yesterday (Monday), my late sister told one of our sisters that her husband and his elder brother used to beat her up. She alleged that she didn’t have peace of mind in the house and that both of them were making life miserable for her. That she could no longer walk.

“Before she made her complaint known yesterday (Tuesday), there had been several complaints that the beating was too much. I told my parents that they should take her away from the house. But whenever she left her husband, she would return the second day.”

While reacting to the accusation in a telephone interview with PUNCH Metro on Tuesday, the husband, Fawolere, described the claims as “cooked-up stories,” noting that his late wife fed her family with lies.

He said, “It is not true. I was the one who took her to the hospital. She wasn’t feeling well. When we took her to a private hospital, they were the ones who transferred us to the General Hospital. I didn’t beat her. The only issue that took us to the police station earlier was between her and my mother. She fought my mother and my younger siblings. And this was not even when she was pregnant.

“I was not home when they fought at the time. I told my mother at the time that she could not send my wife out because she had children for me. My brother didn’t touch her at all. It was even my brother and I who were taking her to the hospital when she started feeling unwell.

“Despite the way she used to insult my brother, he still followed us to the hospital. The people are just saying all these things just because of the issue that came up between us a long time ago.”

Speaking with PUNCH Metro, the Divisional Police Officer, Oworonsoki, Bello Taofeek, confirmed to our correspondent that the matter was reported to the division.

He said, “Yes, it has been reported. We have asked the Investigating Police Officer to visit the hospitals. We have yet to see the husband. We have asked them to bring the husband along.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, was not available for comment at the time this report was filed.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, Joke Ladenegan-Oginni, said the agency had yet to receive any information regarding the issue while urging the family to report the case.

She said, “There is little we can do if you don’t report it. If people don’t report incidents of violence, how would the agency know? If people don’t report them, it will be difficult for us to know. We have toll-free lines that people can call when they see incidents like these.”

This is the second domestic violence incident that will reportedly lead to the death of one of the partners in less than a month in the state.

In December 2023, a husband allegedly murdered his wife in the Olota area of the Alimosho Local Government Area over her failure to cook his meal.

The suspect was said to have left the deceased in the house after he had allegedly hit her on the crown of her head with what was believed to be a heavy object and beaten her to a pulp.

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