The rate at which landlord’s brutalize tenants nowadays is gradually coming to its peak and another case has been added as a tenant died after his landlord set him ablaze and pushed him down from the third floor in Iga Idunganran Street in Idumota, Lagos Island area of Lagos State.
The 67-year-old landlord from Ondo State, identified as Sola Solomon, reportedly poured petrol on the victim identified simply as Abeeb, aka Ogbon, and further pushed him down while he struggled to put out the flames on Monday, August 24, 2015.
The deceased father of one, who was barely five months old in the house reportedly fell on the floor from the top of the three-storey building while the flames burnt him badly.
According to Punch, the trouble started with a disagreement over the use of the compound toilet.
Narrating the incident, one of the tenants who preferred anonymity said, “Before the incident of yesterday (Monday), there has been a quarrel in the house over the use of the toilet.
“Everybody had complained that the landlord always messed up the toilet after use.
“But yesterday, he had another quarrel with the Abeeb over the use of the toilet. During the argument, he threatened to set the man ablaze; the man also dared him.
“I called Abeeb and calmed him down; I also called the landlord and appealed to him to let the matter go, and he said he had forgiven Abeeb.”
After the settlement, the victim went to watch an European league match between Arsenal and Liverpool football clubs at a football viewing centre.
However, the landlord went to buy some fuel which he kept and waited patiently in his room until the victim returned and at about 12am, he set out on the deadly mission.
He knocked on the deceased’s door and after a while, Abeeb went out to confront the intruder, only to see the landlord with a container of fuel.
Another tenant who spoke anonymously said, “As he stepped out of the house, the landlord poured the petrol on him. Before Abeeb could snatch the jerrycan from him, the landlord had ignited fire with a lighter in his hand.
“Abeeb struggled to put out the fire, but the landlord pushed him down from the third floor. He fell to the ground and died.”
The incident instilled fear into the other residents of the apartment who scampered for fear of beng vctmzed.
But for the immediate intervention of security guards in the area, the fire would have escalated further.
The corpse of the victim was later evacuated from the scene by police officials from the Adeniji Adele Police Division while the landlord who sustained burns injuries was taken to the hospital.
It was learnt from a resident, John Ameh, that the landlord taken to the Gbagada General Hospital after he was rejected at the Lagos Island General Hospital.
The lady who passed the room on to Abeeb, Ruka Rufai, disclosed that she left the room due to constant threat to her life from the landlord.
She said, “I left that the room about five months ago. The landlord threatened me, so I decided to vacate the room. Abeeb pleaded with me that he needed the accommodation. Now, he has been killed.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Patricia Amadin, is yet to confirm the report as at press time.