A 49-year-old man in Nigeria has been arrested for attempting to bury his wife alive. Phillip Tersso, a native of Yelwata in the Nasarawa State, had been planning to kill his wife, Mary after finding out that she was three months pregnant with his friend’s child.
According to reports, Tersso had already dug a grave in which he had planned to bury his wife of 10 years. The timely intervention of community leaders together with the police saved Mary from her impending death at the hands of her husband. Tersso was caught and arrested before he could execute and complete his grisly plan.
The couple lived happily over their 10-year marriage but had been battling with infertility. Trouble in their marriage was said to have begun some months ago when Tersso fell very ill. He was taken to different hospitals for treatment but was told he would not be able to recover from the sickness. Mary informed her husband on his sickbed that she would marry his friend, Aondowase Chiahemba, in his absence when his time would come. However, unknown to Tersso, his wife was already pregnant with Chiahemba’s child.
Angered by his wife’s deceit and infidelity, Tersso dug a grave for Mary after he had recovered from the sickness, intending to bury her alive and then take his own life afterward.
Tersso admitted that he was aware of the consequences of his planned actions, however, he could not understand why his wife would have an affair with his friend at the time he was sick. He said burying his wife alive was the only punishment that could compare to what she did to him.
In an interview with authorities, Mary said she regretted her actions, but she insisted that she would not abort the pregnancy because age is no longer on her side. She confessed having wanted to try having sex with another man to test out her fertility and gave in to Tersso’s friend.
Village elders, headed by Audu Ode, are handling the case as they try to sort out certain areas of grievances between Tersso and his wife before handing them over to authorities.
Elder Audu said he would plead with them to hold on until certain traditional rites are performed, saying that the husband might be suffering from brain damage resulting from his sickness.