Friday, December 9, 2022

Two of four children set ablaze by foster father in Ondo are dead: Police

Also burnt by the fire, their mother remains in shock and is yet to recover from the trauma.

• November 8, 2022
Police Stories 2
Nigeria Police Force

The police on Tuesday confirmed that two of the children set ablaze by their foster father in Ondo State have died from complications.

Confirming the development to Peoples Gazette on Tuesday, police spokesperson in Ondo, Funmilayo Odunlami, said the children died at the Federal Medical Hospital, Owo.

“Two of them (children) have died. They suffered severe burns and could not survive the complications,” Ms Odunlami told The Gazette. 

She explained that everything was being done by doctors to save the remaining children, adding that their mother was yet to recover from the trauma of the attack.

“Though she’s responding to the treatment, you can imagine the trauma,” Ms Odunlami said.

The police spokesperson added that the suspect would be charged with murder and arson immediately after investigation has been concluded. 

Last weekend, the police arrested 54-year-old Ojo Joseph in Ondo town for allegedly setting ablaze five of his stepchildren. 

Mr Joseph was said to have had a misunderstanding with his estranged wife, proceeded to pour petrol inside the room with his stepchildren and set them on fire while asleep. 

The Gazette had reported that the incident occurred in the Fagun area of Ondo town. 

One of the children was said to have died instantly, leaving four others with serious injuries. 

However, Ms Odunlami said the suspect, who is now in police custody, was being interrogated by detectives in charge of the case. 

She added that the suspect would be paraded before the press by Wednesday afternoon. 

Speaking on her hospital bed where she’s currently receiving treatment, Esther Ojo, mother of the children, explained that her husband was in the habit of abusing her on minor issues.

“I had a twin for him. So, that afternoon (day of the incident), he accused me of taking her children to the market square to solicit money as a beggar but I told him it’s a lie and I did not do it. 

“Later, I saw him when he went to buy petrol but I thought it was what he wanted to use at work the next day because he is a timber contractor.

“Unfortunately, when it was night I heard people screaming fire beside my room and my first daughter was shouting too. I woke from my sleep and realised the room occupying my children was already on fire,” she told The Gazette.

Mrs Ojo said, “I was able to rescue four of the children, and while I was trying to rescue the last child, I was burnt by the fire and the inferno consumed him and he died.

“We were even rushed to a different hospital in Ondo but we were rejected. They told us they can’t handle our case before we were rushed in an ambulance to FMC, Owo.”

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