Fifty-four year old, Benjamin Ogudoro, accused of setting his Scotland returnee wife, Chinyere and brother-in-law, Ifeanyi Edoziem, to death at house 5, Oteri Garden estate Abule-Ado, Lagos, two weeks ago, has denied the allegation.
Chinyere, a mother-of-four who lives in Scotland with her children, returned to Nigeria alone on Thursday, March 31, and her brother picked her up from the airport and took her home. When her husband, Benjamin Nkemakolam Ogudoro, from Ngor Okpalla LGA in Imo State, returned to their home in Lagos, he allegedly set his wife and her brother, who is an only son, ablaze. Chinyere had reportedly returned to Nigeria to stop her husband from selling the house she built.
The Master’s degree holder from a United Kingdom university did not survive the fire attack allegedly ignited by her husband, as she was burnt beyond recognition. Her brother, Ifeanyi, who managed to find his way out of the burning apartment, from where he was rushed to the hospital, made a dying declaration on how the suspect poured petrol on him and his sister while they were asleep and struck a match stick on them.
Benjamin who was paraded at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 14, said;
“This is an opportunity to give my side of the story. It is not true that I poured fuel on my wife and her brother. It was a case of a fire incident.
My wife came back from Scotland on April 1, 2022. She called me at about 9 pm that day, to tell me she was around, probably she wanted to take me by surprise. I started rushing home. When I got home, she was already inside. We hugged and I took some of the luggages inside.
Later, her phone rang, she picked up the call and said she wanted to take the call where Ifeanyi (her brother ) was because it concerned him. I said ok. So, she headed for the guest room to meet her brother. I waited for her for about 20 to 30 minutes, but she didn’t come back. I went to the guest room and gave her a sign that I wanted to go out to drink. I left for the bar which was about three poles from my house and took a bottle of drink. While I was there, her younger brother, Ifeanyi, came to buy sachet water.
By the time I went back to the house, she was still with her brother in the guest room. I slept off on the sofa in the sitting room. I later woke up to see smoke coming from the balcony close to the guest room.
When I got there, I opened the door, there was a lot of smoke. I shouted Ifeanyi! I moved back immediately because the flame was too much. Ifeanyi followed me. I even sustained injuries on my hand and legs(showing Vanguard Metro his leg and arm).
I ran to the place I went to drink earlier. Some people were there and begged them to pour water on me because my body was hot. They poured some water on me and that was the last thing I remembered until I found myself in the hospital.”
On why he attempted to sell the building, he said:
“We both agreed to sell the house because we needed money to renew our two years visa for the entire family which would cost about N8 million and we didn’t have up to that amount at that time.
She was the one that suggested we sell the house since we were about to relocate to Scotland and the house in Lagos would no longer be useful to us again.
We didn’t have any misunderstanding, I don’t have any reason to attack her, if my phone was here I would have shown you the N300,000 I sent to her a week before she returned, for the accommodation over there. I have been a very responsible husband and father to my children.
Up till this moment if you ask the people that were with me in the cell, they will testify that for four days, I haven’t taken my bath, I haven’t eaten. I felt lost when my friends visited me in the cell and told me that social media is saying I killed my wife.
My wife’s brother, Ifeanyi, lived with us for five years. He used to spend his holidays with us. Our relationship was cordial, I have no reason to hurt him. Ifeanyi was the only son of the family, so I made every effort to raise him.
“I was the one that paid for him at Horizon for his certification. When he was doing his internship, I took him to one of my client’s companies where he did his internship. These were efforts to ensure he was well raised so that my children can be proud of their uncle”, he said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, who paraded the suspect said he would be charged to court soon.