Family petitions Presidency over alleged murder, cremation of daughter by husband

Posted by News Express | 11 February 2017 | 4,446 times

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•Late Mrs. Oluwashola Atunrayo Gaska (Nee Adefolalu).

A Nigerian woman, Abimbola Essien Nelson has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over allegations of unlawful cremation and burial of her younger sister, Oluwashola Atunrayo Gaska (Nee Adefolalu), who was reported dead in Krakow, Poland on December 28, 2016 by her husband.

The petition, dated January 29, 2017, and which seeks to unravel the mystery behind the death, was also forwarded to key government functionaries in Nigeria including the Senate President; Speaker of the House of Representatives; Majority Leader, Federal House of Representatives; Minister of Foreign Affairs; Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs; Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora; Head, Nigerian Consular Section; President, Republic of Poland; Ambassador, Republic of Poland; Mayor, City of Krakow, Republic of Poland; and Policja General Commandant.

The petition reads: “I am writing this petition on behalf of the Adefolalu family seeking your Excellency’s intervention in unravelling the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of my younger sister, Mrs. Oluwashola Atunrayo GASKA (Nee ADEFOLALU) [”the deceased”] and the hurried cremation of her remains by her husband, Jakub Gaska (A.K.A. Qba), [“the husband”] a Polish citizen without the authorisation of our family.

The facts relating to this petition are as follows:

“The deceased and I are sisters of same parentage. Our father, Professor Daniel Oladele ADEFOLALU was a well-known and respected Meteorologist and Climatologist. He died in January 2014.

“The deceased was born on the 25th day of September 1980, and as at December 2016, she was 36 years old. Her husband was 5 (five) years younger than her and was unemployed as at the time of marriage.

“In 2000, Shola travelled to Poland to study Architecture. After graduating and working in Poland for some years, the deceased informed the family that she had met and intended to marry Jakub Gaska, and settle down in Poland.

“As an African family, the expectation of the family was that the potential husband would formally visit Nigeria to comply with Yoruba native law and custom in respect of the traditional marriage rights. This did not happen.

“Reluctantly, and for the happiness of the deceased, the family sent a representative to Poland for the church wedding. I was that representative. The marriage took place on 15th day of August 2010.

“In her lifetime, the deceased taught English Language as a Foreign Language Shola also owned a photography business and made reasonable income with which she maintained the matrimonial home.

“The matrimonial home was located at Ul. Owiecimska 33, 32 – 551, Wygielzow, GMINA Babice District, Chrzanow County, Lesser Poland, a suburb of Krakow, where the deceased lived a communal lifestyle as she had to share the matrimonial home with her mother-in-law.

“The husband was in and out of employment between 2010 and 2016 as his highest educational qualification was high school certificate. His last known employer is IKEA Store in Krakow.

I constantly received reports the deceased that there was constant friction in the marriage due to the over-bearing and meddling stance of her mother-in-law. As a matter of fact, the deceased had informed me of their plans to relocate to a separate house for the privacy of herself and her husband as there was no privacy whatsoever in the matrimonial home.

“The last verbal conversation I had with the deceased took place on 24thDecember 2016 and she made no complaint about her health.

“At about 11.28a.m on Wednesday, 28th December 2016, I received a telephone call from the husband that “there had been an accident, Shola had fallen unconscious and had died”. As expected, this information was devastating for me and my family. The husband did not tell me the nature of the so called “accident”. I was still conversing with the husband when the telephone was disconnected.

“The husband later called me back on the same 28th December 2016 now stating that Shola had been feeling sick on Tuesday evening, and that he and his sister had taken her to the hospital [the name of the hospital was not provided]. Tests were said to have been conducted which showed she had anaemia and low haemoglobin level. She was admitted and treated but eventually passed away at about 3a.m. on Wednesday, the 28th of December 2016.

“Still in shock, I informed my family members and we began to make plans to travel to Krakow to give the deceased a befitting burial when the husband informed us that the remains of the deceased would be cremated in line with what he termed the agreed mode of burial between him and the deceased. It is important to note that there is no history of cremation in both the Gaska andAdefolalu families. This fact was revealed to the team of Nigerians in Krakow who visited the house after the death of my Sister.

