A 45-year-old palm wine tapper, Deji Adenuga, who allegedly set a house ablaze where a family of nine was sleeping in Okitipupa Area of Ondo State said he took the action because his girlfriend aborted her pregnancy and duped him.
Adenuga made the confession on Tuesday when the police presented him with three other suspects at Ondo State Police Command, Akure.
Adenuga, also an attendant at a car wash business, said he regretted that other family members were in the room as he intended to kill only his girlfriend, Titi, and her elder sister, Jumoke, who allegedly duped him.
Adenuga, who also confessed that he killed his first wife, Abiye, when she refused to give him N45,000 he kept with her in the year 2000, said that Titi had been living with him since 2018.
He said: “Titi has been living with me for over a year now and she knew that she would not marry me while she and her sister had been collecting my money and many other things from me.
“Though her mother and other family members encouraged her to marry me, her sister, Jumoke, made her feel otherwise.
“When Jumoke said that she is the only person that can tell who Titi will marry, I promised to give her N20,000 so that she could approve our relationship.
“Before I promised Jumoke N20,000, she had been collecting money from me as well as foodstuffs but when I could not fulfil my promise on time she connived with Titi to abort the four months old pregnancy she had for me.
“So, when she aborted the pregnancy, I demanded her to pay me back the N30,000 I gave her to set up a business and N25,000 I kept with her that was how she packed her things from my house and moved to her sister’s house.
“I forced their window open and poured petrol inside the room and ignited fire because what Titi and her sister did to me is unbearable; it was not that I intended to kill all the family members. I did not know that they were all in the same room.”
Earlier, Undie Adie, the Commissioner of Police in Ondo State, said that the incident resulted in the deaths of eight persons, while one person was in a critical condition in the hospital.
Adie said: “On April 23 at about 2 a.m., one Deji Adenuga ‘A.K.A Oludo’ allegedly set a house ablaze where a family of nine was asleep.
“His grouse was that one of the family members, Titi Sanumi, his former girlfriend, jilted him after he invested so much on her.”
According to him, eight of the victims of the arson who were mostly children were later confirmed dead, while the only surviving victim happens to be the girlfriend of the suspect and still in a critical condition in the hospital.
The commissioner said that after intense manhunt, the suspect was arrested on April 28 at Ijebu-Ode in Ogun, where he absconded after committing the offence.
He said: “It is unfortunate to note that the same suspect is notorious for committing heinous crimes, especially murder, as he had earlier killed his former wife, named Abiye, sometimes in year 2000 which led to his being remanded in Olokuta Prison.
“He, however, escaped with other inmates during jailbreak in 2013.”
He said that the earlier murder case against Adenuga would be revived with a view to make the law take its course.