For Sherifat Agbaje, mother of six life will not be same again as she was attacked with acid while she sleeping on her bed on April 23, 2013.
The Agbaje family of Ifako, Gbagada, Lagos State, for about five months have been left in confusion as to why such tragedy has befallen them.
While trying to seek a solution to the tragedy, they sought the aid of the Ogun state Police command to unravel the circumstances surrounding their challenge.
Sherifat, a fish seller, said she was in a rented apartment in the Ifo area of Ogun State and was fast asleep when an unknown assailant crept up to her window in the middle of the night and bathed her with acid.
The mother of six is currently in pains as her face, chest and arms were severely burned in the attack. She, however, miraculously escaped being blinded.
Sherifat’s five-year-old daughter, Kehinde, who was sleeping beside her, was also lucky as she escaped with a few burns to her back and arms.
According to her there was nothing different about that day, it was just like any typical day “There was nothing unusual about that day. Like any typical day, I went to the market to sell fish. I didn’t sell much because there was a free-for-all among the area boys. It disrupted our business.
“My eldest daughter, Omowunmi, was, however, able to make more sales by hawking the fish around the market area. Three of my children were with me then.”
At the end of the day, Sherifat went back to her apartment in Ifo and watched the TV with her children until 12am.
She said, “I had slept for about 30 minutes when I felt something hot on my body. Initially, I thought it was fire and I started screaming.
“My screams woke up Omowunmi. She took one look at my body and started shouting that somebody had poured something on me. That was when it dawned on me that my house was not on fire.
“In the process of trying to shake off whatever had been poured on me, some drops of the acid poured on Kehinde, who had come back to sleep beside me.”
Sherifat’s neighours came out to find out what the problem was but no one was caught in connection with the incident.
In the morning, the case was reported at the Ifo Police Station. Till date, the mystery had yet to be unraveled by the police.
Her husband, Tunde, said that he was alerted to the incident the same day at 3am and according to him things have been tough since the incident “It was Omowunmi who called me. At dawn, I set out for Ifo and met my wife at a catholic hospital where she had been taken to. The hospital said the burns were serious and transferred her to the General Hospital, Sango.
“It has been tough for us ever since. I dig boreholes for a living and without my wife’s support, taking care of our six children has been difficult. I do not know what would have made someone attack my wife with acid. To the best of my knowledge, she has no problem with anyone to warrant any attack.
“Now, my children’s education is on hold. They can no longer attend school. All our finances are geared towards restoring my wife to normalcy.”
He said some doctors at the general hospital had advised that Sherifat would require some surgery in India to repair the damage to her body. He added, “But I don’t have money.”
The Ogun State Police Relations Officer, DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the incident and said a suspect had been identified and was wanted in connection with the attack. He however did not give the identity of the suspect.
He said, “The case is under investigation and efforts are being made to apprehend him. The Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, has directed that the suspect should be declared wanted if he fails to turn up.”