A man allegedly killed his own lover, Hannah, who was pregnant with his child in Benue State, a sad development which has caused a huge stir in the community.
When Hannah, 30, moved in with Matthew Ankyioa a few years ago, she had hoped that they would become husband and wife.
Sun News reports that after bearing three female children in quick succession for Matthew, the Tiv native had hoped earnestly that her fourth pregnancy would bring a male child, so that, perhaps, Matthew would do the needful and formally make her his wife.
It was gathered that the mother of three, who was 8-months pregnant, was beaten to death on June 6, 2016, in their residence in Lugbe, an Abuja suburb, because she did not wash Matthew’s clothes.
Consequently, she had to postpone all the chores till the following day.However, on his return home from work, Matthew took offence that his clothes were not washed. Hannah was said to have explained and begged her man over her inability to wash his clothes on that particular day, promising to do the laundry the next day.
But all her pleas and explanations were like pouring water on a stone. Matthew promptly descended heavily on her. He pummelled her ceaselessly, until she gave up the ghost.
A former neighbour of the couple, Precious Igbokwe, told newsmen how Matthew made the life of the deceased a living hell because she gave birth to only female children.
“I lived close to their apartment as a single lady for over six years; we were close neighbours. Though they were not married legally as confirmed by Hannah, she was hopeful for the future. She really suffered much in the hands of that beast,” Igbokwe said.
Recalling when the deceased delivered her third baby girl, her lover abandoned them at the hospital and stopped the neighbours from bathing the baby or assisting the mother.
“Thereafter, he continued maltreating them and calling the baby a bastard. He is a sadist. He doesn’t greet or respond to greetings from neighbours,” she added.
Following the gruesome murder of Hannah, whom they described as a rare gem, Lugbe women took to the streets to protest.
Speaking on behalf of Lugbe Women Community, Lan Musa, a native of Kogi State, expressed outrage over the death of the deceased and called for a stop to domestic violence.
Musa, who has also suffered domestic violence, said Hannah’s death was the third incident of women who have been killed as a result of domestic violence in the locality.
She called on government to take a decisive stand to curb the ugly trend.
Similarly, a friend of the deceased, who she visited on the morning of the day she was killed, Felicia Zira, told Abuja Metro with tears in her eyes that:
“Hannah complained bitterly how her live-in-lover had been maltreating her for years, beating her uncontrollably, issuing threats to her life.
I adviced her to report the matter to her relatives or relevant authorities, like Ministry of WomenAffairs, to tackle the domestic violence and stop its recurrence,” she said.
Another neighbour of the deceased, Joy Ogu, said the the late Hannah lived in fear all through her co-habitation with Matthew, who she respected and adored.
“In a bid to make life meaningful for herself and children, she engaged in menial jobs in a nearby school, where she sneaked out every morning to clean without the knowledge of her husband, through which she was able to save N10,000 to enable her to set up petty business.
Painfully, when she started selling kerosine and some foodstuff, he stopped giving them token for feeding, leaving her to worry about their upkeep.”
She lamented that Hannah who desperately craved for a male child, did not live to give birth to her baby boy.
“Our pastor and some members of the church took her to the mortuary, they evacuated the baby before taking her to the mortuary; they testified it was a handsome male child. What a tragic loss!
“I feel so bad that she died a painful death. Why would a man beat an eight-months-old pregnant woman as if he was in wrestling contest with his fellow man?
“Whitish substances were gushing out from her mouth and he saw her losing life, yet he continued beating her to accomplish his mission,” she said.
Confirming the incident, Spokesman for the FCT Police Command, Usen Omorodion, said Matthew was in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department, noting that he would be arraigned in court soon.
Giving more details about the incident, Punch gathered Mathew, 37, denied killing Hannah, saying she fell during an argument with him, hit her chest on an iron cabinet and subsequently gave up the ghost at the Wuse General Hospital, Abuja.
He said he had just returned home in the night when his wife held on to his shirt over an unstated reason.
“I was surprised because we didn’t have any issue before I left the house in the morning. I was telling her to leave my shirt and allow me to go and buy recharge card because I needed to call a client who owed me some money.
“I broke her hold on my shirt and she fell in the direction of an iron cabinet and I think she hit her chest on the cabinet.
“I pulled her up from the floor and she was shouting ‘Jesus, Jesus.’ She said she was not feeling well and went to our next door neighbour’s room.”
He explained that he went out to get recharge card, but decided to come back and check on her. He said he found her in a terrible condition while the neighbour was praying for her.
“I found that her condition was bad and deteriorating, so I quickly got a taxi and rushed her to Wuse General Hospital and a doctor attended to her. I was surprised when the doctor told me some minutes later that my wife was dead. Oh God, this was a woman I was married to for nine years, what would I do now,” he sobbed.
He also said he had relocated their three children to his grandmother in Benue State, adding that he paid N35,000 for the removal of the unborn baby.
When asked to defend allegations by neighbours, the IT worker denied it, saying the people often misconstrued his discussions with his wife because they did not understand his Tiv language.
When asked about his in-laws’ reaction to their daughter’s death, the suspect stated that they did not raise any fuss about it “because my in-laws didn’t know me as a bad person.”
He added that the wife’s family members had approached the police to close the case so that they could plan their daughter’s burial.
Photo credit: Sun News