A woman, who identified herself as Mrs. Feyi Akere, has shown up to say 35-year-old Isaac Akere, one of the victims of the Ikorodu boat mishap, was her husband.
Isaac, who was the last of the nine victims to be recovered from the Majidun River, was said to be planning his wedding with his fiancée, Foluke, this week Saturday.
Tragedy struck last Wednesday when both Isaac and Foluke took a commercial boat belonging to Bell Marine Services along with 19 others from the Ebute Ero, Lagos Island en route Majidun, Ikorodu.
The boat capsized midway into the journey due to overloading and speeding, killing the intending couple, two pregnant women, a 13-year-old girl, and four others.
Twelve of the victims reportedly survived the accident.
Isaac’s corpse was discovered on Saturday after the family raised a rescue team of fishermen to search for his body when it was not seen at the Ikorodu mortuary.
Few hours after the report was published, accompanied with the picture of Isaac and Foluke, 36-year-old Feyi said she got calls from friends and family members asking if she had divorced her husband.
She said she was not aware her husband wanted to marry another woman, adding that after the incident, her husband’s relatives locked up his house in Ikorodu and took away her children.
She said, “When the incident happened, some of his colleagues called me, asking if I did not know that my husband was involved in a boat accident, and that he was preparing to marry.
“I didn’t believe until i read the story myself online.
“Immediately, I went to his office at Apapa. I was directed to Ebute Ero. There, they queried me to know if I was his wife. They said they heard he wanted to marry and that he died with his fiancée.
“I called my dad after another friend called me from the United Kingdom saying the same thing.”
She said she went to the mortuary and while making enquiries about her husband and speaking with his colleagues, her husband’s younger brother embarrassed her, asking what she was looking for.
“His younger brother attacked me and told the people around not to talk to me. I discovered that they had locked up Isaac’s house immediately he died and took my children away. They have also removed his two cars –the one he parked at the Majidun jetty and the one in the house. Why are they holding on to my children? What is their interest? Why did they lock up his building and remove his cars? I need to know.”
Asked if she had problems with her husband before he died, Feyi said she once had a major disagreement with him after he impregnated a woman outside wedlock.
The mother of two said the incident, which happened in 2011, led to her husband packing out of their matrimonial home.
“We were legally married in 2006, even though we had been living together since 2004. I have had two children for him, both girls. Our problem started when he impregnated a lady, which I later found out from personal investigation. It was a big quarrel, and I almost sued him for it, but people said I should not because he was my husband.
“He packed out of the house we built and rented a three-bedroom flat and started living with the woman who then had a child for him,” she added.
She, however, said a member of the family identified as Lanre, had been calling her for “negotiation”. She said she wanted to be carried along in the burial of her husband, and had rebuffed such calls, which she described as unreasonable.
Feyi’s lawyer, Debo Olufeko, said, “There is already a case of abduction against the family because they took the two children from her and took them to Ilorin, Kwara State. My client was his legal wife and has a marriage certificate as evidence. She was never divorced from her husband, even though we knew there was a concubine.”
When contacted on the phone, Lanre refused to comment on the allegations, but instead asked us to to speak with an elder of the Akere family.
The elder, who declined identification, confirmed that Feyi was the wife of Isaac.
He said, “Yes, we are aware he had a wife. However, all those things she said are lies. It is a lie that we took her children from her. The family did not take any children from Feyi at any point in time.
“The family moved in to take care of the children. She will take them after coming to talk to the family about it. She was not living with her husband or children before.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, said the government had set up an 11-man Inter–Ministerial Fact Finding Committee to determine the cause of the accident and other similar incidents in the past.
He added that the committee would make recommendations to avoid a recurrence of such incidents, promote safe practices and adhere to safety standard in water transportation in the state