A woman threw caution to the winds in Imo State as she set her 85-year-old stepmother ablaze, after splashing her two grandchildren with hot water.
The natives of Ndiokwu Lorji, Aboh Mbaise area of the state, would not forget the fateful day in a hurry as the devil, metaphorically, took control of one of them and she caused tragedy within her own family.
People wept uncontrollably at the sight of the old woman and the two kids who were writhing in pains following the alleged action of the suspect.
Gladys, 48, mother of many children, was said to have splashed hot water on Emeka Ukaegbu, 4, and Nzube Ukaegbu, 6.
Daily Sun gathered that the children were viewing a film in the family parlour when Gladys appeared with the hot water and before anybody knew what she was up to, she had poured the hot water on the two kids.
Their uncle, Chukwuma Ukaegbu, 32, told Daily Sun in Lagos that the kids screamed as they were running out from the parlour in agony.
Chukwuma said his mother, 85-year-old Mary Ukaegbu, staggered as she ran to inquire what had happened.
The woman was shocked to see her grandchildren with their body peeled .
The children kept shouting the name Gladys to their enraged grandmother who moved in haste to see Gladys.
Upon sighting the old woman, Gladys allegedly poured a substance suspected to be fuel on her and immediately set her ablaze.
Mary, Emeka and Nzube were rushed to the hospital but only the two kids were admitted while hospitals rejected the old woman.
Chukwuma said the incident began at about 1.30pm, adding that his mother (Mary) gave up the ghost at 11 pm same day, August 20.
Chukwuma said the kids are still in hospital receiving treatment as at the time of filing this report.
He explained that Emeka sustained injury from his head to the back.
He said Nzube was the worst hit as his body peeled completely from head to toe.
He said it took some days before the eyes of Nzube could open.
Chukwuma could not fathom what could have been the cause of Gladys’ anger.
According to him, there used to be minor quarrel over sundry issues like “your goat ate my leaves or yam.”
He alleged that there was nothing very serious that would have warranted such wicked act.
He further alleged that his elder brother, Nnabuihe, told him that Gladys had several times threatened that she would kill his (Nnabuihe’s) children, kill him (Nnabuihe) and their mother, Mary.
He said Nnabuihe waved her threat off as one of those empty ones.
They never knew evil thought was brewing in the heart of the suspect until the fateful day.
Policemen from Aboh Mbaise Division arrested Gladys the following day and later transferred the case to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Owerri, Imo State.
While Chukwuma insisted that the name of his half sister is Gladys, the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Vitalis Onugu, a deputy superintendent, while confirming the story to Daily Sun, said the name police recorded in the file was Clarene.
Onugu said the suspect had an altercation with the two children and as she wanted to pour petrol on them, she allegedly poured it on the old woman, Mary, and she went up in flames.
Onugu also said the suspect later poured hot water on the children.
The police spokesman said the suspect would soon be arraigned in court.