When Ibrahim Abutu woke up on Wednesday, December 28, 2011, he had no idea that death was lurking around the corner. The 35-year-old businessman, from Benue State, never bargained for what befell him that fateful day right inside his sitting room on Parakou Street, Wuse 2, Abuja.
The man, who had worked previously with the Corporate Affairs Department of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, was shot and killed inside his sitting room, while he was preparing to travel to Kaduna, where he had only on December 24, 2011, formally married a second wife, Fatima. The woman, who had been in romance with Abutu, gave him a son last February, a development that might have influenced his decision to formally marry her in accordance with Islamic rites.
The Sports Utility Vehicle, in which the deceased was to use for the trip was being washed by the security man, when Abutu was shot and killed by the yet-to-be identified killer.
“When oga came back, he asked me to wash one of the Jeeps. He parked the car and went inside, and as I was washing the car I heard a big bang like a car crash. I rushed to the house and as I got there I saw my oga in a pool of blood. We were trying to resuscitate him but he was not responding. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. When I heard the sound initially I thought it was a car crash because of the heavy sound. But when we got there we discovered it was a gunshot.
I did not see the gun and do not know the type of gun that was used in killing him,” the man simply identified as CY said.
But Abutu’s younger sister, Ene, a 400-level Computer Science student of Covenant University Ota, who was visibly devastated by the sad news of the gruesome murder of their breadwinner, said her brother was simply murdered. She pleaded with the law enforcement agents to fish out the killer and bring them to justice.
Narrating the incident to LEADERSHIP, Ene said “On Wednesday morning at about past seven, we got a call from our eldest brother, Mike Abutu, saying that our brother, Ibrahim Abutu had been shot. So, we called our brother who is also a doctor, and we rushed to the hospital at Garki.
But before leaving Lugbe, my brother who works in the Garki Hospital, asked the others to bring Ibrahim to the Hospital so that he could see him there and give him urgent medical attention. As his condition worsened, he was taken to the National Hospital instead of Garki and it was there that my brother met other doctors who tried in vain to revive him.
As he met them at the entrance, he called people to help him carry Ibrahim Abutu into the emergency ward. He was trying to resuscitate him with other doctors and nurses helping him out. But before dying, my brother had mentioned the name of the person who shot him to my eldest brother and that is why we are asking for justice.
“We want the police to give us justice in this matter because my brother did not kill himself. It is clear from every available evidence that someone who did not like the fact that he married Fatima, killed him.
“My brother was shot with a double barrel gun by somebody and the police should bring the person to justice. That is all that the family wants,” Ene pleaded.
Ene disclosed that before his death, Ibrahim Abutu had been having issues with his first wife and that the home had always been under tension. Hadiza and Ibrahim who were married for seven years had a son and she is expecting a second child who would not however know the father when it is born.
Every attempt to speak with Hadiza failed as she would not pick her calls or respond to text messages since the incident broke out about two weeks ago.
But the police have confirmed the arrest and detention of Hadiza Abutu to assist them in investigation into the death of her husband.
The FCT police spokesman, Moshood Jimoh, who confirmed the incident in Abuja, said investigation was ongoing and that it was too early to know who murdered Ibrahim.
But the murder of Abutu has raised many questions than answers and thrown the family into endless mourning. The intriguing thing about his assassination is that the attack took place in the presence of his first wife and other members of the family with no one being able to say who took the man’s life.
What is however very clear is that the assailant used Abutu’s double-barrel licensed gun and killed him.
But the police may be hard put to unravel the killer of Abutu because investigations have also shown that shortly after killing him, the scene of the crime was immediately cleared by those who were with him at the time he was shot.
That might have informed the immediate arrest of the first wife, Hadiza Afegbua Abutu, a staff of the National Youth Service Corps, who is now helping the law enforcement agents to tell them all she knows about the death of her husband. Although she is said to have told the police that Abutu used his gun and killed himself, it is not clear whether the police would be persuaded to accept that school of thought since they have reasoned that it would not have been attractive for the late businessman to take his life a few days after marrying a new wife.
Several attempts to speak with Hadiza or any of her relatives on the issue failed, as calls and text messages sent to one of her brothers were not replied.
Hadiza Abutu-Afegbua who has been married to Ibrahim Abutu for seven years, was said to be always at loggerheads with the husband.
Some residents in the neighborhood, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the couple was always fight. They would, however, not confirm if they had been fighting at the time of the shooting.
A man, who simply gave his name as Johnson, claimed to have heard the gun shot but was too afraid to approach the scene to confirm why the shot was fired.
On Thursday, January 5, the police however arraigned Abutu at the Karu Magistrate Court in the outskirts of the FCT. Although the court lacks juridiction to try murder cases, the accused was charged for conspiracy and giving of false information to the police. She was remanded in prison custody pending the transfer of the case to a high court which has jurisdiction to hear the case.