Trigger Warning: This story contains descriptions of violence and abuse against women, including murder. If you are sensitive to these themes or have experienced trauma related to these topics, please be aware that this story may be triggering. For more information or support, please visit here.
A quote by the women’s rights activist Zainab Salbi goes, “It seems that violence against women has been tolerated for so long that the world has become numb to it”. Unfortunately, this rings true particularly in Nigeria, as every year we see countless cases of violence and abuse that claim the lives of women, yet mere hours later, society carries on as if nothing has happened.
On July 17, 2023, popular Nigerian punter Benjamin Best, also known as Killaboi, confessed to the murder of his girlfriend, Augusta Osedion. According to him, he “mistakenly” stabbed her to death during an argument and fled the scene out of fear.
But what makes this case even more disturbing is that, in Killaboi’s Instagram confession, possibly seeking public sympathy, he described the relationship as toxic and disclosed his ongoing battle with suicidal thoughts since the incident.
Unfortunately, we are all well aware that if we were in a society that worked, Killaboi should already be facing the full force of the law.
Now, women are again being reminded that the world isn’t safe for them. Let’s take a look at a few women who had partners who brutally murdered them in the previous year.
Ogochukwu Anene, January 2023
On January 11, 2023, news broke of how Ogochukwu Anene, a mother of five, was allegedly beaten to death by her husband over a loaf of bread. According to their first child, an argument broke out when Ogochukwu asked her husband, Ndubisi, why he finished the bread without leaving some for the children.
In a fit of rage, the man responded by beating her with a mirror, which resulted in her bleeding internally, and she died a few days later in the hospital. Unfortunately, there have been no tangible updates on whether or not Ndubisi paid for his crimes.
Nana Fadimatu, May 2023
Nana was a 38-year-old woman allegedly murdered by her 56-year-old husband, Aminu Abubakar. A statement from the Police Headquarters in Yola revealed that Aminu had heard that Nana had plans to get married to another man the next day, and in a jealous fit, he hit her on the head with a pestle, causing her to fall unconscious. She was later proclaimed dead.
Aminu was arrested by the Police of the Shagari Divisional Headquarters, and investigations are ongoing.
Esther Aya, January 2022
On January 8, 2022, Ovye Yakubu allegedly beat his wife, Esther, to death during an argument over fixing a window net. According to a family member, Ovye attempted to stop the carpenter that his wife had hired from fixing the net, but she persisted on the carpenter finishing his job. This enraged the man, who resorted to assaulting his wife, leading to her death.
Evelyn Alifiya, February 2022
Evelyn’s husband, Joseph Wisdom, strangled her before the police discovered her body on the apartment floor on February 23, 2022. Reportedly, the couple had been having issues for a while, and Joseph had constantly threatened to kill his wife.
However, arrangements were being made by Evelyn’s family for her to leave the house, but things came to a head when she found a gun in Joseph’s bag. She had plans to report this to the police, but he found out and killed her before she could.
According to the FCT Police Spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, the husband has been apprehended, and hopefully justice will be served.
Itunu Chigozie, March 2022
Itunu, pregnant with a child, died after a series of assaults from her husband, Bonus Emmanuel Chigozie, who works as a Master of Ceremonies (MC). Reportedly, Itunu was abused repeatedly during the four-year marriage. On March 10, 2022, after being allegedly assaulted again, she was rushed to the hospital, but neither she nor the baby survived. And Emmanuel has neither been arrested nor prosecuted for his crime yet.
Mercy Samuel, April 2022
Mercy was a 23-year-old mother of two who lived with her husband, Matthew, in Jos. However, she died brutally at his hands when he allegedly ripped open her stomach and disembowelled her during an argument. He also took her phone so she couldn’t call for help, and although she was found and rushed to the hospital, she eventually died. Matthew is still on the run and has yet to be found.
Osinachi Nwachukwu, October 2022
Osinachi was the voice behind the hit gospel song “Ekwueme”, which captured the hearts of many churchgoers. However, she tragically passed away at 42, and it was revealed that she had been a victim of domestic violence for many years.
Despite what her husband and manager, Peter, initially led the media to believe that she died from lung cancer, the late Osinachi’s first son disclosed that his mother died from the injuries she had sustained from the abuse. Peter had allegedly kicked her in the chest, which resulted in a blood clot that eventually led to her death. Currently, Peter is being remanded at Kuje Prison and is awaiting judgement.
According to the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), 2,543 cases of abuse were reported between January and September 2022; about 2,340 were women. Also, according to a 2020 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), about 81,000 women and girls died worldwide, with an intimate partner or family member being responsible for 58% (47,000) of these deaths.
Clearly, if there has ever been a time to be angry, it’s now. Nigeria and Nigerians need to change at the core of our being; we must be empathetic towards women and their struggles.
One sad trend that can be noticed when issues like these arise is how the victims are blamed and excuses are given for the man’s actions.
Women don’t deserve to die because you think they’re “rude”, “loud”, “immoral”, or “materialistic”. When cases like this happen, it’s not the time to tell or advise women on how to be “better” daughters, friends, wives, or girlfriends.
From birth, much energy is put into educating girls on how to survive in “a man’s world”. But, it’s high time that society channel some of that energy into teaching boys to be better humans.