Nearly a week after Hajiya Bilikisu Bello died during a visit to the office of the Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, the controversy surrounding the circumstances of her demise are yet to abate, THISDAY investigations have revealed.

It was told at the weekend that despite the claim of the state government that the woman, who was on a private visit to the governor when she suffered an asthma attack, and later died in the hospital, facts have emerged that she actually passed on in Aliyu's office, and not in the hospital.

The state government’s account of her death had said she slumped in the office of the governor and died 25 minutes later at the Minna General Hospital.

But security sources confided in the press that the state government had been trying to distort the circumstances of the woman's death and the reason for her visit to the governor in order to cover up the embarrassment that these could bring to the Aliyu administration.

The deceased, who a source said was 46 years old and not 53 as claimed by the state government, was brought in dead (BID) to the hospital in a state of undress, adding that the government had been trying to alter her medical records to reflect that she died in the hospital.

It was also learnt that some top government officials from the state, including the governor, have been going round security agencies' offices to plead for understanding on the matter so as to avoid embarrassing the Aliyu administration.

Shedding light on the circumstances of Bilikisu's death, the source said security reports showed that she was alone with the governor when she had asthma attack, which might have been triggered by “intense excitement”.

The source accused the state government of a grand scale cover-up on the circumstances of the demise of Bilikisu, referred to as a middle-level civil servant in the state.

According to the source, “It's been confirmed that the woman died in his (Aliyu’s) office and not in the hospital as he claimed. Since only two of them were in the room, he is still denying that there was any relationship with her.

“But what would a 46-year-old middle-level civil servant be ‘advising’ (as he claimed) a governor in his office? She bypassed her directors and permanent secretary to advise the governor directly on revenue collection, water supply, the State Emergency Management Agency, urban and regional development and more.

“And why was she not properly dressed when she was evacuated to the hospital? And why was the initial hospital entry of BID (brought in dead) quickly withdrawn?”

Bilikisu's daughter, Aisha Mohammed, last week, had laid down the information that her mother was suffering from a heart disease and was diagnosed with the disease more than five years ago.
She said she dropped her mother off at the Government House last Monday where she had gone to see the governor and she had no premonition that she would never see her again.

Recounting how the news of her mother's death got to her, Mohammed said she had gone back to the Government House to pick her mother when she was told to go to the hospital that her mother had taken ill and was rushed there.

“I was to pick her up after I had dropped her off at the Government House but on getting there about 20 minutes after we had spoken to pick her up, I was told to rush to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Minna General Hospital.

“On getting there, people were trying to hide her death from me because at the time I got there, she had died. But my dad eventually called me from Kaduna to tell me of the death. He said that his younger brother who was there when she died called to inform him,” she added.

According to her, she passed out and that was the last she knew until she woke up in their family house to see people already gathered to condole with the family. Aliyu and his entourage also visited the family later and condoled with them.