Daily Trust (Abuja)

16 February 2013

Nigeria: Wife Sets Husband Ablaze for Spending 10 Days With Co-Wife

Kaduna — The question on the lips of neighbours of a senior legislative aide to Senator Mohammad Sani Sale, representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Mallam Mohammad Ibrahim Matazu penultimate Thursday was what manner of jealousy would make a woman set her husband ablaze?

It was the same question on the lips of mourners, who trooped into the victim's home last Wednesday, when the news of his eventual death as result of the burnt he sustained from the incident hits the neighborhood.

He was said to have died at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika at about 4pm on the fateful day.

It was gathered that the junior wife, poured petrol on him, lit a match, which she allegedly threw at him at their residence in Gwarinpa, Abuja. Neighbours said with the fire on him, Matazu ran out of their apartment and that the wife followed him. The neighbours held unto the wife, while battling to put out the flame on Matazu.

Weekly Trust gathered that Matazu (44) had a misunderstanding with his second wife, popularly known as "Mummy" when he told her of his intention to travel to Kaduna on an errand for his boss.

Matazu's first wife is based in Kaduna and has six children, while the second wife has none. Matazu married her about a year ago.

Explaining how Matazu was set ablaze, his younger brother, Magaji said the wife set him ablaze at their residence in Abuja when he was preparing to travel to Kaduna.

"She has been quarrelling with him because he spent 10 days in Kaduna recently with his first wife. It was his boss that gave him an assignment in Kaduna. General Sale asked him to tour all the seven local government areas that make up Kaduna central. The assignment took him 10 days.

"Normally, he spends five days with the second wife in Abuja and two days in Kaduna with the first wife. This was how he was treating his wives. So when he told the second wife that he will be travelling on Thursday to represent his boss at a function organised by KRPC in Kaduna, she became angry and set him ablaze because of this," he said.

He said his brother was rushed to Wuse General Hospital from there to National Hospital and later to Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital.

"From Gwagwalada, he was taken to 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna and later to Ahmadu bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika. He was recuperating but died on Wednesday around 4.pm," he said.

He said his brother was buried last Thursday around 12noon in Kaduna in accordance with Islamic rites.

"We have left everything to God and the government. It is the responsibility of the government to prosecute murderers. We learnt that she has been released by the police," he said.

On his part, General Sale who was among the early callers at Matazu's fathers' residence in Trikania, Chikun local government area of Kaduna state described the case as "plain murder ".

"Mohammed Ibrahim was a very pleasant personality. He contributed a lot to the development of CPC and assisted me a lot in discharging my legislative functions. He was the pillar of my office," he said in an interview with Weekly Trust.

Reacting to the report that the wife has been released by the police on bail, he stated thus: " I hope they followed due process in doing it because this is plain case of murder. I wonder whether this case is a bailable one.

"It is a case between the state and the murderer. I intend to follow the investigation to its end. Whatever it will take us, we will ensure that justice is done," he added.

Speaking when he led newsmen in Kaduna state to pay a condolence visit to the family of the late Matazu yesterday, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Alhaji Yusuf Idris, described the development as unfortunate.

He then urged security agencies to carry out a thorough investigation of the matter.

Matazu, a journalist turned politician was a staff of the Radio Nigeria, Kaduna until 2007 when he resigned to contest for the Kaduna state House of Assembly seat.

When he lost the election, he joined Nagarta, a private radio station in Kaduna. In 2011, he left the station and contested for Chikun/Kajuru federal constituency under the platform of CPC. He lost the election but afterwards, was appointed by General Sale as his senior legislative aide.

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