‘SS3 student who stabbed my husband to death still not prosecuted three months after’ –Widow of slain Jos maths teacher
Mrs Akoti Job-Dashe is the widow of Job Dashe, a Mathematics teacher at the Government Science Technical College Bukuru (BuTech), Plateau State, who was stabbed to death by one his students on July 30, 2021. In this interview with JAMES ABRAHAM, the widow speaks about her grief and demand for justice.
Your husband, a Mathematics teacher, was reportedly killed by a student. How did the incident happen?
The incident happened on the 30th July, 2021 at the school dining, during school hours.
From what I was told,he (my husband) was on duty at the school dining hall together with one of his colleagues. And it was time for lunch and the SS3 students were the ones taking their lunch at the time. A student, who had earlier been served, came to collect another portion and when he was detected, my husband was trying to reprimand him for doing that. So, the boy got angry, went back to the hostel, picked a knife, came back and stabbed my husband to death.
Where were you at the time and how did you get to know about it?
I was at my family (father’s) house. I had gone to my family house at Zaramaganda in Jos to assist my sister who was to have her marriage introduction the following day.
How did you get to know about the incident?
It was one of my husband’s friends that first called me to ask if I was at home. I told him that I wasn’t at home but that I left my husband at home. Unknown to me, my husband was already dead. So, when I told him I was at my family house, he said he was coming right away to meet me there. I said no problem and that I would wait for him.But before that time, I had been trying to reach my husband through his mobile phone without success. So, I still dialed his number, wanting to inform him that his friend was coming to our family house in Zaramaganda. Again, my husband did not pick his calls. So, I told my father that I wanted to go and grind some cooking materials we would use for the wedding introduction and that my husband’s friend should wait for me if he came around. Shortly after I left with my mother,my sister who had gone to the market called me to say that somebody called her to return home immediately and that she should not buy anything again. My sister said I should rush home to check what was happening in the house and that’s how I left my mother at the place we had gone for grinding. When I got home, I saw my father and when I asked him if anybody came to look for me, he said no. When I told him how my sister said I should return home immediately,my father still said there was nothing happening at home to warrant that. So, I went back to meet my mother, not knowing that they had already told my father about the death of my husband but he did not want to tell me.
I returned home later with my mother. It was then that my father called my elder brother who came to the house and when I saw his face, he was not cheerful at all. When I asked him what the problem was, he simply told me he was feeling cold. So, I kept quiet. Later they called my aunt. Somehow, I told them I was going home to check on my husband because I had been trying to reach him and the phone kept ringing out without him picking the calls. It was unlike him. I still called his number and yet, no response. I called my neighbour and asked her to help me check if my husband had returned from work and she said he hadn’t. I called another neighbour and she said the same thing. It was then, I started suspecting that something was wrong somewhere. I then told them in my family house that I would be going to my house and I wouldn’t be able to come back that very day and that I would be with them in the morning before the marriage introduction would start.
But when I carried my bag and made to leave, my mother held me back and said I was going nowhere. I called one of my husband’s friends again and asked him if he was with my husband and he said no.He then asked me where I was and I told him that I was still at my family house. He said I should wait for him, that he was coming to take me home. I was surprised when he said he was coming to pick me because I was wondering whether it was the first time I would come to my family house that he would then volunteer to come and pick me home just like that. I was still contemplating what the problem could be when they broke the sad news to me. It was really devastating.
Can you recall your moments with him on the morning of that day before he went to work?
We did our normal morning devotion. And as he was preparing for work, I was preparing to go to my family house to assist my sister whose marriage introduction was scheduled for the next day. So, I left the house before him and bid him good luck and good bye. That was it.
How old was your husband and what kind of person was he?
He was 35 years old.
Where did he come from and what kind of person was he?
He was from Qua’anpan Local Government Area of Plateau State.He was a gentleman, kind and so caring. Many people call him “Gentle Job.”
When did you get married to him and do you have children?
We got married last year on November 7. I have one child. I was pregnant when he was killed. I gave birth to the child 21 days after he died.
How is the child doing?
He is fine.
When the incident happened, was the matter reported to the police?
Yes, the matter was reported to the police. On that fateful day, the student that killed my husband ran away afterwards but he was arrested the following day.
What has happened to the case?
The case is still with the DSS (Department of State Services) but he has not been taken to the court. We were at the DSS office a few days ago to ask for an update on the matter and they reassured us that they were not going to allow the matter to be swept under the carpet.
Are you satisfied with the way the matter is being handled by security operatives?
We are worried over what is happening with the matter. It is now over three months since the incident happened and nothing has been done. We are still waiting to see how far they will go with the matter.
Has your husband been buried?
Is the management of the school in touch with you over the matter?
We have not really heard much from the school. We have not seen them after the burial of my husband.
How has life been without him? How are you coping?
Life has not been easy at all. Everything about life just changed for me. I’m trusting God that everything will be alright.
What are your demands in the case?
I need justice for my husband. He did not commit any crime. Given the circumstances that led to his death, what does the law say in a situation like this? Let the law take its course; let there be justice for my husband. And then, if government can provide a job for me with my qualifications I will appreciate it because I don’t have a job at the moment. I have a master’s in History and International Relations.(PUNCH)