Doctors at the Emergency Unit of the Ogun State Teaching Hospital, Ijaiye, are battling to save the lives of four persons who were allegedly set ablaze by a middle-aged man in Ago-Oko area of Abeokuta.
The incident, as gathered, occurred Tuesday night after some youths gathered in front of the suspect’s building, gambling.
The owner of the building whose identity was given simply as Jimoh , reportedly asked the gamblers to leave his premises, following complaints of theft around the area,which had seen policemen combing the area with a view to arresting the hoodlums.
But the youths who were apparently carried away with their games, paid deaf ears to the directive. Jimoh reportedly attempted to chase them away by shoving some of them aside, an action that led to a fight.
In the process, Jimoh allegedly ran inside, brought out a liquid substance later discovered to be petrol and poured on the gamblers before striking a match. Six of them were reportedly set ablaze,while others ran for their lives.
However, four of the victims said to have been badly burnt were reportedly rushed to the hospital while the suspect was handed over to the Police.
At the hospital, the victims were still writhing in pains. One of them who managed to speak to Crime Guard claimed he was not a gambler, that he only stood by watching those playing.
“ I was not even there when Jimoh asked them to leave. I only stood watching when all of a sudden, he came out, poured petrol on us and struck sticks of matches,” Tunde Adesanya said.
Other victims in the same ward were Saburi Seteolu, Raheem Bello and Suleiman Adebesin.
As at Thursday, Crime Guard gathered that the suspect had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department, with a directive from the Commissioner of Police , Mr Ikemefuna Okoye to investigate the circumstances that led to the incident.