A 64 -year-old man, Joseph Ojo, who set his five stepchildren ablaze said he carried out the action because the victims joined their mother to allegedly beat him during a misunderstanding.
Ojo had set ablaze the children at his residence in Fagun crescent area of Ondo town, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State last Saturday November 5.
One of the children was burnt to death in the inferno while two others passed away at the hospital. Speaking during his parade at the State Police headquarters in Akure on Wednesday, November 9, the suspect claimed his wife instigated her five children against him after giving her N600 to prepare food for him and the family.
Ojo alleged that his wife usually starved him of food, even when he provided money for her to cook for him and the family. He, however, said the woman failed to prepare food for him and this led to a misunderstanding between him and the wife while the children allegedly took turns attacking him.
Ojo said he was not happy with the development and had to look for fuel in his sawer machine, which he poured in the children’s room before setting them ablaze.
The suspect said he has been married to four women and has 10 children, adding that the mother of the victims was his fourth wife He said two of his wives left him after a minor misunderstanding while the other one died some years ago.
“I am 64 years old. I have married four wives. I did not strangulate my first wife. I have 10 children from different women,” he said.
“The one I married last if I give her money and she buys food, she does not give me food. She does not wash my clothes. She always fights me, despite giving me money. “We have been together for two years. She and her children used to fight and beat me. They are always fighting. She will not fetch water for me. She fights the whole street. She always fights me alongside her children. They always beat me.
“We fought the day I set the children ablaze. We did not use to quarrel over sex. Everybody in the street knows the children used to beat me. We fought the night I set them ablaze.”
The Police spokesperson, Funmi Odunlami, said three of the children had died due to the injuries sustained from the burns while two others are on the danger list. Odunlami said Ojo kept his 18-month twins in another room before setting the five step-children on fire and said their mother also sustained an injury while trying to rescue her children.
She said Ojo told police interrogators that he gave his wife N600 but he was not given any food the night he carried out the act, saying this act infuriated him to set the children on fire. The PPRO said the suspect would soon be charged in court.