A man believed to be in his early 60s, has set himself ablaze in a rented hotel apartment in Nyanya, a satellite town of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The incident which occurred in the early hours of Thursday, also saw the entire hotel completely raid by fire, even as the deceased, Dr. Isaac Ojukwu, was equally burnt beyond recognition.
Narrating the ugly incidence to newsmen in Abuja on Friday, the Owner of the burnt Hotel and Associate, Professor at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Sylvanus M. Itodo (MON); said it still remained a shock, how an adult would just wish to take his own life, without a particular known reason.
“We were all sitting together that fateful night (Wednesday night) before he left to watch football match and I also left the hotel premises by 11pm, to go and sleep.
“It was around 12am that I recieved a phone call from one of the boys in the hotel, crying, that my hotel was on fire. Before I could get down here, the flame was everywhere; and it took the efforts of the Federal Fire Service to prevent the inferno from escalating to the surrounding houses,” Itodo lamented.
Our investigation revealed that, the deceased, who hailed from Ohuhu in Umuahia area of Abia State, had been staying in the apartment, Boundary Plaza Hotel, Nyanya, for the past 5 years.
Though we gathered that he was married to a German woman with kids, it was, however, revealed that, none of his family members, including the wife or children, had paid him a visit all through his stay in the hotel.
An eye witness account by his direct neighbour, Ohize Yakubu, who has been living in the hotel apartment since the day of his wedding in 2013; said, those lodging in the hotel made frantic efforts to pull the deceased out of the building but he struggled and ran back into the burning room.
“We went to watch Arsenal and Bayern match that night, I came back to the hotel and Dr. Isaac came in 5 minutes later. After some minutes, I started hearing strange sound from his room, which is directly opposite my room. He was not shouting loud enough, all I could hear was ‘yeh’, ‘yeh’.
“At first, I was scared to open the door, because I didn’t know if it was a robbery attack, until I heard and recognised the voice of one of our neighbours, beckoning on Dr. Isaac to open the door and come out, shouting fire, fire.
“Then I asked my wife to take my son and rush out of the building while I joined other neighbours and we forced his door open, we met him standing in the sitting room while fire was burning in the bedroom.
He was unhurt, we then held his hands and asked him to follow us. All of a sudden, he struggled his way from our hands and ran into the burning room.
“At this point, everyone ran back as the inferno had started escalating and all my belongings got burnt.
My wife only escaped with my son. I was engaged in the process of rescuing Dr. Isaac, and lost all my belongings in the process”, Yakubu narrated.
In the case of Mr. Promise Nkwachukwu Okem, a young man who arrived Nigeria from Ghana, one month ago, he was able to pick a few things from his room (downstairs), before the fire degenerated into the zone.
He, however, said, two ladies who just finished serving the NYSC and searching for jobs, were not that lucky, as they could not pick anything from their rooms, save for their night gowns. “They could not pick anything from their rooms”, Okem said.
As at the time of filing this report, no one could explain in clear terms, what could have gone wrong with the deceased, to have warranted him taking his own life.
Even though the corpse has been deposited at the Asokoro General Hospital by the Police, the family members are yet to arrive Abuja.