THE FOLLOWING STORY WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN OUR OLD BLOG ON MAY 20, 2012.WE ARE RELOCATING IT HERE BECAUSE WE ARE SHUTTING DOWN THE OLD BLOG.
On May 9, 2012, Sunday Osakuni, aka Stereoman Ekwe was arrested arrested by homicide detectives attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Yaba in Lagos. He was alleged to have murdered in cold blood, his wife, Rukayat Idris on April 13.
Police sources said they were alerted by passers-by who discovered Rukayat’s corpse in her car by the Trade Fair Complex along Badagry-Seme Road.
Her corpse was discovered around 8pm, but her car was said to have been abandoned under the bridge where it was discovered since noon. Rukayat’s remains were deposited in a mortuary for autopsy, and police said she had no gunshot wound.
Investigations revealed that nothing was stolen from the deceased; however, there were marks on her neck which suggested that she was strangled.
The story continued that Stereoman and Rukayat had been separated for close to a year, with claims of constant quarrelling and battering between the couple. Rukayat’s relatives have accused him of committing the crime.
It was also gathered that Ekwe moved out of their Satellite Town apartment, abandoning Rukayat and their daughter.
One Rasta Mumen, a close friend of Rukayat’s, told the police that Rukayat and her daughter were squatting with friends after their rent expired last year. Mumen also told the police that Ruyakat, an indigene of Kogi State, left her child with her to go to the market the day she was killed.
Stereoman was also alleged not concerned when he was informed of Rukayat’s death.
“It was Ruyakat’s sister who came from Port Harcourt that identified her body and made the complaint, because when Ekwe was called, he showed no remorse or came to identify her,” said the source who requested anonymity. Some musicians, including Daddy Showkey and African China were said to have shown support by visiting their colleague in the cell.
What happened here is a preventable tragedy, but one that was foreseen over a year ago, when Sunday Mirror
was contacted by Rukayat, who then introduced herself as Rekhia. Rekhia, whom the reporter had known for about three years, was a lovely young woman, whom Stereoman had introduced as his wife.
In 2012, Sunday Mirror had interviewed her, and written her story when her plight became very disturbing. However, Rekhia had called the reporter to plead that the story should not be published. However, the newspaper had decided to ignore her, knowing she may not have been speaking with a clear mind. The intro of the story had read thus:
Although she had granted Sunday Mirror this interview, Rekhia had severally called back to beg that the story be dropped, as she is scared of hurting Stereoman, whom she says she still loves. She however, had equally called each time to say we should go ahead and publish it. In using our discretion, Sunday Mirror hereby decided to publish this, in order to save Rekhia, as well as little Lyrics, her daughter. Rekhia has suffered, and is still suffering great loss of health, both physically and emotionally, and everything she suffers tells on Lyrics. It is our place hereby as a media organization dedicated to upholding truth and human rights to tell the world. Perchance, some of those who read this will be touched and take action in order to save this girl and her baby.
However, Rekhia’s appeals that Sunday Mirror drop the story increased, including her telling her friends and pastor to call and plead. She went as far as kneeling on the street to beg for it to be dropped, and the reporter decided to kill the story. On Tuesday, 15th May, the reporter gathered that Stereoman has been arrested for allegedly killing Rekhia. This is the story according to Rekhia (Rukayat):
Stereoman in a mess of scandals
*throws mother of child in canal after beating her
*accused of money rituals, secret cult activities
When Sunday Mirror
reporter arrived Angle 90 Bar located at Marwa Road, he could not recognize Rekhia, wife of Sunday Osakunni aka Stereoman Ekwe, whom he had seen about one month before. She was almost a living skeleton, and she cried bitterly and without control. She sat at one corner of a seat in the inner chambers of the drinking saloon, and when the reporter invited her to come over for a chat, she refused to move. “I am all wet, I can’t leave here”, she mumbled amidst sobs. It was then the truth dawned on the reporter. She looked like a fish out of water, as she was dripping. A putrid smell also exuded from her body. Osakunni, her husband had given her the pummelling of her life and according to her, had thrown her into a canal behind the bar, in which people defecated, but she had managed to get out.
