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Maria’s ex-boyfriend battered, killed her for seeking better life with new lover – Sister

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A 31-year-old Abuja-based lady, Maria Ali, was allegedly murdered by her ex-lover. The victim’s sister, Cecilia Ali-Ene, speaks to the Punch Newspaper about the family’s fight for justice

What is your relationship with the deceased?

My name is Cecilia Ali-Ene. I am the elder sister to Maria, the 31-year-old graduate of Theatre Arts, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend, Benedict.

Your sister was allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend. What really happened?

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They had been dating for about 10 years. Those 10 years were years of turmoil and agony for Maria as the man would hit her at the slightest provocation and even push her out. Many of Maria’s friends would call to tell me and my family about the way Ben was treating my sister and how he had no regard for her. We would call Maria and tell her to come back home as they were not even married, but she would say Ben would change, that he only needed some time. Even when she gave birth to her daughter through Caesarean section in their first three years or so of dating, this man still beat her, not minding that the wounds had not healed. You can imagine the wickedness. When I learnt of it, I threatened to get Ben arrested, but she knelt down to beg me to forgive him because he would change.

While in the relationship, this man refused to marry her. He avoided every conversation about marriage until she found a new man, who cared for her and was ready to marry her almost immediately despite her daughter. That was when he knew he was now serious with my sister. This is the result. He killed her.

How exactly did it happen?

He called her one day to ask her to leave her new fiancée and come back to him. She refused. He told her that he would either kill the new lover or her. She told my parents and they thought it was a joke. I even called him and told him that if anything happened to my sister, I would hold him responsible. He has fulfilled his promise; he has killed my sister. My sister was in the house on Sunday, May 22, with her new fiancée, having some discussion when they heard a knock on the door of her house inside an estate in Abuja. Maria peeped through the window and didn’t see anybody apart from the kids playing nearby. The person knocked again, and when she opened the door, it was Ben asking to see her, so they could talk about their child. It was surprising.

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I remember she told me that she had been begging Ben to come to take custody of his kid, who is now seven, but he refused. So, coming out of the blues to suddenly ask after the child was surprising. I would like to note now that my sister was the one taking care of this girl alone without any help from this man (Ben). He doesn’t even know how this girl feeds or what she wears. This happened around 5pm.

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What did your sister do next?

Ben requested that she ask the guy to leave, but she said no. He then asked her to follow him to his car so they could talk about the welfare of their daughter. They were there discussing from that time till around 9pm. Maria’s fiancée was still waiting. When she got back to meet her fiancée, she was shivering. He (fiancée) asked her why she took so long, and she told him that Ben threatened to kill her if she didn’t leave the house and return back with him (Ben). According to the fiancée, Ben showed Maria a gun and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t come back to him. He said Ben slapped Maria and locked her in the car, threatening her and raining abuse on her. She was really distressed when she spoke.

How did she die?

The next day (Monday, May 23), around 8.30pm, Ben called me. I refused to pick at first, because we were not on talking terms. It was my 10-year-old son who begged me to pick up the phone, because, according to him, it might be important. When I answered the call, Ben asked me where I was and I said I was in Abuja. He said he needed to see me right away. I ended the call. He called again to say it was really important and that he needed my presence because my sister’s blood pressure had risen dramatically. I was shocked because, the last time I checked, they didn’t live together.

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He requested that I meet him in the hospital, where my sister was admitted. I was a bit reluctant because I thought he was only tricking me out so that he could ask me to beg my sister to accept him back as he always did, but after giving it much thought, I decided to go to the hospital. I went there with my son.

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The hospital staff didn’t allow me to see my sister for about five minutes. They said we should wait outside, he (Ben) told me that he and Maria were arguing in the car and he hit the vehicle in anger and his hands ‘mistakenly hit my sister’ and she started throwing up. It was not clear. The story was not adding up.

Was the car being driven as they argued?

No, he said they were not. Ben said the car was static. He just got angry during the argument and hit the car and she started vomiting just like that. How that is possible, I don’t know.

When did this happen?

He said it happened on Sunday night. But, he was telling me about it on Monday evening.

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What was your response to his story?

I didn’t believe him. I was shivering because I knew something was wrong with my sister somehow, because I know how deadly his anger used to be. The doctors now came and told me to go into the ward and see my sister. When we got in, my sister was already dead. I didn’t understand it. By the time we got out, Ben had fled. We asked the doctor what happened, he said somebody brought her in and had left. The doctor said he wrote out a phone number, which had been unreachable for hours.

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What exactly did the doctor say caused her death? Was there bleeding?

Honestly, as I am here now, I don’t understand. There was no bleeding. They said she was vomiting and that was it. It is not clear to me. I am very traumatised now. I cannot even think properly. This is all I know about the incident.

Do you suspect foul play?

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Of course, I do. Ben has some explaining to do. The doctor said they were trying to refer her to another hospital, but he gave the wrong number. My brother alerted the police and Ben has been arrested and is being investigated.

How cooperative have the police been?

They have been very cooperative. They want to get to the bottom of the incident. I wonder how a man, who claims to love my sister, will kill her and keep quiet about it, pretending not to know what happened.

