Saturday, 16 February 2013

Senator’s Aide Set Ablaze After Wife Poured Petrol On Him



An aide of Senator Mohammed Saleh, Mohammed Ibrahim Matazu, has died from burns he suffered when his [Matazu’s] wife allegedly set him ablaze after pouring petrol on him at their residence in Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja.

Until his death, Matazu was a senior legislative adviser to Senator Saleh.

The deceased’s younger brother, Engr Magaji Ibrahim, told journalists in Kaduna yesterday that the victim died from the severe burns his second wife inflicted on him.

He said: “On Wednesday last week, my elder brother called me to say that he was coming to Kaduna from Abuja to represent Senator Saleh at a meeting with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and that the senator was travelling to Imo State for another engagement. So on Thursday morning I saw a missed call on my phone, and I called the number and the voice at the other end asked if he was talking to Matazu’s brother, and I replied in the affirmative.

“He narrated what happened to my brother, saying that he rushed out of his room with fire all over his body and was shouting that the fire was killing him. So the neighbours rescued him, but my brother’s wife came out of the house, asking ‘where is Matazu?’ And, by the time she caught up with the deceased, she asked him,: ‘What can you do now?’ That was at 9am on Thursday.

“When neighbours asked my brother what happened, he said it was his wife that poured petrol on him and set fire on him. So, it was at this point that the neighbours held her and informed the police of the incident.”

Magaji further said that his brother  who was in pains followed them to the police station at Gwarinpa, Abuja, and was rushed to a hospital in Zone 3, Wuse, where he was treated.

His body was bandaged and a doctor’s report indicated that 77 per cent of his body was severely burnt, though he could still talk to his rescuers.  “Thereafter, Senator Saleh met us and advised that we should take him to the National Hospital, but by the time we arrived at the hospital we were told that there was no more bed to admit him. 

We located another hospital in Gwagwalada only to be told that the workers were on strike. It was at this point that we begged for an ambulance to take him to 44 Army Hospital, Kaduna, where he was treated at 10pm. We again moved him to a private specialist hospital and to Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika, Zaria, on the advice of doctors at the Army Hospital.

“The doctors at Shika, about seven of them, tried their best and treated him, and my brother was responding to treatment and told me that he would survive the attack. But about 4pm on Wednesday this week, one of my younger brothers called to say we should take heart and pray,  that Matazu had died. He was buried the next day at Kudenda burial ground.”

Ibrahim claimed that the late Matazu’s wife said she poured petrol on him because he was overstaying with the first wife in Kaduna. “But my brother was always in Kaduna because of the assignment the senator gave him, that is, sinking of boreholes.

So, he used to spend 10 days before going back to Abuja because he was going round the seven local government areas to supervise the projects.”

Magaji said the deceased was spending almost five days in Abuja before coming to Kaduna again, but the wife continued to complain that he did not spend enough days in Abuja.

He married her about a year ago and yet to have a baby for him. The first wife gave birth to six children.

At the residence of the late Matazu in Kaduna, Senator Saleh said: “Ibrahim Matazu was a very pleasant and friendly personality. He contributed a lot to the development of our party which is Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and, in my legislative duty, he did his best to contribute to the smooth running of my office. He was actually the pillar of the office.

This is a plain murder case, and in cases of homicide like this, plain and pure, it is a case between the state and the accused. His wife who committed this heinous crime is in police detention now, and I intend to follow through to ensure that justice is done. I don’t know if this case is a bail-able case, but it takes us to see that justice is done; we will do it.”

Matazu was a journalist and member of staff of Radio Nigeria, Kaduna, until 2007 when he resigned to contest for the Kaduna State House of Assembly seat, which he lost.

He thereafter joined Nagarta, a private radio station in Kaduna, and left in 2011 to contest the Chikun/Kajuru federal constituency under the platform of Congress Progressive Congress (CPC), which he again lost. He was later appointed by Senator Saleh as his senior legislative aide.
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