By Emma Una
David Ntiero Okon, a landlord in Calabar, the Cross River State capital is currently colling his feet in police custody after setting one of his tenants, Mrs Mary Samuel ablaze which led to her death.
According to neighbors, the incident occurred on Wednesday at No. 9 Ansa Ewa Street, Cobham Town in the Bayside axis of Calabar South Local Government Area.
Mrs. Samuel lived in a one bedroom apartment in the property reports Vanguard Newspapers.
Her neighbor, Obongette, a security official said she had lived there for seven years and owed the Mr. Ntiero NGN11,000 following the downturn in her fish business caused by incessant attacks by militants in the Calabar water channel.
“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 annual rent but she said she did not have any money but should be allowed to sell her fish the next day so she could raise money to pay the rent,” Obongetter said.
Infuriated by Mrs Samuel’s appeal, Mr. Ntiero doused her room with fuel when she was bathing and ignited a fire when she returned, chasing away those who tried to help her.
“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,” Obongette explained.
He said after the woman died people in the area mobilised and took the corpse of the woman to the landlord’s apartment and laid it there till the next day.
“Police came yesterday (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,” Obongette added.
DSP Irene Ugbo, the Cross River Police spokesman said the man is in police custody while the corpse has been deposited in the mortuary. “Investigations are going on to unravel what really happened” she stated.
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