Three children of the same parents have been found dead inside their landlord’s Toyota RAV4 in the Imota area of Ikorodu, Lagos State.
The victims, Uche (three), Marvelous (five) and Lazarus (eight), all children of one Mr Osondu, were said to be playing inside the compound when they entered the jeep and suffocated.
A witness said the children were playing with their cousin, identified as Blessing (11), around 11am on Tuesday inside the compound before they entered the RAV4.
He said nobody could tell why Blessing, who was the most senior, did not enter the car and also failed to raise alarm when she discovered that her cousins had been trapped inside the car.
Some neighbours said Blessing failed to raise alarm out of fear of being flogged for venturing into the area.
Our correspondent learnt that a mob descended on the landlord and beat him until he was rescued by policemen.
The Lagos State police spokesman, Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the incident, said that the Officer in Charge (O/C) Police Family Support Unit (FSU) got a distress call from anonymous callers of a suspected Sudden and Unnatural Death (SUD) by suffocation of under-aged children.
He said a patrol team and FSU personnel moved to the scene where they met a crowd that besieged the residence of one Moses in Ikorodu.
He further said, “The father of the deceased children said he was from Izii community in Ebonyi State and a tenant at the aforementioned address. The children were playing with their cousin, one Blessing Hyacinth, a girl of about 11 years, a foster daughter to Mr Osondu, at about 11am inside the landlord’s RAV4 SUV parked in a fenced and gated compound.
“One of them inadvertently pressed the central lock button of the vehicle and it ended up locking the trio till they got suffocated. The three children were taken to the Ikorodu General Hospital where they were confirmed dead by medics and their corpses deposited at the hospital’s mortuary for autopsy in the presence of their father.
“The landlord was brought to the station for protective custody and the RAV4 SUV was taken to the station for safekeeping too.’’