The family of the late Ronke Bewaji Shonde, suspected of being killed by her husband, Lekan Shonde, on Monday decided to come out of their grief and mourning to put the records straight about what they described as complete lies being bandied about by Lekan to tarnish the image of their late daughter.
Ronke’s elder sister in an interview with Nigerian Tribune on Tuesday, stated that Lekan only cheated her sister. “He only cheated my sister and it is very painful because all the allegations are not true. I think what triggered the violence is that he started listening to people’s opinion, his age became a problem. For example, when we were waiting outside their house on Friday for the police to pack Ronke’s corpse, someone stated that when he goes to the beer parlour around, they teased him thus you are old while your wife is young, very soon, you won’t be able to satisfy her again’, it gets to him and he uses it to react violently to his wife. It is just a case of insecurity, he was afraid of what was non-existent and he gets angry at everything.
“If you ask him to bring a proof of his wife’s infidelity, he has none. Initially, when the incident happened, the first people he called, he told them that he read through the phone and read a text, later he said he overheard a conversation. He had nothing against Ronke, it was just pure jealousy. He loves to lie, that is his specialty. He is in the habit of going crazy and now begging. We have screenshots of chats with Ronke’s friends begging them to talk to Ronke that if she dumped him, he will die because he had seen that she was getting tired and no longer interested in that kind of life, they weren’t talking again. He was begging her because he impregnated a woman outside and confessing that all his suspicions were wrong and he won’t suspect her again.”
Bolatito explained that she used to beg him all the time that his wife was a responsible woman and she shouldn’t be made to suffer, adding that she was always urging him not to give the devil a chance in his home.
“Even when things were tight, she would call me and ask for support. I am always supporting them to pay school fees and even rent, they fight over money because whenever I bailed my sister out, he would check her bag, steal the money then fight her that a boyfriend gave her the money though, he won’t stop her from footing the bills, he even checks her account. She borrowed so much from me to run that home and he’s lying now that he provides for the family. My sister paid school fares and bus fare
She added that the society and religion contributed a lot to what her sister went through. “You know on the day we insisted she leaves, the pastor said Bolatito, you are not married, what would people say? That you that you aren’t married went to your sister’s house to take her from her husband’s house,’’ but I didn’t care, I only wanted my sister to be safe and happy.”
Speaking on the marriage she stated that they got married eight years ago, in November 2008, but denied that it was an arranged marriage. “ To the best of my knowledge, it wasn’t arranged because I remember when she brought him home to introduce him as her fiancé to the family when she was serving, he was well accepted in the family, they had their introduction, the engagement, then a date was set for their wedding.”
Bolatito explained that the family wasn’t concerned about the huge age difference between the couple, adding that his allegation that his mother advised him against the she said, “My late sister was a very beautiful soul, she was full of life, everybody knows she loved her family, loved her husband and children so much. She was a loving mother; she loved her kids, family, husband and his relatives and her home. Everywhere she went, people fell in love with her personality, she was very lively, cheerful and easy going.”
On domestic violence history in the home, she said, “Not initially, not for the first four years, they lived happily as a couple until then and she sacrificed a lot for the success of that home. The physical violence started about four years ago when they moved to a new location, the husband became petty and concerned about what people say especially concerning how young his wife was compared to him, he just became insecure and he set up neighbours to spy on my sister, he would be at work at the wharf and they would be calling to tell him what was happening in his home, what she’s wearing, the time she leaves home and even to the extent that they inform him when their child is crying at home and when he gets back, he would start going through her phones to know who called and who every number is, there must be no unknown number or a number that is not on her contact list in her phone register or there would be trouble.”
And did the family try to stop the violence? “Of course we tried. There was one early morning she called me on my way to work that her husband beat her up, I called him, sent messages to him and even called my mum who thought it was a normal couple’s squabble. To make life easier on her, I advised her not to operate social media accounts since he checks out her friends on facebook and then chats up any male she added as friend, asking what they wanted with his wife, he became too possessive.
“In December last year, my mum was here and around 11pm, Omotara, our sister-in-law called and she said uncle Lekan has started again, he has locked all of them in the house. Then mum said she had to go, she left the house that late and got to their Egbeda home around midnight and during the night I called people, I called my aunty and she directed me to the social welfare. The next morning, I went to a police station towards Idimu, I left my house as early as 5.00am and had to wait for the officer to resume and I laid this complaint, but he said I must bring my sister since I wasn’t the one involved. I went to my sister’s place to pick her and the husband said no, she’s his wife and I cannot take her anywhere, but I told him ‘‘though she’s your wife, I won’t allow you kill my sister because I love her and I don’t want to lose her since we just lost our brother and my mother supported me.’’ He started running after me and my sister though, he wasn’t wearing any shoe and there was drama that day because my mum also insisted that she would take her daughter away that day.
“My sister was running ahead, but when I got to the main gate at their street, I couldn’t find my sister, I looked around and she’s nowhere to be found, but when I got back to her house, I found her crying on the bed, apparently, she dodged me. I begged her to leave and forget what people would say, but while this was going on, the landlady, some neighbours and a pastor came and persuaded her to stay and because she loved him, she always accepted his pleas whatever it is he had done. Though we insisted that even if she wanted to stay with him, she should at least make a statement but she didn’t,” she told Nigerian Tribune.
Speaking on the manager Lekan alleged is sleeping with his wife, she said, “the man is as good as family; he was no threat at all. He was just a colleague who put her through at work because he knew our uncle. He has never gone to pick her or drop her at home. Our uncle is into publishing just like the manager he mentioned and they had business dealings even before Ronke started work.”
She stated further that, “this family can never be the same again. When we lost our brother, we came together and promised ourselves that we will stay together and take care of our mum and the kids but now, she’s no more, this has created a very deep vacuum that cannot be filled by anybody. This family can never be the same again.”
Bolatito stated that their mother is a Christian and a strong woman who has left everything in the hands of God, but denied all allegations made by Lekan. “Even after this incident, he has opened up to several people on phone saying that he had no basis for his suspicion of his wife and he regrets his act so, it is a surprise to hear him say that he overheard something when he has been begging for forgiveness from mummy and I. Obviously, they had advised him not to say the truth. All are lies; he calls the family with one story begging for forgiveness, then goes out to tell another story filled with lies on the advice of people. It is a total lie. My sister’s friend even on facebook can attest to this. He has confessed to some people that it is the work of the devil.”
Also speaking, Omotara, the sister-in-law that stayed with them for almost nine months described the Shonde’s home as one devoid of peace and filled with violence.
“We used to talk about it. Most times because of my presence, he just screams on her and locks her, I and the children up in the house. The only problem they had stemmed from his suspicions that his wife is unfaithful and his insecurity. I know about four people including the dry cleaner that he had accused his wife of sleeping with.
“He was always suspicious of every male his wife related with, he went as far as inviting them on facebook, getting their number and trying to find out their relationship with his wife. He used to hide behind the street gate to confirm whether she came home on bike or someone came to drop her. She just told me last week Wednesday that she was tired and would leave for her aunt’s place this week so that if I’m coming back from Ilorin, I should come to her sister because she would leave, so I should pack many of my belongings. She was ready to leave him for good this week,” Omotara said.