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Tenant dies as fire guts two-storey building

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We have lost everything, victims cry out

A tenant was burnt to death yesterday while a landlord’s son was injured during a morning inferno, which gutted a house at the Somolu area of Lagos State. The fire, which ravaged a storey-building, started about 1a.m. from the first floor, where the landlord’s son’s apartment is located.

The landlord’s son, Abiola, was said to have lit a candle and fell asleep. Unfortunately, the candle fell on the rug in his apartment.

The rug caught fire which spread to other apartments. The tenant, identified simply as Al-Wajud, was said to be drunk before going to bed and thus, was deep in his sleep when the fire started. He died before he could be rushed to the hospital.

The incident, which happened at House 4, Akinrinlo Street, threw occupants and members of the community into mourning.

One of the victims, who identified himself simply as Adebolawe, said: “We were sleeping about 1a.m. when we heard a loud sound from the roof of the building. “Immediately we heard the sound, every tenant in the house rushed out only to see flame on the roof of the building.

We started running around, looking for water to put out the fire. While we were looking for water, my wife was struggling to rescue the children and to savage some of our property. Unfortunately we couldn’t bring out anything. Fire consumed everything.”

Another victim, Mr. Akeem Ismaila, said: “The fire destroyed all I have laboured for in life. It was a terrible situation; right now, I don’t know where to start from.

Even my wife’s money, which she was supposed to use to stock her shop, was burnt to ashes. My children wouldn’t be able to go to school as their uniform and school materials were all burnt.

“Government should come to our aid. This is not the first time the building would go up in flames; two years ago, the building caught fire but was later rebuilt. This is another fire.” Firefighters were said to have arrived the scene about 3a.m., after the fire had burnt down the whole building.

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Metro and Crime

Zamfara teacher flogs student to death

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A teacher at Government Day Secondary School, Sankalawa, in Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State has allegedly flogged a student to death.

 

The Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar-Gummi, disclosed the incident yesterday.

 

Abubakar-Gummi, who spoke under matters of urgent public importance during the assembly’s sitting in Gusau, said that the House had received several reports on the issue.

 

According to him, another incident at Government Female Day Secondary School, Kwatarkwashi, had led to the injury of a student after the Vice Principal allegedly subjected her to “heavy punishment”.

 

Gummi said: “These problems apart, from discouraging our children from acquiring education, also reveal poor attitude to work on the part of teachers in this state.”

 

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the lawmaker urged the House to invite the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology to explain steps taken to address the issues.

 

The Speaker, Alhaji Sanusi Rikiji, described the actions of the teachers as unfortunate and vowed that the assembly would not allow the matter to pass.

 

He said: “It is part of our responsibilities to ensure effective security and good learning atmosphere for our children for their future development, therefore, we cannot allow teachers to continue harassing our children in school.”

The speaker directed the House Committee on Education, Science and Technology to invite the commissioner to appear before it on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Assembly has passed into law the bill for the establishment of Zamfara State University, Talata-Mafara.

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Metro and Crime

Tailor jailed 60 years for defiling girl, 12

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Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Lagos, yesterday sentenced a 58-year-old tailor, Cobina Iziejen, to 60 years imprisonment for defiling a 12-year-old girl (name withheld).

 

The court commissioned on February 1 by the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Opeyemi Oke, convicted the Iziejen after he confessed to have slept with the victim (a primary five pupil) on three different occasions.

 

Iziejen was arraigned alongside two others – Raimi Jimoh (38) and Arowolo Kazeem Olorunwa (35) – on a three-count charge of defilement of a child.

The accused committed the offence sometimes in 2017 around Orimedu Town, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.

 

While delivering the judgement, Justice Sybil Nwaka said: “The prosecutor, earlier in his address, said that issue of rape and defilement offences is now rampant; a situation where our children cannot freely move around especially in schools.

 

“I cannot agree more with the prosecuting counsel that incidence of rape has taken a new astronomical dimension in our society.

