The police in Lagos are battling to unravel the killers of a formerdirector of the Lagos State Government, Mrs. Oluremi Jaiyesimi.
The 63-year-old was found dead in her house in the Abraham Adesanya Estate, Ajah area of the state.
PUNCH Metro exclusively gathered from sources that the corpse of the former Director of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Youths and Social Development was not discovered until a week after she died.
By then, her body was said to have been decomposing with maggots emanating from the corpse.
Our correspondent learnt that a neighbour, who was suspicious that something was amiss after the former director was not seen for days, alerted a relation in the Surulere area of the state.
The relation reportedly called a friend of the deceased living nearby, who visited the house.
A police source said, “The friend accessed the house with his personal key and when he entered the compound, he perceived a foul smell.
“He also saw trays of onions and melon spread out to dry in the sun. They were already germinating, meaning they had been abandoned for a long time.
“The man decided to report back to the relative that he would not enter the flat because he could sense something was wrong.”
It was learnt that the friend, identified simply as doctor, reported the matter at the Ogombo Police Station.
The relation and some other anxious family members in company with police officers, were said to have forced the door of the house open, only to see the corpse on the floor.
When our correspondent visited the estate on Tuesday, he spoke with residents who said Jaiyesimi might have been murdered.
A resident, Kikelomo Banjoko, said, “A week to the incident, she came to buy sachet water from me and even spent more than one hour with me. She watched as I made pap and commended me for my hard work.
“The next day, which was a Wednesday, she introduced me to another woman in the neighbourhood, telling her that I was a hardworking woman.
“It was the Monday of the following week that I saw some people fumigating her house. Later, somebody told me she was dead. I was shocked.”
Another resident, who pleaded anonymity, said the former director was killed by somebody close to her. He added that the 63-year-old was “always security conscious”.
He said, “Once it’s late, no matter who you are, she will never open her door to you. She was very suspicious of people. She never had many friends. I am sure she couldn’t have slumped and died because she was very agile and healthy.
“The person who killed her must be a close friend or relative. To remove all traces, they took her phones, her generator and even her jeep was driven away.”
PUNCH Metro learnt the killers also tampered with the Closed Circuit Television camera in the house, although they left her jewellery tucked under her pillow.
Findings by our correspondent showed that Jaiyesimi had travelled to the United States, where she was living with her children after she retired from the Lagos State Civil Service four years ago.
Our correspondent learnt that she came back to Nigeria with her kids after her husband, with whom she had separated, died.
While the children travelled back after the burial, she decided to stay in her residence.
PUNCH Metro learnt that she lived alone in the house, but usually called for the service of house helps and artisans on the telephone whenever she needed them.
She was said to have been killed between October 21, the last time she spoke with her children, and October 29, the day her corpse was found.
The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Youth and Social Development, Dr. Dolapo Badru, condemned the murder of Jaiyesimi, who he described as a passionate woman who cared for children.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent, he said, “When I heard about the incident, I was shocked. This was a woman who used all her life to serve humanity. She was especially passionate about vulnerable children. Such people shouldn’t die like that. Those who perpetrated this heinous crime must be caught and made to face the music.”
A police source confided in our correspondent that the cause of death of the woman had yet to be established.
“Even the autopsy did not reveal anything,” he added.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the incident.
The added that the police had begun investigations.
The police spokesperson said the matter had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department, Yaba.