“We thereafter requested that the husband should suspend all issues pertaining to the funeral arrangements until the representatives of the Adefolalu Family arrived Krakow in early January 2017 to partake in the funeral rites.

“We also made it clear to him that because of the sudden nature of her death, the family insisted on seeing her corpse.  We sent several sets of representatives from the Nigerian community to him in this regard but he refused to allow anyone access to the corpse. His response was that Shola said that only I and no other person should see her corpse. Strange indeed!

“We went further to purchase Air tickets for 3 of our blood relatives to fly in from Ireland to see the body and participate in the burial arrangements and requested that he should suspend all arrangements for the burial/cremation until their arrival but he defiantly proceeded to cremate the remains a day before the arrival of the representatives of the Adefolalu family.

“The husband’s final words on the matter were that 'the cremation will proceed as planned and there is nothing anyone can do about it'. 

“So, in spite of our clear requests, the husband proceeded to cremate the remains of the deceased on January 2, 2017 (which neither he nor his family members attended). We learnt through third parties sympathetic to our cause that a burial service to inter the ashes on January 7, 2017 without officially informing me or any member of my family.

“When I requested for photographs of the corpse of the deceased, the husband ignored my requests for several days and he eventually and reluctantly sent just 1 (one) picture which showed only a part of her face. No autopsy report and medical records were provided as well.

“Prior to the cremation, we had notified the Nigerian Consular Offices in Krakow on the 30th of December 2016 to intercede and intercept the rollercoaster funeral arrangements being made by the husband and his family. Unfortunately, the Nigerian Consular Office appears to have been powerless in stopping the cremation as the representative of the Nigerian Consular Office through Mr. Ogunsanya responded via SMS on 2nd January 2017 at 1a.m. (Nigerian time) as follows:

The lady will be cremated tomorrow. We are just comind (sic) from force headquarters where we were told that nothing could be down except we gat (sic) to krakow police headquarters. Even if we set out by road she would have been cremated before we get there. At this the embassy has nothing to do with her case at this stage”

On 2nd January 2017 at 12.20 p.m. (Nigerian time), Mr. Ogunsanya sent another SMS as follows:

“…..We discoursed on the issue last night with Pasor (sic) Oyeneye who followed us to the force headquarters where we met a stumbling block. We had expected them to take immediate action only for no action from them.”

We are informed by the Nigerian Consular Offices in Poland that the police had been contacted to commence an investigation into the questionable death of my Sister, but we have not received any feedback on the progress made (if any) in respect of the investigation or the efforts they are making to ensure that the rights of Nigerian Citizens are not trampled upon.

“We want to understand why Shola’s husband could not wait for us. Why he has deprived our family of the opportunity of paying our last respects to our daughter, sister, niece, cousin and Aunty. Imagine how doubly painful this is. 

“We want to know why he was so adamant that no one would see her remains on my behalf when it was clear I couldn't make it to Poland on time.

“His refusal to send detailed photographs of the corpse is highly suspicious as we can even observe from the only photograph he sent that there were attempts to conceal the swelling on her lips and neck region. The head also has all the signs of trauma and bruises. This likely explains the reluctance of the husband to allow anyone access to the corpse and the rollercoaster speed with which the cremation was carried out.

“Where is the autopsy report? All we have is a Death Card and a Death certificate. Are these documents enough evidence of the cause of Shola’s death?


“The Family has reasonable reason to suspect that the death of the deceased was not natural and that the husband and/or conjunctively with his mother and sisters are presumed to be responsible for her death. This explains their refusal to give us access to her body and the hurried cremation of the remains of the deceased. The presumption is based on the facts highlighted above.

“The husband also hurriedly pulled down the deceased’s social media accounts and her business website to further make any form of investigations difficult.

“In view of the above, we appeal to the Federal Government to assist our family in unravelling the mystery surrounding the death and the cremation of my sister and to ensure that justice is done.

“We sincerely thank your Excellency for your kind attention.”

Source: News Express

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