What kind of a person was your sister?

She graduated four years ago. She read Theatre Arts. We both used to work with an NGO before her unfortunate death. She was a peace-loving, calm and smart young woman, who just wanted the best for herself.

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How are your parents coping with the incident?

My father is distraught. My mother has not been able to properly accept the fact that Maria is dead. She (Maria) left behind a seven-year-old daughter. How will she cope? This man (Ben) just cut short a young life for nothing. My father has said we should leave everything to God. My five brothers and I have said no to that. We want justice for my sister. Let Nigerians come to our aid and help us.

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Crime

Lagos Police Arrest Suspects With Vandalised Rail Tracks

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A patrol team from Ijora Badia Police division has arrested two suspects conveying vandalised rail tracks in Lagos State.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, disclosed this via his Twitter handle on Monday.

He said, “At about 1am today, a patrol team from Ijora Badia Division intercepted a Mitsubishi Lancer car conveying vandalised railway tracks. The two occupants of the vehicle have been arrested. Investigation is ongoing.”

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Toyin Abraham takes Legal action against Revolution plus property scam

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Actress Toyin Abraham has now taken legal actions against Revolution Plus property by having her lawyers sent them an official statement confirming her dissociation from the brand.

Taking to her Instagram page moments ago to share the legal documents, Toyin Abraham wrote:

PUBLIC DISCLAIMER

DISASSOCIATION FROM REVOLUTIONPLUS PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LIMITED

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We are Solicitors to Mrs. Olutoyin Abosede Ajeyemi Abraham, (hereinafter referred to ‘our Client’) and on whose instruction we write the above-captioned letter.

Our Client wishes to disassociate herself from the brand, Revolutionplus (hereinafter referred to ‘the company). This disclaimer is premised on the fact that our client’s contract with the Company as a Brand Ambassador has been effectively terminated and the compelling need to disassociate herself from the image of the Brand.

Despite the above promises, I was still receiving various threats messages, curses, complaints and pleas from investors claiming they had not been allocated any land or refunded their monies. Some of them further claimed that because I represented the Company as a brand ambassador, I reposed their confidence in the
Company to invest their monies. I became sad, worried, and disturbed and decided to stop my social media publications and advertisement of the Company’s products.

When the pressure and harassment became embarrassingly unbearable both online on all my social media platforms and offline, and with my integrity at stake, I sent a mail to the Company on the 15th June 2022 notifying them of my intent to terminate my contract as a Brand Ambassador. The Company reached out to me on the 16th of June 2022, we had a meeting and they promised to promptly and effectively address the allegations. Upon the premise of the promises made, I sent another mail on the 17th June 2022 cancelling my notice of intent to terminate my contract as a brand ambassador.

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In view of the above termination which I accept in good faith and totality, and considering the recent similar messages I have received from aggrieved customers from the brand, I hereby disassociate myself from the brand and advise that all persons dealing with the brand conduct their respective due diligence’.

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It was in the wake of my decision to reduce the brand’s visibility and advertisement on my social media platforms, especially because my integrity as a person is being questioned daily, that I received a ‘Notice of Termination of Brand Ambassadorship’ letter on the 22nd December 2022 by the Company’s legal team, which effectively terminated my contract with them on grounds of reduced affection and reluctant approach towards publicly identifying with the brand.

While performing my duties as contained in the contract, I started receiving a lot of allegations and complaints from investors who claimed the Company has not allocated lands nor refunded them their monies. Some of these investors were in my DM (Direct Message) demanding for refund of their monies or allocation of the lands they paid for.

Please find below the official statement from our Client:

‘After carefully conducting my due diligence and being personally convinced about the genuineness of the Company, I proceeded to sign a contractual agreement in July 2020, thereby becoming a brand ambassador to market the property products of the Company, Revolutionplus. This duty I carried out with utmost loyalty, diligence, integrity and excellence, which are the core values I stand for.

 

 

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Probe abortion report, feminists urge FG

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Nigerian feminists have urged the Federal Government, through the National Human Rights Commission, to probe the forced abortions report allegedly perpetuated by the military in the northeastern part of Nigeria.

An international news agency, Reuters, had accused the Nigerian Army of running a programme where forceful abortions were carried out on female victims of Boko Haram/Islamic State in West African Province.

The report claimed that the Army carried out the abortions without the persons’ consent and that at least 10,000 pregnancies had been illegally terminated.

These were contained in an investigation published by the news agency in December, 2022.

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The probe, according to Reuters, was based on the accounts of 33 victims, hospital workers, and security officials, as well as documents gathered.

Reacting in a statement obtained by The PUNCH on Tuesday, the feminists, namely, Chioma Agwuegbo, Fadekemi Akinfaderin, Dr Leena Hoffmann, Ifeoma Ikwueme, Azeenarh Mohammed, Nana Nwachukwu, Lola Okolosie, Omolara Oriye and Buky Williams, said, “Friday marks six weeks since the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, called on the NHRC to launch an investigation into the abortion report.”

They therefore called on the NHRC to make public its plans to take the investigation forward, expand its remit to look at the alleged killings of children, and commit to doing so in a victim-centred way.

Copyright @punchnewspaper

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