Magistrates’ Court in Benin, Edo State, on Monday sentenced one Lucky Esonahae to five years imprisonment for setting his pregnant lover ablaze.
The 37-year-old bar operator was arraigned on a count of causing bodily harm.
The charge read, “That you, Lucky Esonahae, on July 6, 2015, at Uwelu Quartres, Benin, in Egor Magisterial District, did unlawfully cause grievous harm to one Stella Isaac, by setting her on fire with kerosene, which cause her bodily harm and, thereby, committed an offence punishable under Section 355(B) of the Criminal Code Cap 48, Vol. II, Laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, as applicable to Edo State.”
The prosecuting officer, Sergeant Ganiyu Yahya, told the court that the incident occurred at Uwelu Quartres in Benin, and was reported by the victim, Stella Isaac, on July 6, the same day it occurred.
Yahya said Esonahae had poured kerosene on the head of the woman, who was said to be seven months pregnant, lit a match and set her on fire.
He said the victim was later rescued by one of her sons and one of her neighbours, who forced the door of her room open, as she had been locked in.
He said the victim, who was later rushed to the Central Hospital where she received treatment, however, sustained burns on her hands and forehead.
The police prosecutor also told the court that Esonahae had earlier accused the pregnant woman of infidelity for allegedly returning at about 6pm from her antenatal and had threatened to kill her before she ran to her sister’s residence.
The accused, however, pleaded guilty to the offence and begged for leniency.
But the presiding magistrate, Igho Braimoh, said the court would not be lenient, adding that “for a 37-year-old man to set a lover on fire leaves much to be desired.”
She, therefore, sentenced him to five years imprisonment with hard labour.