A resident of Koka town, Osun State, Bolu Bamidele, has died after his wife, Ifeoluwa, allegedly set him ablaze after a quarrel on Sunday.
A family member of the victim, who spoke on condition of anonymity, alleged that the woman locked her husband up and set the house on fire over suspicion of an extra-marital affair.
He said, “Bolu was living in Cairo, Egypt, and returned home just before the last Eid Kabir celebration. They got engaged less than three months back. They met at a polytechnic in Offa, Kwara State, where they were both students.
“Before the wife carried out the arson, her sister living with the family was not in the house. She was outside looking for those that could settle their quarrel. The woman doused the husband, who was already drunk and weak and the entire house with petrol and set it on fire. The victim died around 4pm on Tuesday at UCH, Ibadan.
“Since then, we have not seen her. She was probably suspecting her husband was having an affair after seeing notification of a transfer made to someone on his phone. Bolu was a kind and generous human being who always cared for people.”
When our correspondent visited the residence of the deceased in Koka, a community along the Osogbo-Ibokun Road on Wednesday, the house was deserted.
However, a neighbour to the deceased, who identified himself simply as Adejare, said he was part of the effort to rescue Bolu when news reached him that he was trapped in his burning house.
Adejare also said he met his wife scantily dressed and walking barefooted in the neighbourhood around 7.30pm when he was returning from work.
“It was when I moved closer that I noticed smoke coming out of Bolu’s house. I rushed to the scene, where I met Ifeoluwa’s younger sister and some elderly neighbours at the gate. She was the one that informed me that her elder sister and the boyfriend were quarrelling.
“She told me that the sister angrily left the house, locking all the doors. She also told me she was not in the house because she went out to inform the elders in the neighbourhood to help the couple settle the quarrel, but before she returned to the house, her sister had set the house on fire, locked all the doors and left. She informed us that Bolu was still inside the house.
“I tried to put out the fire, but I could not. I called for more help in the neighbourhood and we mobilised to the scene. We poured sand and water and tried to break into the house through the window to rescue Bolu.
“We broke about four windows and burglary proof before we could get into the house. We were able to rescue Bolu after about 40 minutes. We met him beside a burnt bed and we rushed him to a nearby hospital. He was referred to the Osun State University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, and later referred to Ibadan for treatment.”
The Osun State Police Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola, confirmed the incident, adding that a manhunt for the deceased’s wife was ongoing.
She said, “We got a report around 11.30pm on Sunday that one Bolu Bamidele was set ablaze by his wife, Ifeoluwa. The victim was rushed to the Osogbo Central Hospital, but was later referred to the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State. We have launched a manhunt for the fleeing wife.”