Three women have been arrested by Sabo Police Division, following the death of a three-year-old boy, Basit Adewole, who was burnt to death after two of them threw hot oil on him in the Iwaya area of Yaba Lagos State.
The incident happened on the afternoon of Saturday, July 25, 2015 after two of the women went to Audu Baale Street, Iwaya, to see their host identified as Yemisi, who was celebrating her birthday.
The pair met Yemisi’s absence and proceeded to cook the food ahead of the celebration inside the room while the deceased was playing in the corridor alongside other toddlers.
The oil with which they were cooking the meal caught fire and they quickly threw out the pot and the hot oil which allegedly spilled on the boy, and he was set ablaze.
The boy was immediately rushed to a hospital with the help of relatives and concerned neighbours but unfortunately, he died the next day.
The matter was later reported to the police who arrested the three women while the landlord of the building, Lateef, disappeared.
Punch reports that a relative of the victim identified simply as Kehinde, said the boy’s life could have been saved if the women did not close the door of their room as if nothing happened.
He further explained that the government hospital, where Adewole was rushed to, did not attend to him because workers were on strike, noting that the boy later died in a private hospital in the area.
He said, “The women do not stay in this house. They are friends to Yemisi, whose boyfriend, Lateef, lives here. The boyfriend, Lateef, has not showed up since the incident occurred. On that afternoon, Yemisi brought the women to celebrate her birthday with her. She gave them the key to Lateef’s apartment.
“While the two were cooking in the room, the pot caught fire and they threw it out without minding the children in the corridor. Basit was burnt in the process. The women went inside and shut their door.
“If they had rushed out with water immediately, the harm would have been minimal, and the boy might have survived. When we took the boy to a government hospital, they rejected him because they were on strike. We then brought him to a private hospital in Yaba, where he later died.”
A different version of the story from a resident, identified only as Mama Bolu, had it that it was a bottle of gum in Lateef’s room which he used for printing works that caught fire and that the women were careless in putting out the fire.
She said, “The boy’s mother is sad at the moment. The women did not handle the fire in a matured manner, and it has landed them in trouble.
“The boy was playing with other little children in the corridor. His father just went outside briefly to put on their generator.
“The women were frying something. They mistakenly flung the substance on the boy. The boy’s body was engulfed in fire immediately.”
Adewole, who was buried on Sunday, July 26, 2015 was the only child of his parents and had just been promoted to Nursery 1 in school.
Confirming the incident, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Patricia Amadin, said, “The women have been arrested and detained.
“Efforts are on to apprehend the fleeing boyfriend. Meanwhile, investigations are ongoing into the matter.”