It was a sardonic moment in Makurdi as an eighteen (18) years old girl, Esther from Ado Local Government Area of Benue state, in the early hours of Monday, 11th January 2021, burnt her boyfriend, Elvis Chidinma Omah from Nsuka local Government Area of Enugu State to death in Makurdi.
Chidinma, a patent medicine dealer who just returned from Christmas and new year holiday last Saturday had been in the village since on Wednesday, 23rd December 2020.
Trouble started shortly after Esther was told by her friends that Chidinma travelled to his village to pay a pride price of another girl he intended to marry, an allegation he vehemently denied when he was confronted by Esther but she was not satisfied with his answer.
Consequently, Esther went to an unknown filling station with a gallon on Sunday evening and filled it with the premium motor spirit (PMS) commonly known as petrol in line with her undisclosed plan to burn Chidinma.
Esther came to his house in the early hours of Sunday, stayed with him and pretended as if all was well. They ate foods and played together throughout the night until both of them fell asleep.
She then woke up a few minutes after 2 am and went straight to where she kept the fuel opposite Chidinma's house, brought it to the room, poured the fuel round the room right inside while Chidinma was still sleeping. She ignited the room with matches and ran away immediately.
A few minutes later, some tenants living in the compound came out, shouting and pouring water into the room in an attempt to extinguish the fire.
As the inferno was subsiding, Chidinma who was burnt beyond recognition, managed to come out, shouting that Esther has killed him and was quickly rushed to Federal Medical Centre Apir, Makurdi.
While giving details of the tragic event, an eyewitness and a neighbour to the deceased, Rose Stephen said, they were perceiving smell and sound of fire around 2 am on Monday, they came out and discovered that it was Chidinma's room that was burning. They did all they could but couldn't stop the fire from burning him.
She further said, both of them were having issues and were always going to the police station in 2020, adding that Chidinma told Esther that he was fed up with her bad characters and was no longer interested in her before he travelled for Christmas and New year.
Rose said 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 because of her unruly behaviour and criminal tendency, saying Chidinma was once arrested because she stole a handset belonging to an Air force officer and was traced to Chidinma's house.
Ebute added that Esther also stole Chidi's phone before he travelled home and promised to return it to him after his arrival, not knowing that her plan was to kill him.
He said he rushed to Chidinma's house along with his other friends as smoke was going off and cry from neighbourhoods only to discover that he was burnt to an unimaginable level, pray to God to receive him in His bosom.
When contacted, the Police Public Relationship Officer, PPRO, Benue State Police Command, Catherine Anene confirmed the tragic incident and the eventual arrest of the culprit, Esther, saying she was in their custody while an investigation is still ongoing to unravel the ugly situation.
Charred remains of mattresses, pillows, clothes and other materials belonging to the deceased were seen littered everywhere in his room at the time of a visit to his residence, Off Zaki Biam Street, Wadata Makurdi, this morning.
Chidinma was confirmed dead today, Tuesday, 12th January 2021 and plan was on the way to convey his corpse to Nsuka by his parents who were already in Makurdi as at the time of filing this report.
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