Council worker owed three months salary sets self ablaze in Benue
A middle-aged man and casual worker at Gwer East Local Government Area secretariat, Benue State, Aondona Yaga, has committed suicide by setting himself ablaze in his Aliade residence.
An eyewitness said that Aondona, until his death, worked as a cleaner at the council secretariat, adding that the deceased who lived with his grandmother in the same compound took ill some days ago and was undergoing treatment but complained bitterly that he needed money to take care of his needs and also continue with his treatment.
“Everyone was surprised when on Tuesday night around 8:00p.m. he went into his room, locked himself and set the house ablaze. When people noticed what was happening, the door of the building was pulled down but before anybody got to him he was already dead,” he said.
Enquiries at the council secretariat revealed that the deceased was not paid his monthly stipend as a casual staff for about three months. Aondona became frustrated with his plight and decided to set himself ablaze in his room.
When contacted, Vice Chairman of Gwer East LGA, Mr. Austin Nemba, who described the deceased as a hardworking casual staff of the council, said: “On several occasions, I used to extend financial assistance to him. I am surprised that he took his life. If he had challenges he should have told me.”
Nemba, who acknowledged that the deceased was owed some months, said remuneration of causal staff in the local government councils are not captured in local government payroll “because they are engaged by the councils and get paid from what is generated from within the councils.
“They usually get paid when the fund is available, thereby creating backlogs. But the councils are always making efforts to pay them. So I am personally pained that he killed himself.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Anene, who confirmed the death, said investigation into the matter was ongoing.
MEANWHILE, a 19-year-old girl, Jemila Ibraheem, was yesterday remanded in police custody in Lagos State over the alleged murder of her ex-lover’s new girlfriend. Ibraheem, who is an upcoming actress and resides in Satelite Town area of Lagos, was charged with a count of murder.
The court, however, did not take her plea. Magistrate P.E. Nwaka ordered that the defendant be kept at the Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, pending advice from the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Nwaka, adjourned the case until January 4, 2021, for mention.
Earlier, the prosecutor, ASP Thomas Nurudeen, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on November 18, at Ekoba Street, Monkey Village, Satelite town.
According to him, the defendant went to her ex-lover’s house and saw that the deceased, who was the new girlfriend, had stayed overnight.
Nurudeen told the court that in a fit of rage, the defendant poured fuel all over the house and used a lighter to set the house on fire, with the deceased inside it.
He further stated that the deceased was rescued from the fire with the help of some neighbours but later died at the hospital as a result of the burns she sustained.
Nurudeen noted that the alleged offence contravenes Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (revised), which is punishable with death.