In a very bizarre circumstance, a farmer, Habila Illiya, has killed his estranged wife and buried her remains in a farmland in Kaduna but the guilt has begun to haunt him like a spirit. MIDAT JOSEPH, reports.
If Martha, a mother of four had known that death was lurking around her neck, she would have taken precautions to prevent it.
But being unsuspicious of the motives of Habila Illiya, the man she had married and separated from, she nonetheless decided to honour an invitation from the same man on April 21, 2012. But that was the costly mistake that ended her life in a most brutal and bizarre fashion, leaving her four children to face the cold hands of uncertainty as orphans.
Martha, from Nungu tribe of UngwarYaroKusso of Kaduna and Habila Illiya of Pataki village, Kogum River area of Jema'a Local Government in Kaduna State married in 1997 and produced four children before the marriage crashed in 2010.
Once the union hit the rock for irreconcilable reasons, the woman quickly returned to her parents and was staying there until April 21, 2012, when the man suddenly realized he needed to discuss 'certain things' with his estranged wife.
Not suspecting that the farmer had any ulterior motive, Martha decided to honour the invitation to her former husband and dashed straight to the farmland where the man was working. But before proceeding to the bush, the woman had hinted her parents of her destination and the purpose of her trip.
The revelation of the mission was however against the wish of the man who invited her to the farmland. He had whispered to her on the phone not to disclose to anyone that she was coming to see him on that date and in the place where she met her waterloo.
But on reaching the husband's village, Martha was told that he had left for the farm and she headed towards the farm. In a short while, both had met in the bush and before long the woman was a dead person.
It was gathered that as soon as Martha met Habila, a brief discussion on how they could reunite ensued but the man sharply disagreed with the woman as the conversation between them was progressing. Without mincing words, the man is reported to have used a big piece of wood and hit his former wife and she died instantly.
But in a desperate move to cover the heinous crime, Habila immediately dug a shallow grave and buried her wife near the river bank and disappeared. He did not tell any member of the family of the murder he had committed when he returned home.
However, nemesis began to catch up with him when the guilty conscience would not allow him to sleep or do anything. Habila was tormented daily by the guilt of slaughtering his wife and he could no longer hold back the confession.
But before he could confess, Martha's siblings who had not seen or heard from their daughter, five days after she had left home to the forest to see Habila, became worried and began to look for her. On getting to the former husband's home, Martha's brother, Sunday Usman, a pastor, was told that something tragic had happened to her sister and that she was no more.
Distraught and bereft of words, Usman confronted the man whom his sister had gone to meet in the farm and he broke the disarming news.
"My wife came and met me in the farm and told me that she wanted us to settle our dispute so that she could return to my home after leaving me for her parents' house for many years.
"But I told her to go back home until my parents meet with her family to sort out outstanding issues. She started insulting and calling me names and we fought. Unfortunately, I used a plank and hit her and she died," the husband confessed.
"When I discovered that she was dead, I was overwhelmed by fear and dug a hole and buried her and fled the farmland. I could not sum up courage to tell anyone for five days.
However, what he could not tell anyone became the subject of discussion when members of his late wife's family confronted him.
"I voluntarily told them all that happened out of fear. Since the incidence, I have been having sleepless nights and I had to confess in order to have a little peace in my mind," Habila said.
The news of the murder of Martha by the man, who had four children with her, the first son being 10 years old, has thrown the two families into deep mourning. A source in the family said that it was the first time such a calamity had enveloped them and that they were shocked by the unfortunate incident, which they described as abomination.
It was learnt that the police had waded into the matter and would soon make a categorical statement on the ugly development that has caused a serious disquiet in the area.
Habila is likely to appear in court any moment from now to account for the murder of a woman who lived with him for about 15 years and gave him four precious children.