Monday, May 9, 2011

Katsina-Alu escapes death, loses wife in tree accident

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloysius Katsina-Alu, had a close shave with death last Saturday night, when a tree fell on his house as he and his wife were about retiring for the night. His wife, Victoria Mimi Katsina-Alu, was not as lucky as the tree fell on her, killing her.

A family member, Ajiryar Katsina-Alu, told journalists that the Katsina-Alus had sat outdoors following a late dinner and were about to go indoors when a rainstorm started.

"She stood up and told her husband that they should go indoors and was steps ahead when the wind uprooted one of the gmalina trees in the compound, which fell on her as she was about stepping into the house," he said.

According to Mr Katsina-Alu, the tree also brought down the branches of a nearby tree, which fell on and upturned the chair on which the chief justice was still sitting, pushing him to the ground.

While Justice Katsina-Alu sustained minor bruises, his wife, who would have turned 54 next month, was found unconscious and rushed to Myom Hospital in Gboko, where she was confirmed dead, the family member said.

Her body has since been deposited at the Gboko General Hospital mortuary.

Earlier on Saturday, Mrs Katsina-Alu had supervised the wedding of her niece, Erdoo Akaa and her husband Terseer Ado, at the Victory Saints Church in Alu village and was said to be in her element, attending to guests until late in the evening.

Sympathizers have thronged the Katsina-Alu country home in the Ushongo local government area of Benue State to commiserate with the chief justice.

Some of the early callers included George Akume, a former governor of the state; Steven Lawani, the deputy governor of the state; Iorhemen Hwande, the chief judge of Benue State; Margaret Igbetar, the president of the Customary Court of Appeal; Chive Kaave, the attorney general and justice commissioner, as well as Julius Shaukpar, the chairman of Ushongo local government council.

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