The truth about a Nasarawa farmer's murder of his wife has been revealed - OLAMORE
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The truth about a Nasarawa farmer’s murder of his wife has been revealed

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Mrs Esther Aya Anjuju, a class teacher with Government Secondary School Doka in Lafia North Development Area was the envy of many when she got married to Mr. Agga Sunday Yakubu about 12 years ago. Theirs was like marriage made from heaven as they demonstrated love for one another, causing outsiders to regard them as one lucky couple.

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So smooth was their relationship that they had pooled resources together to build a house, with Esther allegedly contributing the lion’s share of the resources. But all that changed on January 8 with a minor incident that fanned a smouldering disagreement into a violent confrontation, culminating in the tragic death of Esther at the hands of Yakubu.

Until her death on January 8, Esther already had three kids for Yakubu. But beneath the façade of a happy family was a home that was nothing more than hell on earth as was revealed by neighbours, relatives and children who spoke with our correspondent after Esther’s untimely death.

Before the tragic incident, the couple had resided together in Sabon Pegi, Shabu, Nasarawa State, where it had become customary for neighbours, friends and visiting in-laws to settle quarrels between Yakubu and Esther.

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Their animosity reached a crescendo on January 8 when Yakubu allegedly manhandled Esther for inviting a carpenter to the house to fix a window net.

Speaking in an emotion laden voice, Wilson Sunday, a stepson of Yakubu and son of his eldest wife, who said he witnessed the entire episode, recalled that the past 12 years for Esther had been those of assault, name-calling and constant assault simply because Yakubu wanted to take over the ownership of the house despite that Esther contributed more than 80 per cent of the resources.

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Wilson noted that Yakubu suddenly became very aggressive, beating up Esther at the slightest provocation, calling her names and literally turning her into a punching bag. He said the frustration became so much for Esther that she contemplated suicide on various occasions.

“To say my daddy became a beast in a twinkle of an eye is an understatement. It got to a point that I wondered if he was under a spell when he approached the late woman (Esther) for marriage.

“There was no derisive thing he did not call her, including harlot, witch and foolish. There were no hurtful things he did not say or do to her for reasons nobody can explain.

“Their once envied marriage became a mess before our neighbours. My daddy refused to take advice from his friends and neighbours and was blinded by his ego.”

Wilson added: “I have been staying with my father and stepmother for 12 years now. They have been having issues for a long time, and this issue is about husband and wife. They have been fighting about house issue and for a long time, my daddy stopped eating her food.

“They accused each other of witchcraft. My daddy normally said mum was a witch and that she wanted to kill him. Mum also accused him of same. At a point, the matter went to the police station and even court.

“What happened on Friday (January 8), which led to my mum’s death is that on that day, I told her that I wanted to repair the window of my room, especially the net because of mosquito bites. I contacted a carpenter to come and fix it for me.

“While the carpenter was working on the window, I went to work. While I was at work, the carpenter called and told me to rush home immediately; that there was a disagreement between Daddy and Mummy and that Mummy was lying on the ground.

When I got home, I rushed her to the hospital where she was confirmed dead.

“The simple reason was that Daddy tried to stop the carpenter from working on the house, Mum resisted Daddy from stopping the carpenter and that resulted in a fight between the two of them.

“I actually feel bad and want justice to be done. They have been having issues for long over the ownership of the house, because my mum deserves justice,” he said

Also speaking to our correspondent, the younger brother of the deceased woman, Mr Ovey Aya, said: “She was murdered by her husband. They had been having challenges since they got married in early 2010 and had been quarrelling here and there over the house they built.

“The disagreement took them to court at a time. I know that the husband is not taking care of the children, the three kids and the step son. It was my sister that provided food and paid the school fees for all of them

“There was nothing our family did not do to resolve their differences but to no avail as the man remained adamant. The man refused to make peace with his wife, threatening her all the time and beating her regularly

“What happen on that day was that I was at my place of work when my younger brother called and told me that Aunty Esther’s husband had beaten her to death. It was no news because the husband kept saying that he was going to kill her

“I have equally pleaded with the husband that if he doesn’t want the wife again, he should give her a divorce letter. You must not be beating your wife; that is a sign of irresponsibility. Now that he has beaten her to death, what we want is justice for our sister.”

Another relative of the deceased, Mr Joseph Aya, told our correspondent that their late mum tried to manage the crisis until she died in 2020.

He said: It was when she died that things got worse. My sister would call late night that her husband beat her and chased her out of the house and she will go sleep with neighbours

“Even when the house was not built, the beating continues till she struggle to help build the house, my sister actually bought the land with her money and I was witness to that agreement and she equally let every one of us know about it

“She gave her husband nine bags of rice to mill, sell and start building the house, and she stood firmly in support till the completion of the house. But when it became obvious that the man actually wanted to kill her, I asked her to move out and get rented accommodation, but she insisted to stay; that the house is her sweat and she had children with the man. She said she was going nowhere; that she suffered a lot to build the house.

“She vowed that she would die in the house with her children if that was what her husband wanted. She said her husband wanted to kill her and that even if she went rent a house outside, her husband could still send people there to kill her, so she would rather stay and die here.”

A family relation of Yakubu, Audu, described his attitude towards his late wife as barbaric, immoral and satanic, noting that what he did by beating his wife who bore children for him to death was an abomination. “We are not known for maltreating our wives; I don’t know where he got that character from,” he said.

A neighbour, Miss Marian, told our correspondent that “the man use to maltreat her (Esther). He stopped paying the children school fees, including his stepson’s, and the wife took over the responsibility

“He kept beating her at the slightest provocation, calling her a witch. It got to a point that we neighbours advised the woman to rent an apartment elsewhere and leave the house for the man, but she said she would not do that because since the man had vowed to kill her, he could still trace her to her new place and kill her. That was why she remained here, receiving daily beating at the slightest provocation until she died.

“The issue is that the man is claiming ownership of the house and he beats her regularly. So for me I concluded that there was nothing in the marriage again. If I marry and get into this kind of frustration, there is no need for it.

“I personally pleaded with the woman to leave the house for the man before he would kill her but she refused.”

The First Lady of Nasarawa State, Hajiya Silifat Abdullahi Sule, who was infuriated with Yakubu’s alleged action ordered that autopsy be conducted to unravel the actual cause of her death.

The Police Command in Nasarawa State confirmed the arrest of Yakubu for allegedly killing his wife.

Ramhan Nansel, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, disclosed that the suspect was arrested after the police received a report of the incident.

The police spokesperson added that investigation was ongoing at State Criminal Investigation Department Lafia, adding that only an autopsy report will unravel the cause.

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