Written by Ahmed Mohammed, Bauchi
Saturday, 09 June 2012 05:01
The people of Doguwa, in Doguwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State were last Wednesday thrown into a bizarre sight when a woman was caught digging graves at the town’s cemetery and removing the corpses buried in them. Doguwa is about 200 kilometers away from Bauchi metropolis.
A resident of the town Malam Hussaini Ahmed Doguwa told Weekly Trust that the incident happened around 4pm in the evening. He said a woman of about 50 years old, was apprehended by some people as she was digging grave inside the town’s cemetery. “She had already opened four new graves when she was caught. She actually tried to run when she saw people approaching her, but the people chased and caught her. She was later handed over to policemen in the town,” he said.
Ahmed said “we were surprised, because we have never seen this kind of thing in our life. And after she was arrested the woman gave her name initially as Odah. Later she changed it to Salamatu Abdurra’uf from Kutumi village in Gaya Local Government Area of Kano State.”
He said the woman had spent two days in the town and everybody pitied her because of her condition. She pretended to be insane. For instance she bought a mango and wanted to pay with leaves. The mango seller refused to accept the leaves, and some good Samaritans in the area intervened. She also bought a pair of sleepers and presented the trader with leaves. When he refused to collect the leaves she brought out fresh mints and paid him.”
“When the woman was found inside the graveyard, she was asked what she was doing and she said nothing and asked the people to leave her alone and mind their business. They left her and went inside the town and informed the members of the vigilante. When they arrived, they found that she had already removed the sticks of the fourth grave and was about to remove a corpse.
“When she saw the people in the town coming to arrest her she fled and they pursued her. The way she was running, you will think she is a man,” Ahmed said.
He said after she was arrested she started begging for forgiveness, claiming that it was an accident and she will not repeat it again. The crowd that gathered at the scene advocated for jungle justice for her, suggesting that she should be killed and her corpse burnt. But the vigilante members called the village head of Doguwa on phone who directed them to hand her over to Police.
The Village Head of Doguwa Aliyu Salihu said he was in Bauchi when he was informed about the woman and he directed his subject to take her to Giade Police station. He said this is the third time it is happening in the town same months in three years. He said “last year unknown people dug a grave of a young girl and removed her hair and cloth, while they disappeared with her corpse, and two years back we saw a strange woman near a millet farm, trying to cross the road. When she saw people she hid herself inside the farm, we thought she was feeling shy to cross the road because of people. A young boy called Muhammad was playing with his friend and the strange woman tricked him, she put him on her back and went into the millet farm. Till today, nothing has been heard about the woman and the little boy.”
Weekly Trust gathered that Police have arraigned the woman before an Upper Sharia Court in Giade. At the court, Police Prosecutor Corporal Alex Ako charged her with conspiracy and illegal entrance in to the grave yard to commit offence contrary to section 95,213 of the penal code. However, because of the mammoth crowd that converged on the court wanting to kill the woman, she was transferred to Shira Prison.
The Sharia Court Judge Malam Salisu Mohammed Konkiyel directed that the woman should be transferred to Bauchi State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation, adding that she might be insane. He said at the state CID experts will be able to know if she was sponsored by some people to come and dig the grave.
Registrar of the Court told Weekly Trust that angry youths that gathered in the court argued that the woman was just pretending. They alleged that she said she is not the only one even if they kill her many of her type will visit the town, they also alleged that she has good and brand new clothes in her sack.
At the Bauchi State CID, a senior Police Officer told Weekly Trust that the woman may not be mentally alright because she doesn’t talk coherently. He also said that she sometimes catch and eat insects just as she excrete waste from her anus, eat the waste and clean it with her hand.
He said Police had arraigned her before Bauchi Chief Magistrate Court where the presiding Magistrate directed Police to take her to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi and look for her relatives in order to return her to them.
The Police officer said they are now waiting for report from the hospital in order to complete their investigation for necessary action.
Weekly Trust investigations revealed that Doguwa and environs were battling with the problem of missing people. In Giade, one person called Malam Danladi Tela Manu was declared missing recently. His three wives and 22 children are now praying to the Almighty so that their breadwinner can be located.