A commercial bike rider, Yusuf Hassan, whose relationship with a single mother of one, Busayo Falola, turned sour, leading him to an alleged attempt to set her ablaze, has said that he only wanted to destroy her property out of bitterness over her calling it quits with him.
However, not only did Yusuf set ablaze the lady’s property and those of other tenants living in the same building with her, he also succeeded in turning the building owned by a lady in Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, into ruins as it was totally consumed by the inferno he ignited.
The spokesman of state police command, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, who spoke on how the suspect succeeded in razing down the bungalow, said that it cost him only N500 to purchase the Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, to carry out arson.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the suspect, aged 43, was arrested by the Ago Iwoye Division when the landlady of the razed building, Madam Adejoke Salau, aged 62, reported that she heard a noise from one of the buildings within her compound situated at 127, Old Scholar Palace, Igan Road, Ago Iwoye, at about 1:15 am, which prompted her to rush out.
According to her, she then discovered that the building was on fire while the tenants in the house were trapped.
She stated further that it took the quick intervention of neighbours to rescue the three tenants, but the building and the property of the tenants could not be saved as they got burnt completely.
SP Oyeyemi said that this made the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ago Iwoye, CSP Noah Adekanye, to lead his men to the scene, from where the occupants of the house were invited to the station for interrogation in order to investigate the cause of the inferno.
According to the PPRO, “On interrogation, Busayo informed the police that she saw her ex-lover, Yusuf Hassan, at the back of her window at about 12:30 am on the fateful day.
“She explained further that she was scared to see him at that ungodly hour, which made her to scream and run out of her room to another tenant’s room.”
This, she said, made other tenants to check out what Yusuf was up to, only for them to notice flame coming out of her room.
Hassan, who was hunted for and subsequently apprehended, initially denied knowing anything about the incident, “but when the DPO ordered detectives to go to his house and find out whether he was at home as of the time of the incident, he decided to confess to being the one who set the house ablaze.
“He further confessed that he intended to burn his ex-lover in her own apartment because he had tried his best possible to reconcile with her but to no avail, and that was the reason he bought petrol worth N500, poured it into her room through the window and set it on fire.”
Busayo, who told the police how she got into a relationship with the suspect before it turned sour, said: “I’m from Owode but came to join my mum’s elder sister to complete my training in tailoring apprenticeship which I did partially in Ondo.
“That was how I met my former partner whom I married and have a child for. However, I left him because he was always chasing me with cutlass whenever we had disagreement. He did it twice. I had to leave so that he would not kill me the third time. I took my child and rented a room.
“After a year, people advised me to remarry because there was no way I would not have a relationship with a male as a young woman.
“I met Yusuf on my way from Ibadan when I went to buy goods for my business. He was the bike man who picked me from the motor park to my residence. He got my phone number and we started dating. I used to go to his house and he would also come to mine.
“I got pregnant for him but lost the pregnancy in February this year after about four months. Instead of sympathising with me, he started cursing me, threatening that he would destroy all my property and things that delight me before he would retreat.”
She said that that was what made her run from her room at midnight when she noticed him.
However, the suspect said that the lady’s narration was far from the truth. He told the Nigerian Tribune his story: “I had a son with a lady in 2003, but she left me 18 years ago when we could not be in agreement. For a while, we were communicating but I have not heard of my son for about 15 years.
“I knew Busayo in October 2022. I picked her from Oru junction to her residence and we got talking on the way. We exchanged contacts and started dating. She told me of her past relationship and about her son. She told me of how she left her man who was always chasing her with cutlass whenever they had a clash because she was afraid of being killed.
“I took her to my parents but couldn’t meet with her family members because she is from Owode Egbado. We were in different religions but it was not causing any problem between us. The only thing she complained of was that I was into cigarette smoking and alcohol taking, telling me to quit. However, I told her that quitting them would be gradual as I had been used to them for about 20 years.
“In February, she told me she had missed her period. We decided to go for a test but I asked her to loan me N2,000 to do it. There was a woman who was like an aunty to both of us in the neighbourhood, and she used to intervene and counsel us whenever we disagreed. She borrowed us N1,500 while Busayo added N500. When the result was positive, I was so happy because I had been desirous of having another child since I didn’t have access to the first one. I said I would take her to a herbs seller to take appropriate concoctions and also register her in a hospital.
“Something then happened during preparations towards elections. There was cash crunch, and even passengers opted for transfers through app. So there was not enough money to spend. One day, she asked me to buy pepper to cook but there was no money to do it. The following day, I gave her N1,500 to manage to cook.
“Three days later, my sister went to her and came back to tell me that my lover was writhing in pain. Then I remembered that she used to make a proverbial statement that when you can’t swing your hands while walking, you put them on the head to ease the walk (ti apa o ba se san mo, eeyan ma nka le or ini). I didn’t understand the proverb until elderly people explained it to me. When I got to her and asked her what was happening, she said she was having stomach pains. I told her to follow me to the hospital for treatment but she refused to go. That was when I knew that she had aborted the pregnancy she had for me.
“I was so sad and told her that she had achieved what she intended doing after my taking care of her needs and those of her son since we started our relationship. Before then, she told me she needed money to be added to the one she had to buy a phone. I gave her N15,000. So, I was angry and seized the phone. In the evening, someone called to see me. He said my lover came to tell him that she made a mistake in taking paracetamol which aborted the pregnancy. I asked if he had ever heard of such analgesic aborting a pregnancy. The man appealed to me and called Busayo. She came, knelt and started begging me, saying it was devil’s work. After that, she was always appealing to me to forgive her whenever we were together.
The last disagreement
“What she now did that made me to act with anger was that I was in her house washing my motorcycle one morning after passing the night with her when a man came, entered her room and lay on the bed that Busayo and I used to sleep on. As I was going out and coming in, she didn’t explain to me who the person was. And she knew I’m the jealous type. When the man left, I came in and she could see that my mood had changed. She didn’t know what to say. She brought me food to eat and I was angry, because I had yet to brush my teeth. I asked her if she would have dared to bring a man to my house if she was with me. I left in anger.
“For a week, we didn’t see. I started missing her and wanted to return the phone I took from her. I went to her residence but didn’t see her. I went to that aunty and saw Busayo’s son with her. I started making moves to settle our differences. I called my family members, including my father, to appeal to her but she told me that she was done with our relationship.
“At that point, I couldn’t stop thinking that all she aimed at doing was just to get money from me. I remembered how she told me that her mother was ill and I sold my motorcycle to give her N50,000 for her to take care of her mum. She aborted the pregnancy she had for me, something I had desired for long. I started wondering what my reward is in the relationship. That was how the devil pushed me.
How I carried out my plan
“I didn’t have a plan of killing her or her son. I only wanted to destroy her property. I loved her son like mine. I made her to know when I got to her window after midnight. I have accepted my fate, but I plead for mercy and leniency. I was deeply hurt by my lover.”
The erstwhile state Commissioner of Police who is the newly decorated Assistant Inspector General of Police, Frank Mba, has directed that the suspect be transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation.