Mrs. Taiwo Momoh, a Lagos texile dealer who recently attempted to take her life in the Lagos Lagoon, has appealed to the government to stop her prosecution.
But she lamented her treatment in the hands of the police after she was rescued from jumping off the Third Mainland Bridge.
Momoh said she was put in a cell at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for four days, which further depressed her as neighbours started ridiculing her.
This is just as the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender said the government would give the 58-year-old medical assistance with a view to making her get over her suicidal thoughts.
Momoh had put off her shoes and was about taking a dive into the Lagoon late March, when she was rescued and handed over to officials of the Rapid Response Squad.
After she was taken to the office of the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, she lamented that she became suicidal after a bureau de change operator defrauded her of N18.7m.
She had said her Swiss textile creditor had been on her neck, adding that her situation became compounded after her shop was burgled.
During a visit to her Ajah residence on Thursday, Momoh pleaded with the government to drop the charges against her, which she said had subjected her to shame and ridicule.
She said, “I don’t know how I got to the Third Mainland Bridge. What is strange is that even if I am driving, I don’t take the bridge as it scares me. So for me to want to jump into it is strange, I believe it is a spiritual attack.
“All I can remember was that I left home alone. I got down from a cab. The driver didn’t try to stop me. I didn’t know where I was. I was disoriented, until I got to Alausa (RRS office) that I regained consciousness. I was in the CP’s office, who treated me well and even came to visit me the next day when I arrived home.
“What was painful to me was that the police locked me up at the SCIID for four days after I was arrested. I slept on the floor; they collected my phone. I had to wear the same dress for four days. They didn’t give me food. It was on Monday that I was able to call my son, who then contacted a friend of mine. I was taken to Ebute Meta Magistrate’s Court, where I was asked to enter a plea. How can I do that in my state of depression? I begged them to forgive me and let me go home.
“When I got back, I was still disturbed as I became conscious of people staring at me. Because of that, I didn’t go out for a while. Please just help me to beg the government not to prosecute me, I have suffered enough. I am scared.
“I never want to collect loan for business again in my life. It is a shameful thing, one should be satisfied with what one has.”
The Director of OPD, Mrs. Olubukola Salami, who consoled Momoh, said the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, and the agency were planning to secure medical treatment for her in line with the provisions of the Criminal Code, Section 235 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.