 

“The rate at which men in our society are prowling around, looking for young underage children to defile is alarming.

 

“Children, especially the girl child, are no longer safe in the custody of uncles, brothers even fathers, this is sad.

 

“Our children especially the girl child should be encouraged to cry out and report any sexual assault against them as this is the only way to correct this dire situation.

“We desire to make the city of Lagos and its environs safe for our children.

 

 

 

“These children are leaders of tomorrow and as such not to be ruined in their formative years.

 

“The state of Lagos has zero tolerance for sexual offences. In view of the plea of guilt and the facts by the prosecutor, Iziejen is hereby convicted accordingly.

 

“For these reasons, I hereby sentence you to 60 years imprisonment with hard labour. This is the judgment of this honourable court.”

 

However, the chief state prosecutor, B. T. Boye, said while the convict, who is the third defendant in the matter, pleaded guilty, the other two denied the allegation.

 

Boye said: “It was observed by the school authorities that the child was fond of returning late from lunch break during school hours.

 

“Upon enquiry, the child admitted that the second defendant, Olorunwa, has been having sexual intercourse with her during break time.

 

“The head teacher of the school probed further and thereafter reported the matter at Akodo Police Station, Ibeju-Lekki.

 

“It was at the station that the victim (Child X) also mentioned the first and third defendants as persons who have also defiled her several times during break time.

 

“Also, Iziejen pleaded guilty on February 12, 2018 and Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 states that any person who has sexual intercourse with a child commits a felony and upon conviction serves a punishment of imprisonment for life.”

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My wife, a serial divorcee, I’m fifth husband

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A 47-year-old businessman, Rufus Otegbola, yesterday told an Igando Customary Court, Lagos, that his wife, Funmilayo, is a serial divorcee.

 

Rufus, who urged the court to dissolve his 13-year-old marriage to Funmilayo for alleged adulterous acts, told the court that he was the fifth husband of the respondent.

He said: “My wife is adulterous and a serial divorcee. She had married and divorced four husbands before I married her.

 

“Funmilayo is diabolical and fetish. She always comes home with charms and my fear is that she may kill me one day if I do not end the marriage.”

Rufus, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that his wife packed out of their matrimonial home without his consent.

He added: “My parent-in-law and my wife’s siblings came to my house to pack my wife’s property without my permission.”

Rufus urged the court to end the marriage as he was no longer in love with her.

In her response, Funmilayo, 42, and a businesswoman, said that her husband was an unrepentant polygamist.

 

 

She said: “My husband deceived me. He did not tell me that he had three wives before marrying me.

 

“He impregnated me and hurried me into his house without legal marriage.

“I discovered that he already had three wives living with him and there was nothing I could do since I was pregnant, I had to stay.”

 

Funmilayo said that Rufus had also turned her into a punching bag.

 

She added: “My husband beats me all time and even when I was pregnant, he beats the hell out of me; I fell into labour immediately, forcing the delivery of the baby.

 

“As a result of the frequent beating, on May 9, 2016, I packed my belongings from his house and moved to my parents’ house.”

 

Funmilayo also described Rufus as an ungrateful person.

 

She said: “When he lost his job, I was the one feeding him with his wives and their children and I was also paying the school fees of our children and my step children.”

 

The mother of four, however, consented to the dissolution of the marriage, saying “I am also fed up with the union”.

 

In his judgement, President of the court, Mr. Akin Akinniyi, noted that the estranged couple were tired of the marriage as all efforts to reconcile them had failed.

 

He said: “Since both parties consented to the dissolution of their marriage, this court has no choice than to dissolve the marriage.

 

“The court pronounced the marriage between Mr. Rufus Otegbola and Mrs. Funmilayo Otegbola dissolved today, both parties henceforth ceased to be husband and wife.

 

“Both are free to go their separate ways without any hindrance and molestation.”

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