A 7-year-old girl named Zakiya Auwal has died after one Ismail Ibrahim went berserk and attacked her for no reason, hitting her head with a stone until he smashed it.
Zakiya was at home with her mum and brother, in the Angwan Rimi area of the Plateau State capital, on Saturday, Dec 12.
Her father Auwal Bello was away at work. Her mother Samira Yakubu was at home sleeping and her 12-year-old brother, Haruna Auwal was nearby playing when the murder unfolded.
Zakiya Auwal had her hair braided in preparation for resuming school on Monday.
Unfortunately, at about 4pm, Ismail Ibrahim ran into her family house and used a stone to bash her head.
Her brother who witnessed the murder narrated the incident to Daily Trust, saying: “I was already outside when [the suspect] approached our area asking people to either give him money or be killed. He grabbed a man and the man gave him N50, after which he allowed him to pass.
“Moments later, he chased many children, including me.
“We all ran but he then entered our house and suddenly accosted my sister on her way coming out of the house.
“He pushed her to the ground and hit her with a stone repeatedly on her head until her brain spilt out. She died there instantly,” he said.
Haruna had vivid recollections of how the murder of his sister played out.
He remembered the suspect closing the main door to the house and when he tried to push in the door to help his sister, the door wouldn’t budge.
“I heard her from inside screaming, asking for people to rescue her life but it wasn’t possible because he had already closed the door,” he said.
Haruna then ran to the back of the house and scaled the fence. What he saw was his sister, dead, with her head broken.
“Realizing that her head was already destroyed, I went straight to the room and called my mother to come and see wonders for herself,” Haruna said.
Witnessing his sister’s murder left him scarred.
“My name was the last thing she said before she gave up. I heard her say Haruna and that was the end of it,” he said.
The mother, Samira Yakubu, said that when she first heard the screams, she didn’t immediately think her children were in danger.
She said: “Their screaming woke me up. I thought the children were just playing. By the time I stepped out of the room to see what was happening, Ibrahim saw me and threw a stone at me. I then screamed, asking people to help us out.”
Since the incident, she has been wondering what could be the motive, why would the suspect, who was unknown to them, come into their house to murder her daughter.
Auwal Bello, Zakiya’s father, who was away at work when the incident happened said his son, Haruna, saved the life of his wife and every other person in the house when he scaled the fence, unlocked the front door and called for help from people who had gathered outside.
The crowd rushed in and apprehended the suspect.
Auwal remembered the first call he got about the incident. It was a little after 4 pm.
Someone called him to tell him that his daughter had been attacked and had been rushed to Ola Hospital but the hospital refused to admit her.
“I concluded that the situation was very critical because for that hospital to reject a patient without giving any reason, something must be wrong,” he said.
“She was later moved to Bingham Hospital, where she was confirmed dead by doctors on duty.
“On getting to the hospital, I was asked whether I was the father and I said yes.
“The nurse on duty drew the bedsheet used to covered her and I saw her head and the face completely damaged. The body was later taken home for burial.”
Seeing his beloved daughter like that has left Auwal Bello in shock.
“I am still surprised how someone, a thief, would have the guts to enter your house and kill your daughter without any fear. It is very shocking,” he said.
“I am still wondering how on earth someone will take a big stone and hit a small girl like Zakiya repeatedly on the head.”
Recalling his final moment with Zakiya, the grieving father told the publication: “In the morning of the day she was going to die, she lay on my chest and later sat on the cushion telling me that today (Saturday), she wanted her mother to prepare egg and pepper sauce for the family.
“We all laughed and said that was done. When I was about to go out, we waved at each other.
“That was my last moment with her,” he said, tearfully.
Also, recalling her final moment with her daughter, Samira, Zakiya’s mother said: “I will never forget this experience in my life.
“Hours before she died, she told me she would take her bath after plaiting her hair.
“She showed me her hairstyle and I told her that the hairstyle was beautiful and that was my last encounter with her.”
Acting Spokesperson of the state Police Command, Mansur Sha’aban, said the suspect had since been arrested and the police are investigating the crime.