By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
A young man, Chidinma Omah, has died after he was set ablaze by his 18-year-old girlfriend, Esther, in Makurdi, Benue State.
Omah died on Tuesday, from the high degree burns he suffered after Esther, from Ado Local Government Area of Benue state, allegedly poured fuel on him and set him ablaze.
Persecondnews gathered that trouble started when Chidinma, a patent medicine dealer, just returned from Nsuka local Government Area of Enugu State, where he travelled for the Christmas and new year holiday.
According to reports, Esther was told by her friends that Chidinma travelled to his village to pay the pride price of another girl he intended to marry.
However, Chidinma was said to have refuted the allegation when confronted by Esther, who was not satisfied with his answer.
Consequently, Esther went to an unknown filling station with a gallon on Sunday evening and filled it with premium motor spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol to burn Chidinma.
Esther came to his house in the early hours of Sunday, ate, played and stayed with him, and pretended as if all was well, until both of them fell asleep.
She woke up few minutes after 2a.m, and went to where she kept the fuel opposite Chidinma’s house, brought it to the room, poured the fuel round the room while Chidinma was still sleeping and ignited the room with matches and ran away immediately.
Few minutes later, some tenants living in the compound were said to have come out, shouting and pouring water into the room in an attempt to extinguish the fire.
“We were perceiving smell and sound of fire around 2am on Monday. We came out and discovered that it was Chidinma’s room that was burning. We did all we could but couldn’t stop the fire from burning him,” a neighbour to the deceased, Rose Stephen, stated while giving details of the tragic event.
According to Rose, Chidinma had told Esther that he was fed up with her bad character and was no longer interested in her before he travelled for Christmas and New year, adding that she was surprised seeing them together shortly after Chidinma’s return from the village from Saturday till on Sunday.
Corroborating the story, another eyewitness and one of the closest friends to the deceased, Abraham Ebute, said Chidinma clearly told Esther he was no longer interested in the relationship with her due to her unruly behaviour.
Spokesperson of the State Police Command, DSP Catherine Anene, who confirmed the death of the victim in Makurdi on Tuesday, said the the suspect has been arrested.
“We don’t know yet why she did that. We are yet to question her but I can confirm that she has been arrested and just brought to our custody.” she added.
Meanwhile, the body of the victim has been evacuated from the Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi for burial by his family.