A 32-year-old woman, Fatima Mohamed, has alleged that her husband, a bureau de change operator in Lagos, Abdulrasheed Umar, infected her with the dreaded Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV and separated her from her sons.
Mohammed, who was allegedly sent out of her husband's house, also accused the Divisional Police Officer of the Area G Police Command, Ogba, of forcing her to sign an undertaking that she willingly released her children to her husband.
She also alleged that her husband purposely infected her with HIV, leaving her to suffer for his alleged promiscuity.
Mohammed said, "My husband infected me with HIV in 2011. When I wanted to have my first child, I was okay but when I wanted to give birth to the second baby, they ran tests on me and saw that I had HIV. I ran from there to another hospital to do the test again and it was also positive. I cried but the doctor advised me and asked me to tell my husband to do his own. My husband said he would not do it, that he would rather die with it. I do not have a boyfriend. I am Hausa and once we marry in my tribe, we don't do other men."
She said her husband sent her out of the house with the help of the Divisional Police Officer for Area G Command, Ogba, Lagos, leaving her with nothing to eat or survive on.
Narrating her ordeal, she said, "I now live at Kola with one of my sisters. My husband sent me out of the house and along with the area commander of Area G (DPO), they forced me to sign an undertaking that I would leave the children for my husband. They came to arrest me on the 21st of December at Palm View Estate, Abattoir, Phase 1. They told me the area commander wanted to see me and I followed them. I got there around 3pm but didn't see the area commander till 8pm.
"When he came, the policemen asked me to remove my earrings, scarf and everything, I did so. I was not asked to put down any statement. They locked me in the cell for three days. The area commander said I should leave the three children for my husband; that that is the Islamic way. I did not say anything to him, I was just looking at him.
“When he saw that I didn't say anything, he asked them to lock me in the cell since I refused to do what he asked me to do. The area commander gave me the girl and gave the two boys to the father. My husband has taken my two kids to the North now, to his sister. He said I should not come and see them. Welfare (state welfare officials) was not there, no one from the Lagos State government (was there), he's just doing his own thing."
Mohammed lamented that her first son has cerebral palsy and that she is worried he might not be getting the kind of attention he needs as he is away from her.
She said she had not seen her children, who are in faraway Kano, for four weeks.
"I haven't seen my children for one month. He said he has divorced me, not in court though, he just said it. He paid my bride price, I'm from Kebbi State while he is from Zamfara,” she said.
The young mother said she is jobless and roams the street, seeking alms from people in order to feed herself and her daughter.
Sharing her experience at the Gender Unit of the state command, Mohammed said she was surprised that even women treated her with disdain.
"I went to the state command, gender unit, I met some women and I told them my story. They said I needed to get a good lawyer to stand for me and that I should bring N5,000 so they could take the letter to my husband. One of the women said I didn’t look like someone who had the money. She said I should drop the case and go and look after the girl, and that with the N5,000, I could start a business. I was shocked. Nigerians, please help me!"