The man who was almost burned by his abandoned lover in Benue (photo)
According to The PUNCH, in what may seem truly shocking, one person, Jude Atosa, was nearly burned to death in Benue.
Indeed, one of the topics of public discussion that has refused to leave all week in Benue State is the story of a woman who was simply identified as Ashi, who allegedly set her lover Jude Atoza on fire on Monday, December 7, in Gboko City, 2020. Atoza allegedly told Ashi that she wanted to end the relationship.
Many people in the state find the incident particularly unsettling because just three weeks earlier, a man identified as Nicodemus Nomyang, said to be in his 40s, set himself and his girlfriend Shiningeng Pam on fire in Makurdi, killing them both. … In this case, Pam angered Nomyang, who had a wife and children, when she refused to accept his marriage proposal.
Atosa survived, but suffered severe burns to almost his entire body.
He slept, helpless, on a bed in a private clinic in his area, where he was taken by neighbors after the accident, during the visit of our correspondent. An unpleasant smell spread around his bed, which intensified with each step approaching our correspondent. Yellow pus seeped into various parts of his body as he carved out a pathetic and lonely image.
A man named Freeman Shimatu, who has been identified as a relative of Atoza as they are both from the Ushongo local government area, said Atoza had difficulty speaking after the incident.
She added that although the suspect fled to her village in the neighboring area of Buruku state after Atoza was set on fire, she was arrested by the police.
According to him, Ashi lived with Atoza for three years as a lover before the incident happened. He added that Atoza told him earlier that day when he was allegedly burned by Ashi that he had a disagreement with her lover and asked her to leave his house.
“I know this woman lived with my ‘brother’ for almost three years and they promised to get married,” Freeman said.
“Since I don’t live with them, I don’t know what happened, but Jude (Atosa) told me before the accident on that fateful day that they had a falling out and asked her to leave her house, which she did.
“But the lady came back later, about half past one in the night, with three men. He poured a substance into his room, which was believed to be gasoline, and lit a match, which caught fire.
“Their saving grace was that Jude (Atosa) saw her commit atrocity and immediately awakened her mother and the child who lived with them. Despite this, Jude suffered serious burns and his mother and child received less serious injuries.
Several of Atoza’s neighbors also confirmed that the lovers had disagreements prior to the incident, saying that part of the problem bordered on Asha’s alleged disrespect for Atoza’s mother.
One of the neighbors, Haaina Aondoakula, said that Atoza’s decision to end the relationship after a recent dispute between them led to a “crime of passion.”
“Little I know that a young man and a woman lived together before they had a misunderstanding that led to this (burning),” he said.
“One of the biggest problems they faced, according to Atoza, was that the woman did not respect her mother. On the day the accident happened, the issue sparked a heated discussion, and he told the woman to leave the house.
“He thought it was the end, but he was wrong. At about 13:30, the girl will return to the complex with three men. They tore off the window mesh and began pouring a substance into the room through the window, presumably gasoline.
“Jude told me he saw his girlfriend try to hack the network. He said that his stranger threw a container of liquid into the room where he was with his mother and two-year-old child, immediately struck a match and left.
“The whole room caught fire and the young man, confused and helpless, fought to save his mother and child in the room.”
They say Ashi locked the front door from the outside and drove off on a motorcycle.
Another neighbor, Tony Torqua, said that it was Atoza’s cry for help that warned the other people living in the complex about the arson.
“We were asleep when we suddenly heard a loud scream from his (Atoza) room and ran outside to see what was happening,” Torqua said.
“To our surprise, we saw that the room was on fire and some people tried to escape the fire. Although all three in the room are still alive, the young man received serious burns, and his mother and child who lived with them received minor burns.
“He told us that his girlfriend threw a can of fuel into his room, lit a match and ran away.”
At the time of filing this report, Benue State Police Headquarters spokeswoman Catherine Anen said she had heard (albeit unofficially) about Asha’s arrest.