Cross River State Police Command has arrested a landlord, David Okon, for allegedly setting one of his tenants, Mrs. Mary Samuel, ablaze at house No. 9, Ansa Ewa Street, Cobham Town in Bayside area of Calabar South Council.
One of the tenants, simply identified as Obongette said that Mary, who lived in the house for over seven years, owed the landlord N11,000 after her fish business dwindled because of frequent attacks by militants in the Calabar Water Channel.
Obongette xaid that on Wednesday, the angry landlord doused the one-room apartment of Mary with petrol and set it on fire, burning her to death over the unpaid rent.
“The woman is a fish seller and on Wednesday morning, she went to buy fish at Oron in Akwa Ibom State and when she came back that evening, the landlord asked her to pay the balance of her yearly rent, but she said she did not have any money and should be allowed to sell her fish the next day, so she could raise money to pay the rent.
“The landlord became infuriated by the woman’s appeal and started accusing her of refusing to pay him the rent and when the woman went to bath, the man poured fuel in the room and after bathing, as she stepped into the room, the man ignited fire, which engulfed the place.
“As the woman shouted and tried to escape, the man locked the door and when people came to rescue her, he brought out a machete and chased them away, threatening to kill anyone who dared to rescue the burning lady.”
According to Obongette, after the woman died, neighbours in the area mobilised and took her body to the landlord’s apartment and laid it there till the next day before the Police arrived to carry it to the mortuary.
“Police came on Thursday afternoon and carried the body and also arrested the man, because we ensured that he did not escape or do any other thing.
“The house was built by his late father and he chased away all his siblings from the house and took over the house.”
Confirming the incident, the state Police Command Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, said the Police have apprehended the landlord, while body had been deposited in the mortuary.
KanyiDaily had also reported how a man angrily set his sister on fire while reacting to her actions towards their mother who was cautioning her for sleeping around with men in Lagos State.