There was complete pandemonium on Uwa Street in Benin, Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, after a tenant, Jeff Obasohan, allegedly set his 83-year-old landlord, identified as Pa Joseph Iyen, ablaze in the early hours of Wednesday.
It was learnt that there had been a long-running dispute between the octogenarian and Obasohan after the latter failed to pay his rent.
It was learnt that the deceased had given Obasohan a notice to quit on two occasions.
The landlord was said to have died following the severe burns he sustained from the fire.
The incident attracted the attention of residents of the street (between 2nd East Circular Road and 3rd East Circular Road) , who thronged the scene to sympathise with the victim’s family.
The wife of the deceased, Esther, alleged that the tenant had threatened to kill her and Pa Iyen in the past.
She also said that the suspect had failed to pay his electricity bill.
Esther said, “He does not pay his house rent; he does not pay his electricity bill. He (Obasohan) had been told to leave this house since.
“He threatened to kill me or my husband. We took him to court. Then, my husband fell ill. Later, they said that the case had been struck out.”
The daughter of the late landlord, Faith Eganbor, also confirmed that the tenant had been asked to leave the house.
Eganbor, who described her late father as a “a kind man”, called for a thorough investigation into the matter.
She said, “I need justice. My father was a good man; he was kind to a fault. It was not the first time the tenant was asked to leave this house.
“They gave him a notice to quit in 2014, 2015 and early this year. We came this morning to find out (that) our father was dead.”
But the suspect could not be reached for comments as he was said to have been arrested by policemen from the Esigie Police Division.
Spokesman for the police in the state, Osifo Abiodun, confirmed the incident on Thursday.
He also said that the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation.
“He (suspect) is in custody. The suspect has made a statement and the case has been transferred to the state CID,” Abiodun told our correspondent on the telephone.
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