A phone repairer, Rasheed Sunkanmi, is in trouble after meddling in a scuffle between a Lagos politician and his wife on Jimoh Akinsanya Street, Arepo, Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Sunkanmi was going home on a motorcycle when he saw a crowd on the street trying to stop the politician, identified as Odukunle Kuti, from beating up his wife.
The phone repairer was said to have made a snide remark at the politician for beating up a woman, which the ex-councillor of the Ikosi/Isheri Local Council Development Area overheard.
Our correspondent learnt that the politician, who also owned a hotel in Arepo, confronted the stranger for meddling in his family affair.
The confrontation reportedly resulted in a fight between the duo as they tore each other’s clothes into shreds.
It was gathered that the politician later invited some soldiers, accusing the 27-year-old of robbery.
It was learnt that when the military men arrived at the scene, they, however, discovered that it was a fight between Kuti and Sunkanmi and they took the parties to their captain.
The captain, identified as Okoye, was said to have mediated and dispersed the parties.
Not satisfied, PUNCH Metro learnt that the politician, a few days later, reported to the police at the Warewa division and Sunkanmi was invited to make a statement.
About a month after the fight, Kuti was reported to have asked the police to charge the phone repairer to court, accusing him of the theft of his phone and money.
He said, “Kuti and his wife had an issue which became a public matter.
“The man was passing by and he said something that Kuti overheard. He slapped Sunkanmi; the man replied the slap. That was what started the fight.”
Sunkanmi, who spoke to our correspondent on Monday, said he was touched by the way the politician allegedly beat up the woman.
“The only thing I said was, ‘Why will a man be beating a woman like this?’ The man gave me fist blows and I retaliated with a punch; he got injured and said he would arrest and take me to court.
“That evening, he called some soldiers, saying there was a robbery in his house, whereas the fight occurred in front of a mosque. When the soldiers arrived, he said it was not a robbery, but that I interfered in his family matter. I was asked to apologise to him, which I did. But he said he did not want apology.”
The Ogun State indigene said about three days later, he was invited to the police station to make a statement on the matter, which he did.
He said he did not get any feedback from the police or the politician until on Sunday when Kuti came to his house.
“He said he had not forgiven me for the punch I gave him in the mouth. He said the army allowed me to escape on that day and that he had no intention of letting the matter go.
“I got a call from the police to report at the station. I was then told that the matter was going to court,” Sunkanmi added.
His aunt, Dr Ewatomilola Ayeni, alleged that Kuti threatened to kill her over the incident.
She claimed that the former councillor was using his power to oppress her and Sunkanmi.
Kuti’s wife, when contacted by PUNCH Metro on Monday, confirmed that there was a fight between her and the husband.
She said she had run into hiding and did not witness the fight between her husband and Sunkanmi.
“It is true that I had a misunderstanding with my husband and I ran out while he chased me. I don’t know anything about the guy until today (Monday) when the police called me and said I should report to the station on Wednesday. When I get to the police station, I will see the man; I was the one that was beaten. I did not see him and he fought for me. We have not settled the matter yet. He (Kuti) said the man is my boyfriend and that I planted him outside to beat him up.”
The ex-lawmaker said he wanted the case in court because he needed something to back up his claim to divorce his wife, whom he accused of infidelity.
He also claimed that his wife “arranged” the phone repairer to assassinate him.
The 44-year-old Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State indigene said he had endured eight years of marital crises, adding that the Saturday incident was the climax.
He said, “On the day, she went to a party against my instruction. When she returned, I demanded the car key from her. I was running after her to collect the car key when she suddenly ran out and created a scene. I did not know that she had placed someone outside to attack me.
“Since we have been having issues for the past eight years, she has never run out before. It was the first time. From nowhere, this guy came out. Some young guys in my compound wanted to beat him up, but I called the police; they said they could not come unless the army captain gave them the go ahead. I got in touch with the captain and he sent his troops to my house.”
He said the captain called for a truce, saying the 27-year-old was drunk.
“I refused because my clothes were torn, my gold wristwatch and money were missing; I could not just leave the case. I insisted that he must be taken to the police. The captain flared up and said I should go to hell. I ran to the police on Saturday to complain.
“However, to arrest the boy for interrogation became difficult. The police did not have any opportunity to arrest the suspect.
“This last Sunday, somebody told me that he (Sunkanmi) lived down my street and I called the police,” he added.
He noted that when all the parties met at the station, the phone repairer started begging for forgiveness.
Kuti said, “But I refused. I need that fact for my divorce. That is why I am interested in this case. I am establishing that he is an assassin hired by my wife. I don’t need any other thing.”
While denying the allegation that he threatened to kill Sunkanmi’s aunt, he affirmed his claim that the accused dated his wife.
Our correspondent learnt that the couple, who were blessed with two children, had been married for about 13 years.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said if the matter would be charged to court, both Sunkanmi and Kuti would be arraigned for affray.
He said, “It is a nonsense case. We gathered that he (Kuti) was fighting with his wife. The woman ran out and he chased her and continued to beat her. While he was beating the woman, a man who was passing by on a motorcycle tried to intervene.
“The man came down from the motorcycle and they started fighting each other. He tore the man’s clothes. Later, he invited some soldiers. He told the soldiers that the man stole his money and telephone. The soldiers searched the man and found nothing on him.
“The next day, he reported the case to the police, saying the soldiers shielded the man. The police searched for the man and brought him; everybody made their statements and the man denied stealing the phone and money.
“He (Kuti) said if the man could not produce his missing money and telephone, the case should be charged to court. The DPO said if that is the case, both of them would be charged with affray; both of them fought, and it is not a case of stealing.”