An Ibadan cobbler and father of six Yaya Babarinde allegedly set his 10-year olf son Lukman on fire after breaking his arm following accusation of theft.
A video posted on YouTube showed the victim in pain telling people that his father put him in a fire and burnt his body.
Narrating what happened however, Yaya said:
I had gone out and when I returned, I was told that he stole somebody’s money. I was surprised because I had given money to him and his siblings to eat. I beat him and asked him not to do that again.
I then tied his hands and put him on a local stove with ashes underneath. I didn’t know the ashes still had fire. When his clothes caught fire, I saved him. I don’t have the money to take him to a hospital. Please pardon me. It was a mistake and I won’t do such again.
Lukman’s sister Bidemi, cut off the ropes and rushed him to hospital in the Pagun area of Ibadan, Oyo State. Lukman was brought back home due to the family’s inability to pay for his medical bills.
Bidemi said: “I had gone to charge my phone when the incident happened. When I returned, I saw the boy kneeling with his two hands tied. That was after his clothes had been burnt in the fire. I enquired what he did wrong and I was told he stole money. I used a pair of scissors to cut off the ropes and set him free. I also gave him food to eat.”
Bidemi said that Yaya gives the five children N300 daily for breakfast and lunch.
The victim’s mother who had separated from Yaya said: “I went with the five children that I had for him, but he said he must take custody of them. He placed a curse on whoever tried to keep the children away from him and because of that, my family said we should release the children to him.”