Police in Niger State, Northcentral Nigeria have confirmed the death of a woman, Fatima Aliyu, who was reportedly beaten and burnt to death by her co-wife, identified as Amina Aliyu.
Mohammed Adamu, the Police Commissioner, told journalists on Thursday that the news came after the woman’s husband, Aliyu Abdullahi, reported the incident to Police, saying he had entered the house in Mandela Road, Minna, and found his bride lying in a pool of blood on Tuesday.
According to Adamu, a preliminary investigation showed that Fatima Aliyu was beaten with an object before she was burnt “to show that she died as a result of a fire incident.”
“There were indications that the woman and a friend who had helped her, had beaten her co-wife severely with a machete or something strong before burning her because there were all signs of swollen wounds,” he said.
“She was examined at a hospital before being handed over to her family for burial.”
The deceased’s funeral took place on Wednesday at her parents’ house in Sabuwar Unguwa, Katsina State, Northwest Nigeria.
Ibrahim Sidi, the deceased’s father, told BBC Hausa on Wednesday that he learnt of his daughter’s death from her sister, who was also married in Niger State.
“Yesterday, after the Azahar prayers, we had just finished lunch. Her sister Maryam just called me and said, ‘Baba, I’m sorry, but Fati’s opponent killed her.’”
“They are my two children married in Niger State, and the late Fatima has been married for a total of 54 days,” he said.
Ibrahim said that when Fatima realised what was going to happen to her, she immediately called her sister Maryam to come to her aid but they could not get to her on time as the assailants had done the deed before her sister and partner arrived.
According to the deceased’s father, the co-wife and her relatives carried out the gruesome murder when they confirmed no one was in the house after sending guards and housekeepers away and playing music in high volume to shade any possibility of being discovered by outsiders.
“They burnt a shirt and put it on her face and disfigured her. In short, they burnt all of her body. Those who looked at her saw that there was nothing left but only bones,” Ibrahim said.
The Police Commissioner said Amina alongside three others had been arrested for culpable homicide.
According to him, the deceased’s husband said the motive behind the grisly killing might have stemmed from jealousy.
“The deceased’s husband said the late Fatma was to go for Umrah pilgrimage which he had promised to sponsor and follow her. This, he said, could have been motivated by jealousy,” the commissioner said.
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