Gloom enveloped Majekolagbe Street, Ibafo, Ogun State on Wednesday after the remains of a landlord and street founder, Adewale Majekolagbe, were found dangling from a rope in his house.
Our correspondent, who visited the area, saw residents and landlords at the late Majekolagbe’s bungalow as the news of the tragedy spread.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the 59-year-old had disappeared from the community on Tuesday and had also stopped taking his telephone calls.
Concerned residents and members of the community development association were said to have forced the door to his house open and found his body dangling from the rope.
Our correspondent learnt that the Abeokuta, Ogun State indigene, wrote a note before his death, which was handed over to the police from the Ibafo division.
A resident, who sighted the note and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the deceased blamed his son for his suicide.
According to him, the note read, ‘(Son’s name withheld), you are the one that put me into this problem, which made me to take my life. 3.35pm.’
He said, “Every day, people usually converged on the frontage of his house to relax. Also, some members of Jehovah’s Witnesses visited him every evening. Around 8pm every day, he went to the house of one of his friends, where he would stay till around 11pm to 12am before returning to his house.
“Nobody saw him throughout yesterday (Tuesday) and when they called his mobile phone, he did not pick his calls. His first daughter also called him without a response. That was why people forced his door open and found his corpse in the house.
“He hanged himself in his late wife’s room. He left a suicide note. He indicated the time he killed himself. The note has been handed over to the police. What is curious is that some of us still don’t know what the son did to him that made him to kill himself. He did not say what his son did.”
Our correspondent, however, heard one of the landlords saying that the deceased had approached him for a loan of N50,000 on Monday.
The landlord, who regretted that he could not assist the victim, said he (Majekolagbe) had told him that his son was behind his travail.
He said, “Despite the heavy rain on Monday, Baba (Majekolagbe) came to my house. He was at my place for more than two hours. He initially asked if I had a loaf of bread that he could eat, which I told him I did not have. I told him that I had pap. We prepared and took it together.
“He then begged me give him a loan of N50,000. I told him that I had just transferred money from my account and there was nothing left. He said his son was at it again and the boy had put himself into another trouble. He sounded really distressed.”
The landlord said he heard that the deceased’s son owed some people over N1m, adding that the debt was put on Majekolagbe.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the deceased’s wife died about two years ago.
A shop where the late wife sold drinks, biscuits and other items, had been taken over by the victim, who continued the trade.
A resident said Majekolagbe was in a good mood last Saturday at the shop.
“I was at his shop that day and he said he would be marking his 60th birthday on December 27. He said he would celebrate it big time. He gave me a malt drink for free and said the celebration had started,” she said.
A woman on the street described the deceased as kind-hearted, adding that his late wife was also hospitable.
She said the son, alleged to have been the reason for the suicide, was also a great member of the family before things went awry.
She said, “When my family newly moved into this street, we brought a trailer load of property from Lagos. His late wife heard my dialect and upon learning that I came from Ekiti, she became excited. Despite the flood, she waded through the water to help us to move our property into our house. We were so close to the family that my children stayed with them when we had not found a school to put them. Both husband and wife were accommodating and loving.
“Even the boy in question used to be a chorister in a Pentecostal church. He was intelligent and assisted my children with their assignments. My children were fond of him.
“The man was the first to take ill. The sickness was serious that he became very lean. The wife supported him until he recovered. Suddenly, the woman also took ill. She died from a stroke. After that time, Baba started living alone in the house.”
Our correspondent gathered that the deceased was not attending any religious house until recently when he joined a local church.
Our correspondent, during the visit to the community, observed some Hausa men digging a grave in front of the deceased’s house.
Some family members, who entered the house, broke down in tears, while there were occasional arguments and blame-trading on the circumstances surrounding the death.
Majekolagbe’s three children were also sighted arriving the house.
When our correspondent approached a member of the family for comment, he said the family did not want the incident publicised.
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident, adding that the police had a copy of the suicide note.
He said, “The man said his son got him annoyed and he decided to kill himself. He did not say in particular what his son did. He just said he could no longer withstand his son’s behaviour.”