Residents of Potiskum town in Yobe State, woke up on Tuesday morning to shocking news of four gruesome murders, all of a single family’s members. Even more shocking was the detail that Adamu Magaji Mai-Bisco, 28, slashed the throats of his mother, father, and two younger sisters.
Daily Trust gathered that Adamu, who lived with his parents at Batayya Ward, appeared to be deeply depressed prior to carrying out the multiple murders. He went on, late at night, to hack his 65-year-old father, Magaji Mai-Bisco, to death with a blunt shovel, and slit the throat of his mother when she attempted to save her husband.
Adamu proceeded to a separate room, his sisters’, and slaughtered Aisha 14, and bride-to-be Zainab, 16. Neighbours who rushed to the scene afterwards, said the suspect carried out the murders around 11:45 pm, possibly in avoidance of any interruption. Many of them agree that Adamu is a drug addict and probably killed his victims for trying to set him on the right path. His father, they said, has severally threatened to hand him over to security operatives for his chronic drug use.
While neighbours were puzzled at how the four horrific murders could be silently executed without much struggle by the deceased, some of them hazarded guesses. “Adamu must have sedated his victims before he carried out the murders, because his father is strong enough to face him,” a neighbour called Hussain Mukhtar contemplated.
Mukhtar said Adamu always complained to him that his parents meddled too much into his personal life. He said: “On the night of the attack, I was sleeping outside my house when Adamu showed up, looking very distraught, as he usually did. When I asked, he declined to open up, with me not knowing multiple, gruesome murders had taken place.
Everyone knows he is a serious addict, but no-one would ever think him so far-gone as to kill a human being, more so his own parents and sisters.”
Mukhtar also said Adamu has been a respectable son, even helping with difficult chores at home. He said on the day of the murders, Adamu had worked on a portion of the family house, renovating it with mud.
Adamu’s elder brother Hussain told Daily Trust that the murders are all premeditated. He said: “Our father usually retires to bed around 10:00pm, and [Adamu] took advantage of that to murder him in his sleep, hacking him repeatedly with a shovel and even going as far as slitting his throat with a knife. Our mother, who slept earlier, woke up to save our father, and instead he hit her with the shovel and killed her too. He also murdered both of our sisters, even as one of them screamed for help and struggle to escape. I still can’t imagine how all this happened.”
Magaji said he had been to the family house hours before the incident, and discussed with their mother some key family issues. “When I came out of the house I saw Adamu looking very worried. I counselled him about life and left, not knowing he was planning to take away my happiness,” he said, adding: “It’s hard to describe, the shock of seeing the bodies of your loved ones, lifeless.”
Another neighbour, Muhammad Aminu, told Daily Trust that he was sleeping, when a friend knocked, and broke the shocking story. “When I rushed there, Adamu was holding a shovel and knife, acting quite wildly,” he said, adding that nobody dared get close. “Until his close friends came, two of them, and he surrendered the weapons just like that without any resistance. Some residents handed him over to the police when his brother and a few others attempted to lynch him,” he said.
A version of the story – which even Magaji, the elder brother, couldn’t confirm – has it that Adamu asked his parents money for personal use, but instead his father gave him two goats to sell. Later in the evening, he saw a carpenter bringing in sofas in preparation for his sister’s wedding and he became upset.
Magaji also revealed to Daily Trust that some days before the shocking tragedy, he visited their parents at the family house, and found his brother dressed in their mum’s clothes. “He’d put on her head-tie, blouse, and wrapper and everybody was looking at him. I asked him why and he replied that he did it to remember our late grandmother. I had to force him to take them off, and warned our parents that something is wrong with him. They waved it away, saying it’s the effect of the drugs he’s been abusing and that he’ll be alright.”
Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Toyin Gbadegesin, confirmed that the incident happened around 11:45 pm before a distress call was put to the Potiskum Command around 1:00 am and they arrested the suspect.