If there is a day 25-year-old Dupe will always regret, it is when she met 34-year-old police corporal, Lucky Ikharia, in 2013.
According to Saturday Punch,Dupe lies in excruciating pain in a room where she is receiving treatment at a traditional orthopaedic treatment centre in Mushin, Lagos on Wednesday – six days after an attack that has left her paralysed, she said of the events that led her husband to run over her with a bus.
Unfortunately, the young woman has not been told by the family that after her husband attacked her, leaving her for dead, he also went home to stab their one-year-old toddler to death.
“They told me he took my son to his hometown. Please, help me seek the help of police authorities to ensure he brings my son back,” Dupe told our correspondent, oblivious of the tragic truth.
Members of Staff at the centre said they had not been able to move the young woman for an X-ray because the injuries on her back were extensive and feared her spine might have been affected.Dupe’s left leg and shoulder were completely crushed in the attack. Her relations fear that her spinal cord might have been crushed as well. Unfortunately, financial problem has limited their options for medical intervention to the current traditional treatment centre where she is being cared for.
The young woman cannot sit up on her own and can hardly turn her sides on the bed. To dress the wound on her back she is usually propped up on the wall.
“When the vehicle first hit me and ran over my legs, I tried to lift myself up but my strength failed. Then I saw the vehicle reverse. I thought that was the end of my life. That was when I realised it was my husband. I could not crawl out of the way anymore. I just lay back on the ground. This time, the ran over me completely; the bus’ tyres ran over my shoulder, my back and down to my legs. Then, he sped off,” Dupe said.
It was obvious the vehicle’s tyres narrowly missed her head. Our correspondent saw an extensive injury that ran from her neck through her back, down to her legs. The photos of the injury are too gory for publication.
Each word Dupe spoke was with a lot of pain.
Ikharia has not been seen since the alleged attack and murder of their child at their Kale Close, Mafoluku, Oshodi residence. He was said to have tried to kill himself as well but survived and it is believed his police colleagues at the Makinde Police Station are hiding him.
The policeman allegedly attacked his wife following a fight about a missing N2,000, which he reportedly saved in the house.
Dupe gave a narration of how she came to be a victim of an abusive husband, who finally wanted to kill her.
“He beat me all the time. I could not question him because I got punched and slapped every time I opened my mouth and he did not like what I said,” she said.
Dupe’s damaged leg
Asked why she did not simply leave the man, she said she believed he was going to change.
She said, “When I met him, he was living in a patrol vehicle. He told me he liked me and was nice at the time. I did not know he had no home. Anytime I visited him, it was always at his friend’s place.
“Then one night, I met him in the vehicle he was sleeping in, I asked why he could not get an apartment, he said his ex-wife, a policewoman he had just separated from, sent him packing. The woman was the one who rented the apartment.
“I already had two children from a previous marriage but I told him he could come over to stay with me.
“Within the period he was living with me, I got pregnant and we had to go to the registry to formalise the union. When I asked to meet with his family, he said if I valued my life, I should not make an attempt to contact them. He said they were trying to destroy his life and he had to distance himself from them.”
Dupe said one of his husband’s sisters, who came for the registry ceremony, told her that Ikharia already had two previous wives apart from the policewoman.
Dupe said her husband’s behaviour changed immediately he packed into her house.
She said, “He told me he wanted to buy a bus and begged me for some money, I took a loan and sold my jewellery. I paid a larger part of the cost. That is the same vehicle he used to run over me.
“When I was pregnant, he gave me some drugs to abort the baby but that did not work. There was a time he threw my baby out of the window.
“Our quarrels were always just before the end of the month when he was supposed to get his salary. He always did that so I would not have the courage to ask for money for the upkeep of the house.
“I wondered why he would lock me out of the same house I rented with my money and take my baby away. I had been warned but somehow I kept hoping that he would change.”
Dupe, who was a filling station attendant before her ordeal said there was a time she paid N80,000 for a freezer which the seller refused to deliver. She reported the case to her husband.
“I thought being a policeman, he would be able to retrieve my money. My husband arrested the man, got the money. He told me he had collected the money but that he used it to settle a debt. That was the last time I heard about the money,” she said.
Our correspondent spoke to Dupe’s mother, an elderly woman who said she would prefer anonymity.
The devastated mother asked for discretion when speaking with Dupe since the family had not notified her of the tragic murder of her baby.
She said, “We will not tell her until much later when she is well. I have always known that Lucky was an animal. He beat her all the time. He would destroy her phone after each beating so that she won’t be able to contact us.
“We asked for his family but we got no reply. When my daughter became pregnant for him, I even suggested she aborted the baby, but my daughter refused. She was so adamant about him. We told her to leave the policeman but she did not listen. Now see what has happened.
“The problem now is that we have no money to take care of her. We can only appeal to well-meaning Nigerians to come to our aid so that Dupe can be well again.”
But police authorities said all these are allegations they are trying to unravel.
Spokesperson of the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Kenneth Nwosu, told our correspondent on the phone that an investigation has started and could not disclose too much information at the moment.
“We cannot say anything for certainty for now because all these allegations have to be pieced together. There are still some information that have not been verified. We will release information as time goes on,” Nwosu said.