Monthly Media Report on Suicide Incidents in Nigeria (July 2020)

Nigeria witnessed an unprecedented spate of suicides in 2019, especially with media coverage of such incidents. Some schools of thought have argued that suicide incidents had existed in Nigeria possibly on a large scale but most of such incidents were never reported in the media. Well, 2019 saw a number of incidents reported in social and mainstream media.

The alarming rate of suicides that took place in Nigeria in 2019 remains as a puzzle to many people. It is now a fact that 2019 recorded the highest rate of suicide incidents among Nigerians in modern times with 70 reported cases in the media. Some analysts have argued that the media are majorly or partly responsible for suicide rates in most societies based on what is called ‘suicide contagion’ which is a form of copy cat suicide. This means that people are likely to commit suicide after exposure to suicidal behaviour especially through the mass media. Some other schools of thought say many other factors are responsible for suicide rates apart from media reports on the incident. Among such factors are frustration, failed relationships, poor academic performance, and depression. The sad news is that suicide incidents have continued to pop up in 2020 premised on almost the same reasons as the incidents in 2019. Here is a list of suicide incidents in Nigeria that took place in July, 2020 as reported by the media. Disputed cases are not included.

CASE ONE

Story Title: LASTMA official allegedly commits suicide after stabbing his lover in Lagos

Victim’s Name: Emmanuel Mekuri

Marital Status: Single

Date: July 5

Gender: Male

Age: 47

Method: Knife stab

Reason: Quarrel with lover

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Government worker

State Where incident Happened: Lagos

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

An official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority LASTMA, Emmanuel Mekuri, allegedly killed himself today July 5, after he had stabbed his 37-year-old lover, Patricia Ogunshola, in their apartment around Zoo area, Araromi in Lagos state.

A statement released by Bala Elkana, spokesperson of the state police command, said at about 1pm today, men of the Morogbo Police Station received a distress call that Emmanuel, 47, stabbed his lover, Patricia on her right thigh, with a Jackknife and in the process, stabbed himself as well, leading to his death.

”Alarm was raised by the 13 years old daughter of the woman (whom she got from a previous marriage), which drew the attention of neighbours to the scene. In her statement, the girl stated that the deceased person, whom she referred to as her step father, made further attempts to stab her mother on the head but she quickly ran out of the room. That he subsequently stabbed himself on the stomach, his intestines gushed out and he died on the spot.

On arrival at the scene, homicide detectives preserved the crime scene and rushed the injured woman to the hospital for medical attention. She is currently in stable condition. The corpse of the deceased person was evacuated to mortuary for autopsy. A blood stained knife was recovered from the scene.”

Source: Linda Ikeji

 

CASE TWO

Story Title: 14-year-old girl commits suicide

Victim’s Name: Anita Haledu Ibrahim

Marital Status: Single

Date: July 11

Gender: Female

Age: 14

Method: Herbicide

Reason: Frustration (unwanted pregnancy)

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Student

State Where incident Happened: Nasarawa

Victim’s State of Origin: Nasarawa

Story Summary:

A fourteen-year-old girl Anita Haledu Ibrahim of Angwan Dorowa Gbuja, in Akwanga LGA of Nasarawa state, has committed suicide over an unwanted pregnancy.

Investigation revealed the deceased, a student of Government Science school Andaha, near Akwanga, took herbicide to kill herself.

The Nation further gathered she was pregnant for her boyfriend whom she met in Andaha during the COVID-19 lockdown, who was introduced to her closest friend in the school.

Source: The Nation

 

CASE THREE

Story Title: Girl commits suicide over fights with brother in Lagos

Victim’s Name: Sherifat Suleiman

Marital Status: Single

Date: July 12

Gender: Female

Age: 20

Method: Sniper

Reason: Frustration (continuous fight with her brother)

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Student

State Where incident Happened: Lagos

Victim’s State of Origin: Ogun

Story Summary:

Following series of molestations by her step-brother, a 20-year-old girl, Sherifat Suleiman, has committed suicide in Ikorodu area of Lagos.

The incident occurred at about 4 p.m., on Sunday, in Isawo area.

The deceased and her brother, who lived in a two-room apartment on Road 8, off 2nd Avenue, Olorunsogo, Yewa, Isawo, were said to always be at loggerheads.

Sherifat, who was preparing for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, started living with the brother after the death of their father.

On the day of the incident, it was learned that she bought and ingested a poisonous substance.

When she started writhing in pains, a little girl raised the alarm. Neighbours responded, but found Sherifat lying on the floor, with whitish discharges from her mouth.

