A naval officer’s two children died in a fire he started
accidentally while allegedly beating his wife in Lagos on Friday. The incident, according to Punch, took place at the Nigerian Navy Town, Ojo.
According to a hospital official, who pleaded anonymity because she was not authorized to speak on the issue, the deceased children, Emmanuela and Michael, were aged 18 months old and five years old.
When the children were brought in here, their father,
who also sustained some burn injuries, said they were electrocuted but that turned out to be a lie because when the wife later came, she narrated what actually happened,”
The distraught mother of the children, who arrived the
hospital much later after their bodies were brought to the burns unit of the Gbagada General Hospital, told
hospital officials in tears that her husband Udofia was
beating her when he angrily kicked a lit stove.
“The woman narrated that as he kicked the stove, it
landed on their refrigerator, which immediately
exploded. We were told the children were nearby when the refrigerator exploded.”
The children were reportedly engulfed in flames but all
efforts to save them proved abortive. Gbagada General Hospital officials said they were brought in dead.
When Punch correspondents visited the hospital, naval
personnel and an ambulance of the Nigerian Navy
Reference Hospital, Ojo were seen in the front of the
hospital. Udofia was said to be receiving treatment in a ward in the hospital as well but he was kept away from inquisitive eyes.
The bodies of the children had also been taken to the
hospital’s mortuary by the time Punch got there.
Hospital officials feared for the sanity of the children’s
mother, who was said to have been taken away by her
“The woman was not acting normal anymore. That may be to the psychological trauma of the event,” a hospital official said.
Saturday PUNCH contacted the spokesperson of the
Western Naval Command, Lagos, Lt. Way Olabisi, for comment, but he said he was in a meeting at the time.
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