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Jumoke Sanumi, the elder sister of the lady whose family of nine was set ablaze by her ex-boyfriend Deji Adenuga in Ondo State, has called for justice.
After disagreeing with his then girlfriend Titi Sunmonu, the middle-aged Adenuga brought a jerrycan laden with petroleum in the midnight of April 23, gained entrance into the building by breaking a window, and sprayed the family while they were asleep.
He later explained that he had invested heavily in her, and that she aborted the four-month-old pregnancy she had for him while they were dating.
Speaking in Igbokoda, the headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Areas of Ondo state, where she is recuperating in a house belonging to her relatives, at the weekend, Jumoke lamented that the arson had turned her to a widow and rendered her homeless, with the attedant loss of her six children.
She revealed that since the tragedy occurred to her family, life has been very difficult for her, with no help or assistance from anyone.
SaharaReporters learned that both Jumoke and Titi, who are the main targets of the arson attack, were the only survivors of the attack. Jumoke had escaped with some minor injuries, while Titi had first-egree burns from the incident and is currently battling to hold on to life at the Intensive Healthcare Unit Of the Ondo State Trauma Centre.
Recaling how the incident occurred, Jumoke said Adenuga invaded their home around 2am to set their house on fire.
“The incident happened in the midnight around 2am. I suddenly heard a sound at the back of the door and before I could wake up, he had poured petrol into the room and put fire,” she said, breaking down in tears.
“When he poured the petrol, I quickly ran to open the door for my sister whose head was already on fire. I pulled the mats on which the children were sleeping and they rolled to the door. I started throwing out the children. It was in the process that I was affected by the fire. I lost all my six children, my husband and one of my junior sister’s children.
“I need justice in this matter. The man must not be allowed to go away with what he has done to ruin my life. I beg you, don’t let me die. I don’t have money to take care of my self. Try and assist me. I am in serious pains.”
The 35-year-old, who is into petty trading, denied ever collecting money from Adenuga, saying she knew little about the friendship.
“It is still a mystery to me,” she said.
“My sister came to me and she didn’t tell me anything about her disagreement with the man. She slept in my house and the man came to pour petrol on us. That was the first day my sister would sleep in my house. She always came over but she would leave the same day.
“It is true she was befriending the man. I was not aware of the money he said he gave to my sister. He told lies against me. I didn’t go to their house. I was not aware they had any disagreement. My sister didn’t tell me about it. She just came to my house. My sister didn’t bring her things to my house.
“I had gone to sleep by the time my sister came. I always came back from the market late in the evening and tired. We used two rooms in the house. My children were still playing when I slept. They were the ones who usually locked the doors.”
Oba John Ebunola Ayeku, traditional ruler of Igbodigo kingdom, where the incident occurred, expressed great sadness at the death of the family members.
He wondered why someone could wake up and decide to terminate the lives of a whole family because of a lady.
“I don’t know him. I have never met him as we are speaking. What they came to tell me here is that Adenuga and his girlfriend had a disagreement,” the monarch said.
“She left the house of Adenuga for her sister’s house. We heard that the man went to buy petrol and wet the room where his girlfriend and other members of her family were sleeping. He set the house ablaze and ran away. As of now, eight people have died as a result of the incident.
“It is a sad development. When we received the report, the family of the deceased came to me as the king of the town. The community made efforts to ensure that the man was arrested so that the problem would not be compounded. We met twice on the issue.
“Members of our community were worried. The Police made efforts. We also made efforts. The incident put the family in trouble and we are not happy about it. We have appeased the family of the deceased. They have come to me here. Erinje, the community where the man comes from, does not have a monarch. It only has Regent. I have spoken to the leaders of the community to find ways of appeasing the family of the deceased so that there will be peace.”
Adenuga has been arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Akure and his case has been adjourned till June 10 for proper hearing.