A 23-year-old National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member serving in Buguma area of River State has been burnt to death by her male lover, after she ended their affairs over the man’s jealous attitude.
The victim, Miss Winifred Amarachi Oke, who graduated from Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State with Second Class upper division, in Home Economics and was posted to River to serve, died of first degree burns she sustained in the mid night attack by her lover.
The deceased was a native of Amawom, Oboro in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State. Meanwhile, the Police in Port Harcourt, River State capital, are currently questioning the suspect, whose name was given as Ogbonna, an undergraduate of Michael Okpara Univeristy, who hails from Ovim, in Isikwuato LGA of Abia State, on why he set her female lover ablaze.
Winifred’s father, 53-year-old Okechukwu Onyeze Oke, told Daily Sun, amid tears, that they did not know Ogbonna, as he had not come to them to ask for the hand of their daughter in marriage. He wondered why the man should be jealous, to the point of wasting the life of their promising daughter, who they laboured for 23 years to bring up.
The man stated that he learnt that whenever Ogbonna saw their daughter with anyone he would go violent and as a result, their daughter asked him to stay away from her, as she could no longer tolerate the level of jealousy he was exhibited. He said that Winifred was rushed to University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, after she was burnt in her room, where she died days after.
He told Daily Sun that the body of his daughter was transferred from the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia on Wednesday evening, August 8, with an NYSC ambulance. Mr. Oke said that Ogbonna allegedly poured petrol into the room Winifred was sleeping, through window, at about 1am and threw in a lighted match, thereby setting the room ablaze.
He said that when the fire raged, Winifred’s neigbours raised the alarms, leading to rescue efforts. When the fire was put out, the lady had been burnt from waist downwards.
According to Oke: “On July 19, somebody called my number at about some minutes to 7am, saying I should come to Port Harcourt, that my daughter had an accident. I inquired of the type of accident. He said that she had an accident in Port Harcourt. You know, she is a youth corps member.
I tried further to find out. He said somebody poured petrol into her apartment and set the house ablaze. “Before doing that, he (the suspect) first locked the door from outside and poured petrol into the room through the window, at about 1am and set her room ablaze. We had to go. Her mother had to go first. When we got there, she (Winifred) was critical. She had severe burn.
The fire burnt her waist down to legs and other parts of the body, including the tummy. She was taken to the UPTH by her fellow corps members. She was taken to the theatre for plastic surgery on her legs and she remained in the intensive care unit (ICU). She was on oxygen until Wednesday, July 31, 2013, when she died about 5.30am.
The suspect has been apprehended by the police. Oke said the family could not understand why the suspect could go to the extent of killing Winifred, when they don’t even know him as a prospective husband to her.