?I poisoned my mistress because her sister cursed me?
By AKINWALE ABORISADE
Sunday, 14 Nov 2010
Simbiat Yussuf and Dama a.k.a ?Fatima?
Three months ago, a young girl came to live with a family in Shaki, Oyo State. The family burst into wailing recently when the new member allegedly poisoned the food belonging to the mother of the house, writes AKINWALE ABORISADE
Wickedness is indeed an inherent nature in the heart of man. This explains why a 12-year-old girl allegedly muted an evil idea against her guardian who reportedly picked her up from the gutters and clothed her.
The smart but meek looking girl was alleged to have attempted sniffing life out of an entire household because her mistress? sister reprimanded her for stealing. She, however, did not succeed with her plans but her action has generated a fierce controversy in the town.
Dama (surname withheld) a.k.a ?Fatima? is a native of Jukun, Benin Republic. Having lost her father to a protracted sickness a few years ago, her mother left her in the care of her uncle living in Nigeria and remarried. Three months ago, Fatima?s uncle took her to Mrs. Simbiat Yussuf, a food stuff merchant based in Shaki, Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State to serve as an apprentice and a sales girl.
At the third month of her stay in the house, the young girl was caught stealing. According to Yussuf and her younger sister, she had stolen a sum of N3,000. Rather than being remorseful, the evil idea sprouted in her mind and took roots. The consequence was, of course, damning.
At sunrise on Wednesday, November 3, Fatima left for shop while Yussuf prepared her children for school. She made food and hot tea for the children and herself. But she could not take her tea before setting out for the day?s work as she left in a hurry.
On getting back home in the evening, she was tired and famished so she went straight for her tea unaware that it had been poisoned. After taking the first sip Yussuf noticed that the tea did not taste good and had some nauseating odour. She became probing and agitated. The embattled woman took the tea to her husband at the corridor where he was relaxing. She explained her suspicion but her husband did not take her seriously. But the bubble burst before her husband?s younger sister could confirm her suspicion. She slumped and was rushed to the hospital.
She was discharged from the hospital two days after but was again rushed back when her health relapsed.
Police investigation shows that Fatima was behind the heart-rending act. She was whisked to Shaki Police station following some confirmations. At first, she denied having knowledge of the food poisoning with a claim that she was not at home when the tea was prepared.
The Divisional Police Officer, Shaki Police Station, Mr Mohammed Sulaiman Baba (Superintendent of Police), who personally interviewed Fatima in his office, said she later confessed that she was responsible for the food poisoning. He said, ?She said she poisoned the tea and the lump of fish that the woman kept in the kitchen for cooking.?
Fatima told our correspondent that she did it because her mistress? younger sister cursed her for stealing some money in the shop. The girl said, ?I was not happy. Madam?s younger sister said I shall not succeed and that my father will not reap any good thing from me. I put rat poison in my mistress? tea and in the fish that she kept in the kitchen.?
Fatima confirmed that she once stole N3,000 in the shop. According to her, she had stolen money on many occasions. She said, ?I stole. I usually steal my mistress? money to buy clothes. I keep the clothes with the seller.?
How did she get the poison? The girl said she bought it for N20 from a man hawking the rat killer poison. She explained that on getting home from the shop that fateful day, her mistress was not in. She seized the opportunity to poison the tea and the fish. She said, ?I knew the rat poison could kill. But I was infuriated and I was determined to do it.? She told our correspondent that she knew that the fish would be cooked for household?s consumption. She said, ?If my mistress had cooked the fish I would have eaten it too.?
Yussuf, who expressed shock about the girl?s guts, said she just found out recently that the girl steals. She said she always took good care of Fatima just like her own daughter. ?I never maltreated her and I did not suspect that she was stealing. I don?t discriminate against her; I treat her as my own daughter. I give her same food with my children, even noodles. We all play and eat together.
?One day, we noticed that N3,000 was missing in the bag where we kept some money. That was when we discovered that she was stealing. She confessed that she always used the money to buy dresses for herself. Yet, I did not handle her with iron hand.?
For Yussuf, it was ?Once beaten twice shy.? The thought that she could be poisoned by the girl never crossed her mind. Having learnt her lessons in a hard way, she said she would not have the girl back into her house. She said, ?I cannot have her back in the home.? She said she would not even want to have another person in her stead.