Ibrahim Abutu married a second wife last Saturday, against his first wife’s wishes. According to his siblings, they knew it would be tough for him to live in peace with his two wives but they didn’t imagine that bringing a new wife home would hasten his death.
Four days after his wedding, on Wednesday, he was found with a gunshot wound in the chest, from a double barrel gun in his Wuse II, Abuja, home.
Abutu was allegedly shot by his first wife Hadiza after a heated argument over his new marriage.
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.
Before his death, Abutu had been married to Hadiza for seven years. The couple have a baby boy and she is currently pregnant. He, however, had another baby with the new wife back in February 2011.
Ishotu Abutu, a younger sister to Abutu, who had been living with the couple described Hadiza as â€œviolentâ€.
According to her, 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 â€“ two younger siblings to Hadiza and a cousin of Abutu â€“ were in the house. They admitted to close family members and police that they heard the gunshot that killed Abutu but said they couldn’t tell who pulled the trigger.
They said they only found Abutu in the pool of his blood when they rushed in to check the cause of the gunshot.
The police subsequently picked up Hadiza, based on allegations against her by the family members, and have since detained her while conducting their investigations.
However, according to a police statement obtained Hadiza claims she is innocent of the alleged crime, alleging instead that her husband committed suicide.
Spokesperson of the Abuja police command, Moshood Jimoh, who confirmed the incident, 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.
â€œThe commissioner of Police has ordered the matter to be transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for investigations,â€ he said.
While Abutu’s family members are deeply pained by the manner of their breadwinner’s death, they have also grown increasingly concerned that they may never get justice.
The Abutus allege that members of the Hadizaâ€™s family are trying to use their political connections to â€œkill the caseâ€.
Hadiza, the suspect, is a sister to Kazeem Afegbua, a personal assistant and spokesperson to Ibrahim Babangida, Nigeriaâ€™s former head of state and chieftain of the ruling Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party (PDP).
â€œWe are aware that eight top government officials and some politicians have been calling the police and mounting pressure to quash the case,â€ Ishotu said.
Afegbua however denied obstructing justice in the case, saying his family would rather wait for the police to conclude their investigations before taking any official position.
â€œWe donâ€™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,â€ he said.