It was a pathetic scene. Suddenly, a young man full of life, and without any sign of sickness was lying lifelessly like a smoked goat, burnt to death.
That was the case of Mr. John Emeka Obodoechina, a 36-year-old man whose life was brought to a painful end allegedly by the girl he had wanted to marry. It was gathered that Blessing, who has since passed on, burnt her lover to death because the latter decided to quit the relationship.
The reporter learnt that John had dated Blessing for over a year, and the girl had moved in with him. Close sources informed that at a point, John introduced Blessing to his siblings. He was advised to study the lady for some time and decide if the family should formally go to Blessing’s family for dowry payment. John was said to have intimated the girl of his intentions to meet with her family, but the meeting was suspended at the instance of the lady’s family.
A relative of John’s, who pleaded anonymity, informed the reporter that over time, John started noticing some unacceptable behaviour from Blessing. Some of the couple’s neighbours also reported that at the slightest misunderstanding, Blessing would lock the door, pull a kitchen knife and threaten to stab John.
John’s elder brother, Chief Obodoechina snr, explained that John told him that he had met Blessing in his office, and that he had been helping Blessing in the business she was doing with the company from where they became intimate.
“After about three months, Blessing started taking some of her belongings into John’s place. At that time Blessing did not know whether anyone was John’s sister or colleague in the office, so any calls from a female caller was seen as a taboo.
That was when John started introducing Blessing to his sisters and colleagues. But when all that also failed to guarantee peace, John felt that marriage between Blessing and himself might be disastrous, so he decided to end the relationship.
He therefore informed Blessing that both of them should part ways in peace. But Blessing, apparently didn’t like the idea. There was a day John came to my house at an odd hour and complained bitterly about Blessing. I advised him that if they were not compatible, they should go their separate ways before something dreadful would happen.
It was gathered that when John couldn’t bear it any longer, he called Blessing and told her to relocate elsewhere, promising to give her some money to help her get another apartment.
The situation climaxed on August 1. That was the day John gave Blessing N100, 000 to help her secure an apartment, it was gathered.
One of the neighbours who pleaded anonymity said John returned from work that morning and, while washing his clothes, would intermittently shout ‘Jesus.’ He said he heard him scream like that up to three times. Another neighbour also said he overheard John and Blessing talking after he had given her N100,000.00 to enable her relocate.
John’s sister, Angela Ibrahim who lives in Badagry, said that morning, she was invited to John’s office by the management of the African Fertilizer &a Chemicals (Big) Ltd in Agbara, Ogun State. She said she was aware that since the previous week, John had been going to the wharf to clear the company’s goods and would always stay there overnight. He would then come home in the morning and to observe some rest before proceeding to the office.
She said the invitation surprised her, and she quickly raced to the office. She said further:
“There, I was told that Blessing Ohare Ukhurebor, a girl from Edo State, who John had wanted to marry, burnt him alive. I could not understand that because it was not up to four days that the girl left my house and did not show any signs of an impending violence. That was when I started calling my brothers. When we got to John’s house, we saw John bent on the bed, totally burnt. There was no electricity and the gas cooker in the kitchen was not affected. The two phones were there.
There were no signs that the gas cooker or phone caused the fire. It was only John and the area he was sleeping that was burnt. The neighbours that we met told us that some people had taken Blessing out, as she was also affected. But they said she was not dead. The neighbours went and reported the incident to the Baale of the area who ordered some of the palace chiefs and John’s neighbours to report the incident to the police.
“On getting to the Police Station in Agbara, the police said they could not do anything unless a relation of the deceased was around. When my brothers came, initially they could not hold themselves to follow the processes of investigation. After some logistics and protocols at the police station, the corpse was taken to the Badagry General Hospital for preservation in the morgue.
All our efforts to get to see Blessing to know how she was affected and find out what happened were rebuffed by Blessing’s uncle who was rather threatening us. A few days after John’s interment, we got a call from the same Blessing’s uncle, telling us that Blessing had also died.”
Angela also explained that Blessing was a very violent woman while the lady dated John. She informed that John confided in her that since he made his intentions known to her she became agitated.
“She had her chance on August 1, by 7:45am, while John was sleeping, That was when Blessing, who already had her plans worked out, poured fuel on John and lit the match. Unfortunately, because fuel is inflammable, she was also affected,” Angela lamented.