The three siblings, Christiana, Feranmi and Pelumi, who were burnt to death in the fire that engulfed some shops at Mechanic village, Oke-Afa, Isolo area of Lagos State, last Thursday, would have escaped death had their mother granted their wishes.
It was gathered that the children had begged their mother to take them with her, when she was leaving at about 10p.m., promising to be back by 11.30p.m.
According to a woman who claimed to have been with the children’s mother at the time, Pelumi, 6, passionately begged his mother not to lock them inside, but she reportedly bought them biscuits and bobo drink, and then left.
However, she did not see them alive again as the 2.30a.m. fire burnt them to death. The children’s mangled bodies were reportedly discovered close to the door with the eldest’s hand on the door handle apparently trying to open the door.
Since the incident occurred, most of the shops around have remained under lock and key except a beer parlour, close to the burnt shops.
Investigation revealed that the woman, who is now on the run, was first married to a man, but divorced him after having four children for him.
The estranged husband was said to have taken two of the children, leaving Christiana and Feranmi in their mother’s custody.
Thereafter, she reportedly got hooked to her present husband who resides in Ejigbo area, whom she had two children for.
Her husband was said to have given her two shops. She used one for sales of provisions and salon operation, while the other served as bedroom.
Reports have it that she usually locked the children in the shop any time she goes out.
A resident, Mr. Gbadamosi Lawal, said: “Her husband was devastated when he visited on the day of the incident. He was too shocked to speak to anyone. Everyone thought she went to his house.
“But what we heard was that she went to her present lover’s place. Her present lover said he did not want any man’s child in his house, which was why any time she went visiting him, she locked the children in the shop.
“On that day, she went with the youngest child, who is about three years old. Everybody is angry with her. In fact, I do not think she will come anywhere near here because she may be lynched.”
Meanwhile, Lagos State Police Command seems to be silent on the fire incident alleged to have been triggered by a head-on collision between a LT 27 bus being chased by a team of policemen, and a 14-seater stationary commercial bus.
It was further revealed that a team of policemen, suspected to be from Ejigbo Division, chased the LT 27 bus loaded with jerry cans filled with petroleum product.