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Landlord set own house ablaze over tenants’ refusal to pay rent

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Fire razes IDP camp in Plateau Angered by non-payment of a rented apartment by a tenant, a man that inherited his late father’s house, Idemudia Obamwonyi, has allegedly set the building ablaze. Also affected in the inferno were 20 shops in the building located at Iwebo lane behind Oba Market in Benin City, Edo State. Idemudia was said to have prevented people in the neighborhood from putting out the raging fire shouting that since he does not get any money from the house, it was as good the house is burnt. Many of the shop owners have locked their jobs before the fire started. A resident, Ifaluyi Obasogie, said it was unheard of for a landlord to set his own house ablaze. “We saw people holding him and he was saying let the house burn, I don’t get any money from it.” A shop owner who gave his name as Justice Aigbekhan said they have paid their rent but Idemudia kept asking for money claiming that he wants to perform his father’s burial. “If they are having family issues, they should go and solve it. It is not for them to put us in trouble.” Another shop owner, Cynthia Obaseki said she lost goods worth N5 million to the inferno. Edo State Police Public Relation officer, DSP Chidi Nwanbuzo when contacted said investigation into the matter is ongoing. Meanwhile, the newly constructed ultra modern Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State has been razed by fire. The camp was constructed by the Presidential Committee on Flood, Relief, and Rehabilitation, which came into being after 2012 flood disaster that ravaged 24 states in the country. Mr. Bintan Wuyep, Director, Relief, and Rehabilitation, Plateau Emergency Management Agency confirmed the inferno while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos yesterday. Wuyep, who is the Acting Executive Secretary of the agency, said the disaster occurred on Tuesday.He said, however, that SEMA had been unable to assess the level of damage due to the paucity of funds. “We don’t have funds even to fuel our vehicle to go to the camp to ascertain the cause of the inferno and assess the extent of the damage. We have gone everywhere even for a loan, but no success. Hence, we cannot give the exact level of damage caused by the sad incident,” Wuyep said.The acting executive secretary described the incident as “a big loss to Plateau and Nigeria as a whole.’’ According to him, the camp was meant to house displaced persons that might be affected by future disaster in any part of the state.


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Idemudia Obamwonyi
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