Man loses eye celebrating 40th birthday
Life, they say, begins at 40. For this reason, when an Osogbo-based interior decorator, Aderemi Okunade, clocked 40 on May 28, 2010, he invited a few friends and colleagues to join him for a low-key celebration at a bar.
But an argument ensued in the midst of the celebration over who is richer between two prominent musicians, Wasiu Ayinde, and Abass Obesere.
One of those engaged in the argument and a guest of Okunade, Mayowa Olaleye, 32, threw some beer into the host‘s right eye and smashed same with a glass cup. The host eventually lost the eye.
Okunade said,”When I finished the day‘s job, I decided to celebrate my birthday with my co-workers and friends. Initially, I had planned to go to a particular bar but as we drove through Egbatedo Street, Osogbo, I saw a popular bar and I decided to have some drinks there with my friends.
”Olaleye is a younger fellow whom I know in the neighbourhood. He is like a younger brother to me. At the bar, I bought beer for my friends, including Olaleye. An argument ensued over who is richer between Wasiu Ayinde and Obesere. I bought a bottle of Trophy for Olaleye, who was rooting for Obesere, while one Kamoru Adebayo, a primary school teacher, felt Ayinde is richer.
At a point when the argument was going out of hand, I intervened. While Adebayo heeded my admonition, Olaleye did not. I rebuked him. In anger, he threw his beer into my face and smashed his glass cup into my right eye. My right eye was shattered and I was soaked in my own blood. I was rushed to nearby Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo. But Olaleye fled.”
Okunade, an indigene of Iree and a father of three boys and one girl, has been receiving well-wishers and sympathisers since the incident happened. He said the treatment cost him a lot of money.
An eyewitness, who chose to be anonymous, told PUNCH METRO, ”They did not come together. Okunade arrived in his Honda Acura Legend car with some of his friends and co-workers. Olaleye, Kamoru Adebayo and one Dayo arrived about the same time. They all are from the neighbourhood. There was an argument over who is the richer between Ayinde and Obesere.
”The friends became divided. At a point during the argument, a group was playing Ayinde‘s songs on a mobile phone, while the other group was playing Obesere‘s songs on another phone. The argument became heated. Okunade insisted that Ayinde was richer. At a point, there was a shouting match between Okuande and Olaleye.
”Okunade said he would not fight Olaleye because he is older, stronger and richer than he. He described Olaleye as a worthless fellow and this infuriated the younger man, who threw the beer he was drinking into Okunade‘s face and smashed his glass cup into his face.”
Five days after he was discharged from the hospital, Okunade in company with his wife, arrested Olaleye while he was relaxing at home and took him to the police station.
Okunade explained that he had spent a fortune in medical treatment just as he welcomed support from public-spirited individuals and groups.
Subsequently, the police charged Olaleye to court and he was arraigned before Magistrate Olalekan Ijiyode.
In court, Olaleye admitted that he was guilty and begged for leniency. His lawyer, Mr. Adegoke Ogunsola, urged the court to temper justice with mercy, saying that Olaleye‘s wife, children and aged mother would suffer if he was convicted.
But the magistrate said that punishment must be meted out to Olaleye to serve as deterrent to others.
Ijiyode subsequently sentenced Olaleye to two years imprisonment without an option of fine.