When the next West African Senior School Certificate Examination eventually begins, Sherifat Sulaimon, will be missing in action.The 21-year-old SS3 pupil reportedly committed suicide last Sunday after she was allegedly beaten by her stepbrother, Moliku Sulaimon, whom she lived with at Olorunshogo Iyewa, in the Isawo area of Ikorodu, Lagos State.Neighbours accused Moliku of serially assaulting Sherifat, noting that she became frustrated and took Sniper after he repeated the act last Sunday morning.It was learnt that Sherifat and her two siblings started living with Moliku after their mother left the family, following their father’s death. Moliku, the eldest child in the family, is in his 40s.
Our correspondent gathered that Sherifat helped Moliku’s wife to get some loaves of bread she would sell at a bakery within the neighbourhood and placed them somewhere in the apartment.She incurred Moliku’s anger when rodents tampered with one of the loaves, a resident said.“She had been living with him since their father died. She was a kid then. Her siblings used to live with him too. They left out of frustration because he always beat them,” the neighbour, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed.
He stated that there were marks of canes on Sherifat’s body, adding that Moliku hurriedly took her corpse to their hometown in Ijebu, Ogun State, where it was buried the following morning.He said, “After she returned from the bakery on Sunday morning, he beat her again because rats ate part of a loaf. It was out of frustration that the lady took a poison. She died on arrival at the hospital and he quickly too her corpse to their hometown in Ijebu for burial. He knew he would have been queried if the police inspected the body and saw the marks. Neighbours were bitter that Sherifat died that way without any action taken against the man.”The chairman of the community development association, Mr. Adekunle Adeigba, said he was not aware of the assault until the incident happened.
“Someone called me on Sunday and narrated what happened to me. They said the man beat his stepsister and she went ahead to commit suicide. It was after the incident that I heard people say he had been beating her. I have not heard it before until the incident happened,” Adeigba stated.The acting traditional ruler in the community, Pastor Moses Bakare, told our correspondent that he received several calls from locals, lamenting how Moliku used to maltreat the lady.He said an official of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps and a policeman from Owutu Police Station, visited the scene of the incident but did not inspect the victim’s body to verify if it bore marks of violence.
Bakare explained, “A resident informed me of the incident on Monday morning. I asked if any security agency is aware and he said one Mr Rasaq from LNSC was at the scene of the incident. I called the official and asked him about investigation carried out so far on the matter.“I asked him if he checked her body but he said he didn’t. I told him he should have checked to verify what people were saying. Everybody was lamenting that she committed suicide out of frustration. Many residents called me on the phone to make the same complaint and they sought justice on behalf of the lady.
“I learnt that a policeman from Owutu Police Station also came to check her body. I called him and he said the lady took Sniper. He told me he didn’t check her body. Some youths wanted to burn the man’s (Moliku’s) house but I calmed them.“I asked his wife what happened and she said the lady erred and her husband beat her small. I had a meeting with the CDA members on Tuesday. We were concerned about the circumstances leading to the lady’s death, but there is nothing we can do if the police cannot take the necessary action.”In an interview with our correspondent, Moliku admitted beating his stepsister that day but said it was not responsible for the suicide.