When a man, Alabi Olokode, made advances to Lateefah Adesope, a National Diploma holder, the lady simply turned him down on the grounds that her heart was not with him.
Like a desperate man that he is, Olokode persisted. But Lateefah maintained her stand. This, however, did not go down well with the desperate suitor.
As usual, Lateefah set out for mosque around 5.30am on December 30, 2011, for her prayers.
She said, “I was on my way to say my morning prayers at Tekunudeen Mosque, Aboru on Friday, December 30, 2011, when Olokode, who was hiding near the mosque, suddenly called my name. As I turned back, he poured a liquid substance on my face.
“The liquid went straight into my eyes and started burning my face. At that time, I didn’t know it was acid but I just realised that I couldn’t open my eyes because of the burning sensation I was having.
“When I started screaming, people around me confirmed it was acid because the substance consumed part of my veil.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that Lateefah was immediately rushed to the General Hospital, Oke-odo area of Lagos, where she was given first aid before she was transferred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
It was learnt that after spending a few weeks at the LASUTH, Lateefah was told by the attending doctor that she would not be able to see again.
Lateefah’s mother, Haulatu, who spoke to our correspondent amid tears, said she had to take her daughter to another hospital for a second opinion.
She said, “Lateefah was given treatment at the LASUTH but we were not satisfied with their diagnosis because we felt the doctors there did not do enough.
“The doctors at the LASUTH were able to take care of her to some extent and gave her some drugs to ease the pain but they later told us that she would not be able to see again.
“I took my daughter to Antilla Catholic Hospital Eye Centre, Agege, and the doctors told us that if she had been brought earlier, Lateefah would not have lost her sight.”
A nurse, who claimed to be part of the team that attended to Lateefah when she was brought to the eye centre, corroborated what the victim’s mother said.
The nurse, who declined to give her name, said, “When Lateefah was brought in, her right eye was completely gone while the other one was glued together.
“We had hoped that when we opened the left eye, it would still be functional but when we opened it, it was discovered that her cornea had been badly damaged and the acid had destroyed other vital parts of her eyes.
“If she had been brought in earlier, the possibility of her regaining her sight would have been high but the previous hospital where the family claimed she was taken to, did not do enough.”
However, the LASUTH management denied complicating Lateefah’s case and insisted that she was properly attended to.
The Public Relations Officer, LASUTH, Mr. Dele Johnson, said the hospital remained one of the best in the country.
He, however, took our correspondent to the Ophthalmology Department, where the supervising doctor explained that attempts were made to salvage Lateefah’s eyes.
The doctor, who craved anonymity, said, “Lateefah was first taken to the Burn Unit where irrigation was done to clean her eyes and face of the acid. When Lateefah was brought in, the acid had damaged her eyes but we tried for weeks to salvage them.
“We also did prodding by applying an ointment in her eyes to prevent them from closing and she could see partially within that period. Even during the strike, she was attended to day and night and there were improvements.
“However, her eyelids later glued together despite all that and her globe was ruptured. So, we did our best and I’m willing to write a full report to clear any doubt that it was due to negligence of this hospital.”
Lateefah, who sobbed uncontrollably, told our correspondent that life had been unbearable ever since her ordeal.
She said, “I didn’t offend Olokode in anyway, he had been making advances at me and I refused to date him. So, he decided to destroy my life.
“I cannot see again, I have no fiancé, no child and all my dreams and aspirations seem like a fairytale.
“I was still trying to gather money to go back to school so I’ll be able to take care of my family but now I’ve become a liability to my family.”
Her mother, who spoke amid tears, said the family had spent all their savings on medical bills.
She said, “Olokode was a customer at my canteen and had been telling me since last year that he wanted to marry my daughter but I thought he was joking.
“When he persisted, I told my daughter and she said she was not interested in him. I didn’t know he would go to such length to register his grievance.
“I am a widow, I have six children and no husband, we’ve spent all our savings on hospital bills and still she may never see again.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Joseph Jaiyeoba, said Olokode had been arrested.
He said, “Policemen attached to the Oke-odo Division were able to arrest Olokode on Sunday following a tip-off.
“The suspect denied the allegations and said he was her boyfriend. He has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, and investigation is ongoing.”
Culled from Punchng.com