A housemaid, Mrs. Umu-l-kulsum Inuwa, has been shot for allegedly failing to attend to her boss’ wailing three-month-old baby on time.
The boss, Alhaji Jamil Bala, a chief in Kano State, reportedly shot the 35-year-old housemaid in the neck and breast.
One of his guards in the house was also said to have been hit by the bullets.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Inuwa, who is a widow and mother of three, was rushed to a private hospital where she had been admitted.
It was learnt that the incident happened in Bala’s residence in Barnawa, Kaduna State, on Saturday, June 25, 2016, when his wife went out, leaving the baby behind.
The matter was reported at the Barnawa Police Division, leading to Bala’s arrest.
A rights group, My Body, My Rights and Charity Initiative, also petitioned the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Adamu Ibrahim, seeking justice for the victim.
A member of the group, Nura Mukhtar, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, said,“On that day, his (Bala’s) wife went out and left the baby at home. When the baby was crying, he called her on the phone and she (wife) called the housemaids to tend to the baby. Meanwhile, the victim and another housemaid were washing clothes on the premises.
“Both of them rushed upstairs where the baby was. After a few minutes, Inuwa went downstairs to continue with the laundry. The boss shot her and she sustained injuries in some parts of her body. According to the victim, her boss was angry because the baby girl was abandoned.
“When we learnt about the matter, we wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Police in the state and the suspect was arrested and detained. His family did not support him and they are spending a lot of money on the treatment of the woman.”
Mukhtar, a lawyer, said the case was later transferred to the State Department of Criminal Investigation, adding that the suspect had been granted bail.
However, Bala denied that he shot the woman out of anger, saying he wanted to service his rifle when the bullets accidentally discharged.
He said, “We all have different understandings. But this claim is totally false. As an educated man, why will I attempt to kill somebody just because a baby is crying? On that day, I sent one of my guards, Yahaya, to my room to bring the gun. I told him to take it downstairs and get me some quantity of engine oil to service the gun.
“I kept the gun at home for security reasons. I wanted to remove the bullets when I had an accidental discharge. The lady in question was far, washing clothes. And a guy who was supposed to fetch water for my mother was close to her. A bullet hit him as well, but his injury was minor.
“I am a kind of person that even if I am dying, I will not hide anything. I don’t fear anybody. The distance between this woman and I was up to 20 to 30 metres. When the incident happened, I was the one who called the security agents and took her to the hospital. I told the doctor to give her the best treatment.”
The District Head, Barnawa, Alhaji Kabir Zubair, said he intervened in the case and demanded that Bala should be arrested.
He said he later gathered that Bala did not intend to harm the woman.
“I was in Zaria when the incident happened. I informed the Divisional Police Officer of the station. When I came back from Zaria, I talked to the police to release him on bail because he had typhoid.
“The following Monday, the case was transferred to the SDCI and he was detained until last Friday when he was released on bail since the condition of the woman had improved. The woman has been discharged this (Monday) morning. His family and that of the woman will dialogue. If it fails, then he can be charged to court,” he said.
The outgoing Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Zubairu Abubakar, said he was not in a position to speak on the incident.
He said, “Officially, I can’t speak on the case because I have been redeployed. I will hand over to the new PPRO by 12pm today (Monday).”
But a police source said, “The man was arrested with one other suspect. In the first place, he was not supposed to service his gun at home, as he is claiming. The gun has been recovered from him and investigation is ongoing.”