By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
A housewife, Daniyan Dorcas has been sent to early graveyard by her husband, Daniyan Ojo, over a property she bought secretly.
The 50 year-old-man allegedly locked up his wife in her room while she was asleep and set the house on fire which eventually led to her death.
According to the prosecution, led by H.M Falowo, the defendant is standing trial over arson, murder and disabling to commit felony at the State High Court in Akure.
The incident occurred on September 14, 2019 at lrese Road in Shagari Village, Akure,the state capital.
He was also accused of destroying the only escaping door prior to setting the victim on fire.
A witness from the family, Ajayi Ajiboye testified that he heard the defendant’s voice calling for help. According to him, the accused said that when he discovered that the deceased room was on fire when he got in, he forcefully broke the door with his leg.
He described how the late Dorcas Daniyan rushed outside and into the waiting hands of neighbours who had come for a rescue mission and was immediately taken to the hospital for medical attention.
The eyewitness further said that the following morning, landlords in the neighbourhood came to the house and discovered empty bottles of petroleum products scattered at strategic corners of the room.
A brother to the deceased, Adeniyi Samuel, testified that the defendant reported the victim to him in respect of a title document of a commercial vehicle she bought.
He stated that he had apologized on his sister’s behalf, but few days after, the defendant again reported the victim to him about three plots of land she bought and registered in her name which was confirmed by the deceased.
Adeniyi testified that his sister confided in him that she bought the property in her name because she was afraid the husband could dispose them without her knowledge.
He stated that he was able to resolve the issue between them and went back to his base but was later informed on phone how fire broke out at their residence during which his sister was badly burnt.
He said that when he visited the deceased at FMC, Owo, she explained what transpired when she arrived home on September 14, 2019 before she gave up the ghost due to the degree of burns she suffered.
He said that it took the intervention of the police to effect the arrest of the defendant having absconded immediately after the incident.
The deceased’s daughter, Daniyan Happiness stated that her father had prepared dinner for the family and later informed them that he was going to buy fuel.
According to her, he also informed them on his arrival that they should lock up the shop within the compound.
Inspector Bayo Adaran of the Nigeria Police Force, attached to the State CID, Akure testified that a case of arson and murder was transferred from Okuta Elerinla police division to the State CID for further discreet investigation and he was part of the team that investigated the case.
He stated that he visited the scene of the crime.
“The complainant, the victim and the witnesses volunteered their statements voluntarily while he rearrested the defendant, charged and cautioned him in English language.
“The defendant volunteered confessional statement and the case file was later forwarded to the state Ministry of Justice for legal advice,” he said.
According to the medical report tendered by the prosecution, the deceased was admitted to the hospital following a burn injury.
She was managed for 72 hours with full-thickness burns and was in critical condition. She later gave up the ghost due to the degree of burns.
During police investigation, the husband denied setting his wife’s room on fire or locking her inside the room.