There was uproar in Yan-Nabayye Village in Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State following the recent arrest of one Samaila Musa by the police for allegedly locking up his two wives, Fatima Salisu and Hadiza Musa, in a room within their home.
Samaila’s two wives were rescued with chains on both hands and feet with marks on their bodies supposedly from beatings.
They were said to have defecated in the same room where they were chained, and their hairs were removed. Samaila was said to be cleaning his semen with their clothes and thereafter washing it to force them to drink after sleeping with anyone he desired, right before the other.
Aside his wives, three of his children were said to have been locked up as well. Samaila used to cut his nails, mix them with their pubic hair and stew to feed them with it.
For 10 months, Hadiza, the older wife, endured this condition while Fatima came to join them thereafter and stayed for 10 weeks before their eventual rescue by the police on January 23, 2020.
Daily Trust Saturday gathered that luck ran out on Samaila when his mother in-law, Fatsuma, came to visit her daughter, Fatima, whom she hadn’t heard from after the marriage, to retrieve a sewing machine from her.
“When I arrived I kept knocking the door, no one answered and neighbours told me that the house was always locked up, I kept hitting the door.
“I was desperate and became suspicious, I had not heard from her and I needed to get that sewing machine to sell it and buy some drugs for a child.
“After my persistent knocks the door was opened and Samaila was the one who came forth, I asked for my daughter and he led me to where she was, I was in total shock as a result of the condition I met her, we talked and despite my persistent questions on what was wrong, she refused to say anything,” Fatsuma said.
“It was later I realised that while knocking, Samaila was untying her and transferring her to another room,” she said.
Immediately after Fatsuma left the house, she rushed to the police station and reported the matter to the DPO who later went with his men to find them, arrested Samaila and moved him to the divisional police office in Rimi. Also arrested was Suleiman Salisu, his accomplice.
In a chat with Daily Trust Saturday, both women spoke on the inhuman condition in the home which they vowed not to return.
Hadiza said, “The experience is alarming, I got pregnant and when he realised I missed my period, Samaila beat me up, went and got Neem leaves with several other things that I drank and the pregnancy was aborted.”
“My nails and hair were mixed with pepper and I was made to eat it with my co-wife, I went to his house with my long hair, now I need it to re-grow,” she added.
“The wound on my back is to testimony to what we went through. Whenever Samaila had sexual urge he would come to unlock whoever he wanted to have sex with in front of the chained one and would re-chain her afterwards, there was a time we saw him with huge money in N500 bundles,” she said.
“The three children he has are from another wife whom we learnt has re-married in Katsina town, the kids stay in the room but are not chained and witness all that happened, “she added.
But speaking with newsmen, Samaila said, “I have issues with Hadiza whom a magistrate’s court asked to return my bride price and she ran away for eight months to Uwardaba’s house to stay with another woman in Tsagero village. When I wasn’t at home she would climb the fence and run, which made me to start chaining her.”
“Both of them used to take Tramol and for 10 weeks I locked them, I usually locked my house to prevent people from coming in,” he said.
On the pepper and semen water, Samaila it was just their “fabrication” but admitted locking them in chains, saying, “for sure I locked them in chains.”
“When I remarried, Hadiza returned to my house and I reported to the Mallam who told me it was a marriage issue that only I could address if I wanted to continue to live with her.
“Their statement that I sleep with them in front of the other is a also a lie, on defecation also, the beatings on their backs was during an earlier case when they took my children away to Jani, I beat them up but that was last year.
“This is her hair but they asked me to give them money to buy soda to wash their hairs and that’s how they lost their hairs, I know I beat them but not with cables, and all those weapons collected from my house are for my hunting activities,” he said.
His friend, Suleiman, who was also arrested, said, “I know nothing but for the fact that I had worked with Samaila to mould mud blocks and that day I saw his in-law with policemen coming to the house.
“I was picked and when we got to the station Samaila gave me N900 and the key to open his house to take one of his children to hospital.
“He asked me to feed the other child and release his wife which I did not because I saw her in chain when I got there.”
The police said they were thoroughly investigating the matter as according to the command spokesman SP Gambo Isah, Samaila is a suspected cultist.
The case has attracted the attention of a Katsina-based non-governmental organisation, Gender and Social Inclusion, which is presently looking into the alleged violation of the women’s rights.
Hajiya Rabi Muhammed, a gender officer, said, “We have already taken them to the hospital for proper medical check-up, they are malnourished and we bought some foodstuff for them before they were sent back to their village”
“Presently, we are looking at how to empower them and by next week we are starting the court process to terminate the marriages and will cooperate with the police to ensure that justice is done through proper prosecution of the accused.”