Life on Ebijimi Street in the Meiran area of Lagos has not been restored to normal after a jilted engineer allegedly killed his lover, his rival and poisoned himself.
The woman, Oriyomi Folarin, a divorcee popularly called Iya Corner, operated a beer parlor on the street and had three grown-up children.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the engineer, identified as Ogundare, opened the shop for the woman and rented an apartment for her in the Agbado area of Ogun State.
Around 9am on Sunday, Ogundare, who was said to be a building engineer, reportedly stormed the shop with a gallon of petrol, poured it on the woman and his rival, Akinade Omole, aka Currency, and set them ablaze.
The fire was also said to have spread to Ogundare’s hand while fleeing the scene. It was learnt that Omole and Folarin died in a hospital in the community on Monday from the burns they suffered.
On hearing of the death of the duo, Ogundare, who had gone into hiding, reportedly poisoned himself.
When our correspondent visited the community on Wednesday, the beer shop was shut.
A resident, who gave his name only as Femi, told PUNCH Metro that Ogundare had seen the Highlander Jeep that Omole parked at a filling station a few metres away from the beer parlour and had trailed him.
Femi said, “The engineer bought fuel in a jerrycan and headed for Iya Corner’s shop. I never thought he had any sinister motive. On getting there, he met Iya Corner and Currency chatting as Currency ate eba.
“He poured the fuel on them and set them abalze. The fire caught him in the hand but he escaped. By the time people assisted Iya Corner and Currency to put out the fire, they had suffered serious burns. Currency’s private parts were affected. They died on Monday.”
An eyewitness, Jacob Oyedeji, said he was about going to bed on the day when he heard some people calling for help.
He said, “I rushed out to know what happened only to see Currency and Iya Corner engulfed in flames. Policemen from the Meiran division came that evening. It was the following day that they were declared dead.”
Another resident, Yusuf Ajibola, said Ogundare and Iya Corner had been in a romantic relationship for years until sometime in 2016 when he had financial challenges and could no longer meet his lover’s needs.
“That was when Iya Corner started dating Currency. The engineer knew Currency and Iya Corner were in a relationship. He warned the woman to back out or be ready to forfeit the shop he opened for her, but she refused.
“During the Yuletide, Engineer went to the shop and disrupted it. Currency and the woman got him arrested and he was detained by the police. He felt humiliated because he had spent a lot of money on the woman,” he added.
A shop owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the incident was a disgrace to the families of the three parties involved, adding that Currency was supposed to be installed as a chief in a village where he hailed from in Oyo State in a few weeks’ time.
He said, “The two men are married with children. The engineer built a house in the Obadeyi area and three of his children are graduates. I was surprised that he conducted himself in such a manner. The woman’s first child has three children and one of them, Wunmi, recently graduated. She narrowly escaped being consumed by the fire that evening.
“I learnt yesterday (Tuesday) that the engineer took poison and he died. However, a friend just told me today that he was still alive but in a critical condition at a hospital.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, SP Dolapo Badmos, who confirmed the incident, said the police had launched a manhunt for Ogundare.
He said, “Two victims are dead; the suspect is still alive, but on the run. Effort is on to track him. The case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba for further investigation.”