According to the 29 year old mother of Stereoman’s sick baby, Rekhia Idris was her maiden name when she met Osakunni. The Katsina-born young mother had met him in 2007 after she had just completed her degree programme with ABU, Zaria. She was at her father’s palatial mansion in the heart of Abuja waiting for her results when she gathered that Osakunni was coming for a concert at the Hilton Hotel. She had been a great lover of the musician, while in school, and did not mind friends addressing her as Ekwe, one of his aliases. So quickly getting herself a ticket, she had gone and taken a front seat. During the show, she had being overwhelmed with emotion at meeting her star and had met him after the show. They had exchanged phone numbers and a romantic relationship had begun.
The love story had blossomed into a pregnancy, but two months after, her father, the only surviving member of her immediate family had died. Despite the fact she lost her mum early, it had not been a problem as her father, who was very wealthy, treated her like a queen. “In those days”, Rekhia recalls, “he would take me on holiday to Thailand and other different countries”. Indeed, life was too good then- her father was an oil baron, and a younger brother to a very influential Nigerian politician from the North. Probably due to the fact that the wealth was just there at her beck and call, and possibly also because there was no kith or kin to advise the young lover, she had spoilt the musician with her wealth after her father passed on, such was her love for him. “He has been pushing me to sell my properties. I had a house in Abuja, I had in Zaria- an estate that students were renting at N65, 000 each year. The house was a 17-apartment self-contain and he cajoled me into selling it. The one in Geleswen Zaria too, I sold. He told me to sell my father’s cars. He left a Murano, Escalade and Dodge Duranga, then there was the Hilux he was using for the company. He pushed me and I sold everything my father had in Port Harcourt. I went to Abuja and sold others. Then Zaria, and then one in my village in Katsina, I sold too”.
When she came to Lagos originally, Stereoman was living in a small house in Ajegunle, where he was sharing a room with eight friends. Since she could not stay there, she had moved to the high-brow Central Bank Estate (CBN Quarters) in Satellite Town, Lagos and rented a two-bedroom apartment, where he later joined her and they lived together as a couple.
Sometime in May 2011, Rekhia had visited Sunday Mirror
headquarters in Lagos. When she entered, she was looking bedraggled and tattered. A SundayMirror
reporter who had known her earlier could barely recognize her as she had become a complete shadow of herself. Her skin colour which used to gleam with health, was dark and crinkled. She was withdrawn and tired. The baby on her back, whom she identified as her daughter, Lyrics, was dribbling spittle while her tongue hung out of her mouth. Rekhia was crying, and Lyrics was crying too. She sat down and brought out a flask from her bag to feed the baby. What she fed the baby, to the shock and utter disbelief of some reporters on the spot was sour pap. “This is how it has been o!” she wailed. When asked what happened, she narrated her story, which at the end, she begged the reporters not to publish. “I love him; I don’t want to tarnish his image. I can’t imagine people calling him an evil man” she pleaded.
According to Rekhia, shortly after Stereoman lost his Mercedes Benz Jeep G55 to a crash, he had told her that the only condition for reconciliation between them will be if she brought him her Honda car in Abuja : “I bought that car for myself but Ekwe took that car from me and was using it. I let him as I took it we are one. When I did not know what to do, I decide to return to Lagos, but he told me that if I do not bring hat car for him, it’s over between us. I went back to Abuja and drove that car all alone back to Lagos. As soon as I came back with that car, Ekwe collected it and sold it. These his intimidations started a long time ago. When I was pregnant from the beginning, Ekwe had told me that if he must marry me, I should give him N15 million and buy him a Prado jeep, that that is only when he is going to marry me. I managed to give him N5 million”.
