Help! Our step mother is holding our sick father hostage – children of septuagenarian

By Esther Onyegbula

A major family crisis was, yesterday, averted by the
police in Lagos after the biological children of ailing septuagenarian, Alhaji
Shanshudeen Labinjo, made attempts to take him to hospital for treatment
but their step mother resisted by locking all exit and entry points to their
residence.

The lingering family crisis which reported led to a face off at their Number 18,
Bashua Street in Somolu area of the state, yesterday, resulted in both the
step mother, children of the septuagenarian and his relatives attacking each
other openly. When all efforts by the children to take their ailing father to
hospital were allegedly rebuffed by their step mother who reportedly placed
their residence under lock and key, they had to invite the police at Alade
division to help them gain access to the house.

Vanguard learned that when they stormed their father’s residence, a guard at
the gate stopped them from gaining access to the building claiming that
nobody was inside. The visibly rattled children of the old man who suspected
foul play however, insisted on gaining access but the guard persisted. It was
gathered that Policemen that accompanied them to the house also advised
against forceful entry into the house.

Speaking with Vanguard, one of the sons to the old man, Okiki Labinjo
alleged that the whole ugly development was masterminded by their step
mother whom he claimed has been holding their sick father hostage without
reasons. He said: “My father has been sick for a while now. Each time we
made attempt to take him to the hospital, his wife, Funke, would not allow
us. Each time we come to the house, we can’t go beyond the gates let alone
see our father.

“For months now, none of his children or extended family has been allowed to
see him. He has loss of memory. Because of his health issues, there was a
time my father wanted to jump from the second floor of the building. She
would bring thugs and policemen from anti-robbery squad to harass and
threaten us. They went ahead and arrested my elder brother, Lukmon who
was fighting to take our father to the hospital.

“Right now, all we want is to have access to our father so that we can, at
least, take him to the hospital so that he can have access to proper medical
care,” he added.

Lamenting, Engineer Kamal Labinjo, the immediate younger brother to ailing
Alhaji Labinjo revealed that “we have made arrangement several times to
take my brother to the hospital but, his wife has refused any member of the
family to see him let alone take him to the hospital.”How can she deny his
children and family access to see him even while he is sick? This is so
unfair.

“For goodness sake, she doesn’t have a child for my bother. When she
moved in to live with my brother, she came with three children she had from
her previous marriage who my brother trained. We don’t understand why she
is refusing him medical attention after all he has done for her and her
children. Can you imagine that it is one of her sons from her previous
marriage that is controlling my father’s estates and properties located in
different places in Lagos, while his biological children are left with nothing.
“She is using the police force to threaten and harass any family member that
comes looking for Alhaji. Even his friends from the central mosque where he
worships are forbidden to see him. The police at Alagbon have been
compromised, anytime there is an arrangement to take Alhaji to the hospital
At a point we had to write a petition to Police Service Commission,PSC, and
to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in Abuja after his Muslim brothers
pleaded that we should intervene.”

Questioning the motive behind refusing Alhaji Labinjo access to adequate
healthcare, the Convener of Jashable Touch, a Non-Governmental
Organisation, NGO, Mrs Favour Benson said that it was unjustifiable for a sick
person to be locked up. “Why should a sick person be locked up inside the
house and not taken to the hospital? How on earth do you prevent the
children and relatives of a sick person from having access to him?”

Efforts by Vanguard to speak with their step mother failed as she could not
be seen during the period the standoff lasted and the guard refused to give
out her telephone number.

Source: Vanguard

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