A noodles seller at the Magboro area of Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, Olayinka Ogunleye, 47, is fighting for her life at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Mushin, having been gutted by one of her customers, Opeyemi Rufai.
Eyewitnesses said Ogunleye, a mother of three, was stabbed in the stomach on July 29, 2021, at about 8 pm at Bionik Hotel, Alamo Street.
Rufai, her regular customer, who is presently on the run, had called that fateful day and left instructions that she should prepare a plate of noodles for him.
Ogunleye, a divorcee, recalled that after she was through with the noodles, she waited endlessly for Rufai, but he didn’t come until hours late
Rufai eventually arrived and asked for his plate of the noodles. But he said he could no longer do it because it had gone cold.
Ogunleye recounted: “We started arguing and then I left him at the bar.
“I went into the kitchen to prepare noodles for another customer.
“I didn’t want to waste Rufai’s noodles, so I gave it to Akpan, the manager of the hotel.
“While I was preparing noodles for another customer in the kitchen, I was surprised when I saw Rufai in the kitchen.
“He brought out N1000, saying I should give him his balance of N400, claiming he didn’t want trouble.”
Ogunleye said that immediately she gave Rufai his balance, she asked him to leave the kitchen.
She narrated: “But before I knew what was happening, he grabbed a pot of pepper I had boiled and poured it on me.
“Before I could get my bearing, I saw a knife in his hand and then in my stomach.
“Truthfully, I had bitten and injured him.
“If not because I escaped from the kitchen, I would have been dead by now. When I saw my intestines out, I screamed for help.
“I didn’t want to die, and it was some customers at the hotel that provided cloth for me to wrap around my stomach. My body was covered with blood.
“Even those that assisted me into the car that took me to the hospital were also covered with blood.”
Ogunleye was rushed to Magboro Health Centre, where she was rejected.
She was then moved to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, where unfortunately doctors were on strike.
She was then again rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Mushin, where she was finally accepted.
Ogunleye said: “It was when I was crying that I should be injected to death because of pains that I was rushed into the theatre. I thank God the operation was successful.”
She would later hear through her elder sister that Rufai’s family sent N100,000.
She was also told that the owner of the hotel where the incident took place had also contributed N30,000 towards her treatment.
Ogunleye said: “I was unconscious when I was rushed to the hospital because I had lost a lot of blood.
“All I could remember was being rushed into the theatre. When I opened my eyes later, I was in the hospital ward.
“After the operation, doctors abandoned me due to their strike and also because I had no money.”
Ogunleye appealed to well-meaning Nigerians and the owner of Bionik Hotel to come to her aid as there are some drugs she was yet to buy for lack of money.
Rufai’s elder sister, Abosede Omobolanle, described the incident as “unfortunate.”
But Omobolanle accused Ogunleye of being the first to attack Rufai.
She said: “I was not at the scene of the incident, but I was told Olayinka was the first to grab a knife, threatening to stab my brother.
“Rufai, however, succeeded in wresting the knife from her grip and stabbed her instead. After my brother had stabbed her, she ran to our house, covered with blood, to report to my mother that Rufai had stabbed her.
“We followed her to the hotel where the incident occurred, and it was from there she was rushed to the hospital. So far, we have spent N185,000 on her.”
Asked about the whereabouts of Rufai, Omobolanle replied that she didn’t know.
She added that several attempts to get him on his phone line had been futile.
She said: “My brother was also stabbed in his hands, back and shoulder.
“We even borrowed the money we spent on Olayinka.”
Some customers at the hotel also complained about Ogunleye, alleging that she usually flies into a rage and threatens to stab customers at the slightest provocation.
One of the customers, Oluwaseun Oshinuga, said: “There was a day Olayinka also threatened to stab me just because we had a minor issue.
“On that fateful day, I had also asked her to prepare noodles for me, but she said no. I then asked her if I had ever owed her.
“Before I knew what was happening, she dashed into the kitchen and returned with a knife, threatening to stab me. The truth is that in that clash between her and Rufai, she was at fault.
“She needs to remember that the customer is always right. Even when Rufai didn’t eat the noodles, he still paid.”
Oshinuga remembered that the owner of the hotel, where the incident happened, came out to plead with Rufai to forgive Ogunleye so that peace could reign.
Oshinuga said: “The issue of the noodles had been settled between her and Rufai, yet Olayinka continued to hurl insults at Rufai.
“It was annoyance that made Rufai go to Olayinka’s kitchen to fight her, but instead, they both ended up stabbing each other.
“Olayinka was the first person to stab Rufai. Since then, I had not seen Rufai in the hotel.
“Even when policemen from Ibafo Police Station came, Rufai had disappeared.
“There was a time Olayinka attempted to stab another woman, also over a minor issue. I don’t know why she likes trouble.”
Speaking on behalf of the owner of Bionik Hotel, Adenusi Abiodun, a lawyer, John Olobayo, said Ogunleye was a tenant at the hotel.
He said Ogunleye only uses the facility to sell food. She also sleeps in one of the rooms.
The lawyer said there had been too many complaints against the victim, including from her customers.
Olobayo said: “The police should go after Rufai because my client, Mr. Adenusi Abiodun, wrote boldly on the wall of the hotel that fighting and smoking of Indian hemp will not be entertained in the hotel.
“Rufai came to the hotel to eat, after which an argument ensued between him and Olayinka, leading to the stabbing.
“We have not seen Rufai since the incident. When Olayinka was stabbed, my client paid N30,000 for her treatment.
“It was also on record that Olayinka is an aggressive woman. She was responsible for her actions.”
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