Doctors are battling to save the eyes of a banker in Ile Ife, Osun State, Mr. Tope Akinlabi, and his wife, Mulikat, who were bathed with acid by some yet-to-be-identified people.
It was learnt that Tope and his wife were returning home on foot after the close of work on Monday, December 16, when two men riding on a motorcycle met up with them and emptied the content of a jerry can on them.
Tope was said to have gone to his wife’s shop at the Eleyele area of Ile Ife after he closed from work on the fateful day.
The attackers met up with them while the two of them were going home on foot around 7pm when the incident happened.
It was learnt that while the husband’s face was badly affected, the burns on the wife’s face was less severe due to the Hijab she was said to have put on.
It was gathered that the screams of the couple attracted passersby to the scene of the incident. They were said to have chased the attackers and caught them.
When our correspondent visited the couple on Sunday, it was learnt that the husband was gradually regaining the use of his sight.
Tope said he was still scared because he did not know the people behind the attack and the reason they targeted his family.
He said, “After the close of work last Monday, I went to my wife’s shop and waited for her to close after which we went to an eatery and bought some snacks for our kids.
“My wife and I were walking on the road around a hotel at Eleyele Street when I saw a motorcyclist carrying a passenger coming towards us. I told my wife that this bike would hit us, but before I finished saying that, the person at the back of the bike poured acid on us.
“I started screaming and calling for help. Those around came to our rescue, while others pursued the two men who attacked us. Eventually, they were caught. Sympathisers started beating them, but one of the two bike men started pleading that they should not be killed because they were sent.”
The victim said he had not quarreled with anybody and nobody owed him, while he was also not indebted to anybody.
“We don’t have any enemy,” he added.
He urged the police to find those after his life, saying he was still living in fear because he didn’t know if those who attacked him were satisfied with his present state or had wanted to kill him.
The wife, Mulikat, said she didn’t know why the hoodlums attacked the two of them, adding that those arrested had been taken by the police to the State Criminal Investigation Department at the Osun State Police Command headquarters.
The Commissioner of Police in Osun State, Mrs. Dorothy Gimba, when contacted on the telephone, said she had not been briefed about the case.
She said, “I was involved in another assignment. But I will find out and I can assure you that we will surely investigate and make sure that justice is done in the case. Husband and wife attacked with acid? That is terrible.”
Credit: Femi Makinde