Ojo Joseph, 64, was paraded at the state police command headquarters in Akure on Wednesday after setting his five stepchildren on fire in Ondo Town, Ondo State.
According to reports, the suspect and the victims’ mother had a fight last Saturday in the Fagun neighborhood of Ondo town, Ondo State, and the act was purportedly performed when the victims were asleep. Two of the stepchildren passed away in the hospital, and one of them passed away immediately.
The state police public relations officer, Mrs. Funmilayo Odunlami, paraphrased the suspect and stated that charges will be brought against him once the inquiry was finished.
Three of the five victims were declared dead at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, where they were being treated, according to Odunlami.
The suspect, 64, said in a statement that he committed the crime out of rage after his wife and her kids attacked him at his home.
He said, “On that day (last Friday) around 7pm, I had a quarrel with my wife and those children joined my wife to beat me up; I was even injured. That was how they were doing whenever we quarreled. So, after they had all slept, out of anger, I went to get petrol and poured into their room and put fire.
“Before now, my wife was no longer taking care of me and yet, whenever quarrel happened between us, she and her children would gang up to beat me up.” Mr. Liadi Akinfolarin, the victims’ father, is now calling for justice.
After their mother left their marital house, left the kids in his care, and wed the suspect, Akinfolarin claimed he ended their relationship.
He said, “I work on the farm as a tractor driver. The children used to stay with me whenever I did not go to the farm. At times, I would stay on the farm for three to four days before coming home and during that period, the children stayed with their mother till I come back from work.
“When I’m back from the farm on Friday, I would call their mother and they would stay in my place till Monday, when they would return to school. After closing, they would go to their mother till when I’ll be around.
“On that fateful Friday, I returned home late from work, so I couldn’t call them because I knew they would come to my place on Saturday. But around 4pm, I received a call from an unknown person who told me that the house of my former wife’s husband was on fire. But I did not answer the person because the woman is no longer my wife.
“My phone rang again around 6pm, and the person said my children wanted to speak with me. I heard my first daughter’s voice that their stepfather set them ablaze with petrol and they had been taken to the general hospital in Ondo.
“On getting there, I saw my children writhing in pain. Some were burnt beyond recognition. Their corpses have been deposited in a morgue.
“The remaining children are at FMC, Owo, with the support of oxygen. I have promised them that after this trip to the farm, I will stop going and look for something else to do so that I can take care of them properly. They only stay with their mother in her husband’s house whenever I’m not at home. All I want now is justice.”