A 36-year-old woman, Olayinka Azeez, who was allegedly set ablaze by her husband, Hassan Azeez, has begged the Federal Government and law enforcement agents to get the man arrested and make him face the wrath of the law.
During the incident that occurred on Friday, October 28, at Ibogun Alapoti community in Ogun State, the woman was reportedly sprayed with petrol and set ablaze by the husband, popularly called Saudi Agege, after he accused her of not warming the stew he wanted to eat from on the fateful morning.
The suspect also set fire to the clothes of the victim who has been married to him for 15 years and has a child for him.
Since the victim was transferred to a hospital in Ibadan, Oyo State, where her parents reside, for adequate medical treatment, the suspect has reportedly been in hiding.
Writhing in pains as she spoke to Saturday Tribune on the hospital bed, Mrs Azeez narrated how her husband sprayed her with petrol and used a burning firewood to set her on fire.
She said: “Before this incident occurred, we did not have any issue. He gave me N500 to make breakfast but our daughter said she didn’t want to take any food to school. I went to buy some snacks for her and then brought our dirty clothes outside for washing.
“My husband called me from inside and asked why I had not warmed the stew we had. I told him that it was because I didn’t cook because of our daughter’s decision not to take a meal to school. Also, the cooking gas finished two weeks before that time, and I told him that I would put the stew on the fire after his relative living with us would have finished setting the firewood.
“He started abusing and cursing me. I did not reply him. The next thing was that he threw the pot at me. I didn’t say anything to avoid trouble. He started scattering my things. Then he went inside, brought out my clothes and set them on fire. However, I kept some money meant for business in one of the packs of clothes, so I moved to save the money from being burnt, not knowing that he would target me.
“He started saying ‘maa sun e, maa sun e’ (I will burn you). As I tried to retrieve the money, he sprayed me with petrol from a bottle, picked a burning firewood and threw it at me.
“The fire ignited quickly. I started screaming while struggling to rid my body of my burning clothes. But the clothes stuck to my body. A neighbour who came to rescue also had burns on his leg.
“My husband started regretting his action but the deed had been done. He invited a nurse to treat me but the burns were all over my hands, legs, chest and backside. I am still in great pain. I was brought to in Ibadan two weeks ago.”
The woman disclosed that it was not the first time the husband exhibited violence towards her.
“He inflicted a machete cut on me early this year. He had actually targeted my brother who told him he could not watch as he beat me.
“As I got between them, the cutlass he aimed at my brother landed on me, inflicting a deep cut on my hand.
“He did not marry me traditionally or legally but we have been living together for 15 years.
“He told me he had a wife who left him when they had a disagreement and she had two children for him. He was single when I met him. He had come to Ibadan to work as a bricklayer.
“I want the government to send him to prison because he can kill me if he could do this to me,” she cried out.
She also said that she would want the landed properties they had together to be divided, and her own portion given to her.
“He is a bricklayer while I am a businesswoman. We started together from the scratch when we just got together and built four houses. I have the larger portion of the money invested on the properties,” the victim said.
The victim’s mother, Mrs Eyitayo Akintunde, 57, said her daughter got married to the suspect 15 years ago and they had a child, aged seven.
The Abeokuta-born grandmother, who resides in Ibadan with her husband, told Saturday Tribune: “My daughter used to get pregnant but the fetus would die in her womb after about five months. After she eventually had the first child and had other failed trials, she got pregnant with another child but prematurely gave birth at seven months. The baby died a few hours after birth.
“During those trying periods, I was the only one that stayed with her until she recovered. Her mother-in-law would give one excuse or another and would not visit her.
“The husband gave my daughter a machete cut in January and it was reported at the police station. My husband and I told our daughter to leave the man’s house and stay in a rented apartment to save her life.
“The police also advised them to live separately for a while to allow things to take shape, and warned the husband against going to where she would be living, but to our surprise, we heard that our daughter returned to him without informing us.
“We called her and she confirmed it. We were not happy with her decision. Now that this has happened again, I want him to be arrested and punished for his action.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, a Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident.
Oyeyemi said the suspect had been declared wanted for attempted murder.
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