On Friday July1, Rekhia had called the reporter. Again, she was crying, and told him that she has made up her mind to tell her story- “Please come, please come”, she had wept over the phone. Indeed, for such a young woman passing through such agonies, crying seem to have become a favourite pastime while brooding has become her hobby. It was on that day that she was nearly drowned in the canal.
Parts of Rekhia’s story are reproduced word for word below:
”I met Stereoman in 2007 while I was in Abuja. I had just completed my degree program and was waiting for my results. I had gone for his concert at Hilton, where I met him. Then I owned a Peugeot 206 and a Bulldog. After he came to visit me, I went to drop him with my car. We then started dating. Then he told me that he wants to marry me, and I told him that my mum was late and I am my dad’s only child. I told him he would not want me to marry somebody like him. Along the line, in 2008, I became pregnant, and he told me not to let anyone know.
“We then went to his village and he took me to see his mother, and told her I am the girl he wants to marry. He took me to their Mmanwu society, a local secret society. They gave me schnapps, and did some rites and dance. He told me that we have wedded, that that is the way they do their traditional wedding. They also took me to their river, I don’t know the name of the river and I was bathed there. There was one great juju in that river- they serve egbe– that is the name of the juju. Then they said they want to wash my head with coins and water. Then that they want to make incisions on my body. But I refused. They said if I love him, I should do that. I was pregnant and their will prevailed against mine and they did that. I have no father or anybody to help. Then they gave me the marks all over my joints, then on my foot, my hands, my waist, my shoulders and my…everywhere they gave me the mark.
“I was crying when he came, I did not know what they did to me. He asked why I was crying, I said I don’t know what they have done to me. He said he has married me and nothing can change it. After that, there was one woman I met in the village who speaks Hausa. She was the one who told me that the rites I did were bad, dangerous. She told me that they were using the baby in my womb for rituals and I was crying. We came back to Lagos, but nothing was done among my family as regards marriage. When my labour came, it lasted eight days. The first day it started, I went to Redeemed Church Clinic in FESTAC Town, Lagos. I went there because of the prayers, and I was going for every Monday and Thursday prayers there. My body was telling me I had already made that mistake. The day I was to deliver, I told him to take me to that place, that that is where my spirit says I should go, even though I had registered in two other places. I was in labour for five days, and the nurses said I should go for an operation. I went to Bethel Hospital and when they said they will operate me, Ekwe refused. We went to other hospitals and they said the same thing. Ekwe refused. I then called a woman who does massaging and she called me to come. She then prayed and prayed for me, and I delivered the baby. Three days after I had the baby, she began to vomit blood. I told him and he was laughing. He said ‘let me snap the baby’. I was calling, ‘nurse, nurse, my baby is vomiting blood o, and he is laughing!’ But before the nurse would come, she had died. Ekwe, his uncle and aunty went to bury the baby at Badagry Road. I told them that I should follow them to that place but they refused. I don’t know what they did with the body.
“I had that baby on 31 August 2008 and she died on 3rd September. That same day, Ekwe and his friends began to celebrate. When in anger I asked him how he will be celebrating after the death of our baby, he said he did not want to feel bad; he had to look for something to make him happy. I was so angry and we had a fight that day.
The next day, he took me out with his friends and he kept telling me not to worry. I gradually decided to forget it. Then he started putting juju things in the house.
“When I was one month pregnant, my father died. My parents’ names are Idris Usman and Maimuna Usman. I was afraid because I had no one to help me. Then we continued and this one came. The day I was in labour, he was drinking and when I called him, he did not come. At past 12 in the night, he told me he was in the club and should not worry him. I started trekking that night to Iba to that woman’s house to have my baby. It was at 3 am that I got to Ile-Ekpo, and I saw him driving home, playing music loudly. I was stopping him and he did not stop. I had lost my phone, then I saw a Danfo bus but he refused to help. Then another person now rushed me to the woman’s place who delivered me of the first baby. She told me that I should not let him come so he will not cause confusion as he did before.
