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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Man Ties His 3-Year-Old Niece To A Tree, Sets Her Ablaze For Defecating In A Neighbour’s House

A 37-year-old man, Leo Columbus, told reporters in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, yesterday that he set his three-year-old niece ablaze because she defecated in a neighbour’s house in Akamkpa Local Government Area. Columbus said he did not intend to kill her but acted out of anger because of the child’s behaviour.

The man, who was among the 50 suspects paraded by Police Commissioner, Hafiz Inuwa for various offences, said he started taking care of the child, his brother’s daughter, two years ago.

He said their neighbours had been complaining that the little girl, whose parents are in Lagos, was always defecating in their homes. Columbus said: “People had been complaining until that fateful day. It was not on purpose. Someone reported to me that she had defecated in their place. With the annoyance that she soiled someone’s pumpkin and waterleaf, I beat her up.”

The suspect said he was burning some grasses when the matter was reported to him. In anger, Columbus said he threw the fire on her, which severely burnt her body. He denied tying her to a tree while she was on fire.

Columbus said: “When I saw that she was burnt, I said ‘look at what you have caused me’. I regretted my action. I applied JV and bought drugs for her. I did not plan to kill her. She is my brother’s daughter. I did it out of annoyance. It was anger that made me to do it.”

The suspect said he always left the little girl when going to work, adding: “I can’t lock her inside. I always told her to stay in the house and, even if she wanted to visit the toilet, she should do it in the house. But she still went out and defecated in the neighbour’s houses.”

Inuwa said Columbus was arrested when he set the girl on fire while she was tied to a guava tree.

The police chief said the victim was rushed to the General Hospital in Akamkpa for treatment and later taken to an orphanage for proper attention.

He added that out of the 50 suspects paraded, 20 were for alleged robbery, eight for kidnapping, seven for cultism, three for illegal possession of firearms and two for stealing.

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