Source: Vanguard

 

CASE FOUR

Story Title: 32-year-old man commits suicide in Lagos

Victim’s Name: Aboh Ogbeche

Marital Status: Single

Date: July 17

Gender: Male

Age: 32

Method: Bleach

Reason: Not given

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Student

State Where incident Happened: Lagos

Victim’s State of Origin: Cross River

Story Summary:

A 32-year-old man identified as Aboh Ogbeche on Friday commit suicide at his family residence in Lawanson, Surulere area of Lagos State.

Aboh was said to have drank bleach, even as sources stated that there was nothing to indicate that he was planning to commit suicide.

It was gathered that the victim poured the liquid in a cup, sat before his mother, gulped the substance and immediately began to convulse.

A close friend of the deceased said the mother, who was shocked by the incident, raised the alarm and Aboh was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

It was gathered that the deceased did not leave behind a suicide note or told any of his friends about his plan to commit suicide.

A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Aboh was a very jovial person and nobody knew he could think of taking his own life.

Source: Punch

 

CASE FIVE

Story Title: Man fined N215,000, commits suicide in Ogun

Victim’s Name: Fatai Salami

Marital Status: Not given

Date: July 20

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Sniper

Reason: Frustrated

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Truck Driver

State Where incident Happened: Ogun

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A truck owner identified as Fatai Salami, has committed suicide after his truck was seized by officials of the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps for flouting COVID-19 laws in the state.

Salami reportedly drank an insecticide (sniper), within the premises of the TRACE  after he was asked to pay N215,000 for flouting COVID-19 law in the state.

A source told our correspondent that TRACE officials seized the deceased’s truck from his driver in Abeokuta on Thursday for flouting social distancing order and failure to use a face mask.

He was said to have gone to the premises of TRACE and pleaded for the release of his truck, but failed to get his truck back.

According to the source, he had been sleeping on the premises from Thursday until Monday when he was able to raise a sum of N150,000, which was rejected.

The source said the man threatened to kill himself but was not taken seriously until he drank the sniper and died.

The Public Relations Officer of TRACE, Babatunde Akinbiyi, confirmed the death of the man.

He said, “The man was neither a truck driver not a truck owner. We only saw him there, he sat on the floor and the people asked him to stand up and as he stood up he brought out something from his pocket and drank it.

“We later discovered that it was sniper that he drank. He was rushed to the General Hospital, where he gave up the ghost. The case has  been reported to the police.”

Source: Punch

 

CASE SIX

Story Title: Lottery operator commits suicide over winnings in Lagos

Victim’s Name: Baba Pool

Marital Status: Not given

Date: July 23

Gender: Male

Age: 70

Method: Hanging

Reason: Frustration (Couldn’t pay pool winners)

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Lottery operator

State Where incident Happened: Lagos

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A lottery shop operator simply identified as Baba Pool, on Thursday, July 23, allegedly committed suicide inside his shop in Kayode Market, Abule Ijesha, in the Sabo area of Lagos State over his ”inability to pay the winnings of his customers.”

Baba Pool, 70, left a suicide note before hanging himself inside his shop. His suicide note read

“For your information, Bourney and Osuma. Two of them kill me. A killer must surely die.”

According to traders in the market, the two persons the deceased accused of causing his death had some time ago played lottery in his shop but he did not submit their tickets to the lottery office. When the lottery players realized that they had won, they asked for their money but instead of explaining to them that he did not submit their tickets, he decided to take his life.

Confirming the incident, the spokesperson of the state police command, Bala Elkana, said the two accused persons have been arrested and are currently being questioned.

Source: Lindaikejiblog

 

CASE SEVEN

Story Title: Jilted lover, 25, commits suicide in Kano

Victim’s Name: Ashiru Musa Danrimi

Marital Status: Single

Date: July 23

Gender: Male

Age: 25

Method: Knife Stab

Reason: Failed romance

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Private security personnel

State Where incident Happened: Kano

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A member of Neighborhood watch identified as Ashiru Musa Danrimi last Thursday allegedly stabbed himself to death in Kano over a failed romance.

Eye witness account told Independent that Musa Danrimi took his own life when he learned that his girlfriend, was married off to another man.

The young lady at the centre of the troubled romance was identified as Umi Muhammad, a resident of Danrimi, Kadawa Ward of Ungogo Local Government Area of the state.

The witness who do not want his name on print because of the sensitive nature of the crisis explained that the Danrimi’s emotional investments on Umi was heavy, but wasn’t expected to end in a tragedy.

Source: Independent

 

 

NB: Disputed cases are not included.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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