“When this one came, there was no problem at all. When we were coming home, I started feeling somehow, and I told Ekwe that I am not feeling myself. But he told me not to worry that it is the way Delta wives feel after delivery. It was then I started noticing his strange behaviour. He would go out and return at midnight when everyone had slept. Then he would come and carry the baby to his shrine and be speaking his language with my baby. He was bringing juju people to the house and say things on the baby. I did not know what he would be saying, but after sometime, the baby became ill. I took the baby to LUTH, and we were there for about two months. They barbed her hair, they scanned her brain, back and nothing was found to be wrong with her. But she was not normal. But he never came there one day to know how the baby was faring. All the money I paid was money I got from different people. He never came there one day. But one day, he just came and began fighting with everybody in the hospital that they must discharge the baby. We did not complete what we went there for and he forced us to leave.
“As soon as we returned, he continued his midnight rituals with the baby. He would take the baby to his shrine and be speaking his language and doing incantations. At four months, the girl was sitting and behaving normal, but while that thing went on, she started changing. She could no more sit, and I now discovered that the baby has turned an imbecile. She was not like this when she was born. Her pictures are here. In fact, there was a time he talked about this baby in Sun Newspapers. People were calling him on the phone to commend him. I remember he said that Monalisa Chinda called him and told him his baby is very fine. Then I said that if an actress can admire my baby, then I am lucky. So how come my baby is like this now? I took her to National Hospital, Abuja where she spent about two months, and they could not do anything for my baby. I spent all the money there, Ekwe did not contribute anything. I then went to Cele Church, and even went to babalawo. I have been trying my best to get this baby back to health. I have been to The Lord’s Chosen, I have been to Jehovah Sharp Sharp, I have been to Synagogue, I have been to several other churches. Wherever I have gone, they have always pointed out that this baby has been used for rituals. I came back to Lagos again and we were still staying together. I will tell Ekwe to bring money for baby’s food, he will ignore me. Pampers, he will not mind me. It was getting too obvious that he did something. From the Nollywood movies I have watched, I have learnt that when someone gets involved in money rituals, whoever is involved does not allow the victim touch the money as it spoils the charm. At a time, I became tired of the whole situation- no pampers; no food and I could no more cope.
“I inherited a lot of things from my dad; he was very rich when he was alive. Ekwe has been pushing me to sell my inherited properties, and I have been bringing him money. So later I took the baby to his village so that his mother could help me. If my mother were alive, I don’t think I will be suffering all these. I am just 29, and there is no one to help, even the father of my child who should help is not. When I took the baby there, the mother described my baby as a dead snake, and that I should remove her from their home. I managed to go to Port Harcourt to a family close to me. For the love they have for me, they followed me to Ibuku Delta State, and when we got there, his mother said it’s not her child, that it is not her business. She said we should leave her alone as it was Ekwe, not her that owns the child.
“When we were together, I had mentioned that we could open a bar. By the time I returned, Ekwe had already opened one. He took the two fridges I bought and opened that bar. I went to meet him in the bar when I returned. After greeting him, I said he should carry the baby. He said he is not carrying any baby, asking ‘which one is baby?’ when I asked for the house key, he said he is not giving me. I left and came home to sleep on the balcony. If he is not the person behind the baby’s troubles, why has he and his mother rejected the baby? Let’s assume this baby belongs to D’Banj. Do you think D’banj will leave his baby like this?
However, when contacted with the allegations, Stereoman insisted that Rekhia was out to destroy his life by tarnishing his image. “I am not the first to have a child outside marriage. I don’t want to marry her, and she is trying to force me. I don’t want her in my life; she only torments me with her nagging. Whatever she told you is meant to rubbish my personality, but God knows which the truth is”, he told Sunday Mirror.