When Ibrahim Abutu wedded his second wife Saturday last week, his siblings knew it would be tough for him to live in peace with his two wives, given that his first wife allegedly opposed the wedding.
But what they didn’t imagine was that bringing a new wife home would hasten Mr. Abutu’s journey to the grave.
There were however shocked on Wednesday – four days after his wedding – – when they learnt he had died after he was shot in the chest, with a double barrel gun in his Wuse II, Abuja, home.
Mr Abutu was allegedly shot by his first wife Hadiza ( a sister to Kasim Afegbua) after a heated argument over the wedding to the second wife.
He passed out instantly, and was rushed to the National Hospital but died moments after he was admitted to the emergency ward of the hospital.
Mr. Abutu was married to Hadiza for the seven years. They have a baby boy and she is currently pregnant. Ibrahim, however, had another baby with the new wife back in February this year.
Ishotu Abutu, a younger sister to Mr. Abutu, who has been living with the couple described Hadiza as “violent.”
She recalls Hadiza had always been opposed to the wedding and had in the past destroyed furniture and electronic appliances in their home over disagreements arising from the matter.
Ishotu was not in the house when her brother was shot, but three others – two younger siblings to Hadiza and a cousin of Mr. Abutu – were in the house. They admitted to close family members and police that they heard the gunshot that killed Mr. Abutu but said they couldn’t tell who pulled the trigger.
They said they only found Mr. Abutu in the pool of his blood when they rushed in to check the cause of the gun shot.
They were however not available when Premium Times visited the Abutu’s family home to confirm the claims attributed to them by family members.
Some members of Mr. Abutu’s family believe his first wife, Hadiza, is responsible for his death and have registered their suspicion with the police. In response, the police have picked Hadiza up for questioning, and have since detained her while investigations continue.
We are unable to interview Hadiza in detention. But a police statement obtained by Premium Times indicates that the accused claimed she’s innocent of the alleged crime, saying her husband committed suicide.
Spokesman of the Abuja police command, Moshood Jimoh, confirmed the incident. He said detectives were investigating the case to determine who pulled the trigger but could not confirm immediately if the gun used in the crime was a double barrel one as claimed by family members.
“The commissioner of Police has ordered the matter to be transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for investigations,” he said.
The Afegbua connection
Mr. Abutu’s family are deeply pained by the manner of their breadwinner’s death. But in the past few days, they have also grown increasingly concerned that they may never get justice.
The Abutu’s allege that members of the wife’s family are trying to use their political connections to “kill the case.”
Hadiza, the accused wife, is of the Afegbua’s. She is a sister to Kazeem Afegbua, a personal assistant and spokesperson to Ibrahim Babangida, Nigeria’s former head of state and chieftain of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“We are aware that eight top government officials and some politicians have been calling the police and mounting pressure to quash the case,” Ishotu said.
The Police in Nigeria is seen as very corrupt and notorious for dismissing criminal cases after collecting bribe from accused persons or their wealthy family members or associates who are usually politicians or top government officials.
Mr. Afegbua however deny obstructing justice in this case.
He said his family would rather wait for the police to conclude their investigations before taking any official position.
“We don’t want to join the family (the Abutus) in a media war, it is too premature to make conclusions, the police are still investigating the matter,” he said.
While investigations continue, Mr. Abutu’s Wuse 2 family home is under lock while his pregnant wife, Hadiza, is in police custody.