A 38-year-old man identified as Matthew Ankoor, who allegedly beat his 8-months pregnant wife, Hannah, to death in Lugbe, a suburb in Abuja on June 6th, has been apprehend by the operatives of the Nigerian Police Force.
According to The Sun, Hannah moved into Mathew’s house 9-years ago and they welcomed three daughters within the nine years. Mathew longed to have a son and had been putting pressure on Hannah to give him a male child.
Hannah began moving from church to church in search of a boy. This infuriated Mathew who insisted that she remains a devout member of the Catholic church which they had always belonged to, but she insisted she was going to go to different churches so she can give birth to a male child.
On the day of the incident, Mathew had instructed Hannah to wash his dirty clothes before he returned from his outing. The mother of three, who was eight months pregnant, left their house for her ante-natal appointment and on her return in the evening, she was so tired that she decided to postpone the laundry to the next day.
When Mathew came back, he was infuriated that Hannah failed to wash his clothes. All attempts to explain to him that she was tired fell on deaf ears and he began to beat her until she passed out. She was rushed to the hospital where she was confirmed dead. Hannah was pregnant with a boy.
While speaking to a correspondent, a former neighbor of the couple, Mrs. Precious Igbokwe, alleged that the suspect had always made life a living hell for the deceased just because she had girls.
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.
She recalled that when the deceased delivered her last 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.
A friend and neighbor of the deceased, Mrs. Joy Ogu, said the late Hannah lived in fear all throughout her stay 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.
“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.
The accused who is a computer engineer and owner of his own business located at Wuse, Abuja, alleged that his wife was the one that started fighting with him. Mathew said the deceased was suffocating him and that as he pushed her away from himself, she fell on the floor and started shouting “My Chest, My Chest”.
According to him, he helped lift her from the ground to her feet and then she went to seek prayers from their neighbors before he went out to buy recharge card for his mobile phone.
He said he had an intuition to return home immediately. On getting home, he saw his wife on the ground outside their house with neighbors surrounding her, praying.
“When I saw her condition, I quickly rushed to the main road to get a taxi to take her to the hospital. Unfortunately, when we got to the hospital, the doctor confirmed she was dead,” he said.
He planned to hurriedly take his wife away for burial but the neighbor who followed him to the hospital, raised alarm, informing the doctors on how the deceased died. The police was invited and Mathew was arrested.
According to Mathew, he met his wife in the village and married her nine years ago. He said he regretted killing her but advised young men to carefully study the kind of women they wanted to marry before going into marriage.
He also advised young men to court their would be wives for a period of 10 years so that they would be able to know her well before marrying her because youthful exuberance forced him into early marriage.