From Scholastica Hir, Makurdi

A 65-year-old retired nurse, Mrs Esther Amali, and her 20-year-old housemaid, Miss Mercy Mwuese, have been murdered in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

Daily Sun gathered that the duo were murdered at about 4:30pm in her residence, situated behind Deeper Life Church, Federal Low Cost Estate, along Makurdi – Naka road, on Sunday.

The source, who pleaded not to be named, said they were killed by one Jimilu Jibril Ibrahim, Alias Eko, their neighbour, who is also identified to be a member of the Red Axe Confraternity.

The source said trouble started when the deceased housemaid (Mercy) was allegedly impregnated by a member of a rival cult group (The Black), whom “Eko” always accused of killing one of his members, and who also visits Mercy.

It was said after Eko severely abused and threatened Mercy, she could no longer bear it and insulted the suspect, who reported the matter to her madam, Mrs Amali. It was also said that Mrs Amali immediately waded in and settled the matter and thought it was over, until she saw him that Sunday before he killed them.

It was gathered that Mrs. Amali, who retired recently from the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Makurdi, as Chief Nurse, was heard calling out, loudly, the name of her housemaid and that of her killer as “neighbour Ibrahim.”

The source said the attacker, after killing the nurse and her maid (Mercy), left the five months old Mercy’s baby unhurt. Sources from the neighbourhood told newsmen that the suspected murderer entered the compound at about 4:20pm, on Sunday, and first attacked the housemaid who was alone at home doing her domestic chores.

They said the deceased housemaid had a misunderstanding with Ibrahim because of his friend whom she (Mercy) accused of being responsible for her pregnancy, and now the father of her baby. Ibrahim was said to have consistently warned the late Mercy to stop accusing his friend of being the father of her baby, otherwise she would face the consequences.

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“On that fateful Sunday, Mama Nurse left the house at about 2pm to where she usually attended a local bam meeting every Sunday. She finished from the beam at about 4:30pm, only to return home and stormed into a situation where her housemate was struggling with the killer who  she called “Ibrahim”.

“Mama started begging and calling the name of Ibrahim to stop what he was doing and assured that, henceforth, her housemaid would never accuse his friend of being the father of her baby again. But Ibrahim did not listen to mama’s plea as he went on to stab Mercy (housemaid) to death, then faced mama and also stabbed her  multiple times.

“Ibrahim thought that mama had died and then jumped through the fence. It was while he left that mama struggled to come out and opened her gate before we, her neighbours, could go inside the compound and saw how mama could be rescued.

“We immediately arranged for a vehicle and conveyed mama and her housemaid to the hospital. While we were on our way to the hospital, Mama was narrating how the incident happened to us. Immediately we got to the hospital, she gave up the ghost.”

By yesterday morning, the suspect, who lives with his parents a few blocks away from the residence of the victims, had disappeared while the family residence was also deserted.

The source said: “Our happiness now is that she has identified who killed her and the housemaid. We, neighbours, have also identified Ibrahim and his family in our neighbourhood. But before the day could break, this morning, the family of Ibrahim had relocated to an unknown destination.

“We are going to meet this evening as neighbours to decide on what to do with the family house of Ibrahim, either to sell the apartment and use the proceeds to conduct the burial or pull down the building. We have reported the matter to the police “D” division Makurdi. The remains of the housemaid and her aunt have been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, while another neighbour had taken custody of the baby that was left behind.

“Mama Nurse was a kind hearted woman who loved peace and embraced everyone that came her way. This incident must not be swept under the carpet,” the source said.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Benue State Command, SP Catherine Anene, in a message, said, “I will get back to you on this.”