An Egor Magistrate Court in Benin, Edo State on Monday, August 30, 2015 sentenced a 37-year-old man, Lucky Esonahae, to five years imprisonment for setting his pregnant lover ablaze.
Esonahae, who operates a bar was arraigned on one count bordering on causing bodily harm to the victim, Stella Isaac at Uwelu Quarters in Benin on Monday, July 6, 2015.
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.”
After the charges were read out to him, the accused pleaded guilty to the offence and begged for leniency.
The prosecuting officer, Sergeant Ganiyu Yahya, said Esonahae had poured kerosene on the head of the woman, who was said to be seven months pregnant, lit a match and set her on fire.
The case would have been worse, but for the timely intervention of one of the victim’s sons and her neighbours, who forced the locked door of her room open.
The prosecutor added that the victim was later rushed to the Central Hospital, where she received treatment sustained burns on her hands and forehead.
According to the police prosecutor, 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.
In his ruling, 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.”
Having stated the stance, Braimoh, sentenced the defendant to serve a fve-year-long prison sentence with hard labour.