On Monday, a 37-year-old bar operator who was identified as Lucky Esonahae was arraigned on one count bordering on causing bodily harm by setting his pregnant lover on fire.
The prosecuting officer, Sergeant Ganiyu Yahya, told the court that the incident took place at Uwelu Quartres in Benin, and was reported by the victim, Stella Isaac, on July 6, the same day it occurred.
Yahya said Esonahae poured kerosene on Stella, who was said to be 7 months pregnant, lit a match and set her on fire.
He said that the victim was later rescued by one of her sons and her neighbours, who forced the door of her room open, as she had been locked in.
He said the victim, who was later rushed to the Central Hospital, where she received treatment sustained burns on her hands and forehead.
The police prosecutor also told the court that Esonahae had earlier accused the pregnant woman of infidelity for allegedly returning at about 6pm from her ante-natal care and had threatened to kill her, before she ran to her sister’s residence.
The charge read:
“That you, Lucky Esonahae, on July 6, 2015, at Uwelu Quartres, Benin, in the Egor Magisterial District, did cause grievous harm to one Stella Isaac, by setting her on fire with kerosene, which cause her bodily harm and, thereby, committed an offence punishable under Section 355(B) of the Criminal Code Cap 48, Vol. II, Law of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, as applicable to Edo State.”
The accused pleaded guilty to the offence and begged for leniency.
But the presiding magistrate, Igho Braimoh, said the court would not be lenient, adding, “for a 37-year-old man to set a lover on fire leaves much to be desired.”
She, therefore, sentenced him to 5 years in prison with hard labour.