By Emeka Mamah
A 28-year-old pregnant house- wife is now helping the police in Kaduna state to unravel the circumstances which led her to set her female friendâ€™s apartment on fire.
She reportedly set the apartment belonging to Mrs. Gloria Stephen on fire after failing in her earlier bid to kill the same woman and her six months old baby boy with rat poison (otapiapia).
Police sources said that the two women who are members of the Assemblies of God Church had been bosom friends until one fateful day in July this year when the pregnant woman who had earlier lost her seven months old baby boy visited Mrs. Stephen in her house and discovered that the woman wrote â€˜Rest In Peaceâ€™ across her late sonâ€™s photograph which she gave to her previously.
After enquiring from Mrs. Stephen the reasons for writing â€˜RIPâ€™ on her dead sonâ€™s photograph, the woman went back to the house later when her friendâ€™s child was sleeping and put the otapiapia in the babyâ€™s food flask.
A reliable police source which confirmed the story said, â€œThe woman went back to the house when the boy was sleeping alone in the house, while his mother was washing some napkins behind the house and put rat poison in the pap prepared for him inside a flask.
â€œThis was after she tried to wake up the child and feed him with the rat poison without success as the boy was in a deep slumber.
â€œAfter putting the rat poison inside the pap, she emptied the remainder inside the nursing motherâ€™s own food which she saw in the room and started waking up the child again vigorously until he began to cry.
â€œImmediately the child began to cry, the woman sneaked out, believing that the mother would come in on hearing the cries and feed him with the poisoned pap.
â€œHowever, when Mrs. Stephen who had earlier sighted her â€˜friendâ€™ when she was leaving her compound, went into the house and tried to open the flask, the odour of the otapiapiaÂ was said to have oozed out from the
flask and filled her nostrils, thus making her suspect some foul play.
â€œShe not only refused to feed the poisoned pap to the baby but kept both the pap and her own food to enable her brief her husband who was not at home then.
â€œHowever, after briefing her husband on the matter, she also informed him that no other visitor came to the house except her friend simply identified as Mary, whose back she sighted as she was going out from the compound when she was washing some cloths outside. She was however quick to assure her husband that she was not suspecting Mary since they had not quarrelled before.
â€œMr. Stephen was said to have strongly suspected his wifeâ€™s friend in the matter but because of her insistence that Mary was innocent of the act, the husband and wife resolved to invite members of their church to come and pray for the survival of mother and child from the food poison.
â€œIt was after the prayer sessions in the house that tongues started wagging about Maryâ€™s involvement in the attempted murder scandal.
â€œWhen the rumour became so strong about Maryâ€™s involvement, her husband got wind of it and confronted her wife over the matter, and she owned up.
â€œBut her husband could not stomach the matter and informed both Mrs. Stephen and her husband who are their family friends about his wifeâ€™s confessions before driving the woman out of his house.
â€œIt took several appeals from the pastor and members of the church for the man to forgive his wife and bring her back to their matrimonial home, sometimes last month. Before Maryâ€™s return to her husbandâ€™s house, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen had publicly forgiven their former friend.
â€œThe matter however took a dramatic turn last week when Mr. and Mrs. Stephen packed out of their former apartment in Kawo and relocated to Gonigora, only for an unknown person to visit their former apartment and set fire on it through the window.
â€œThe fire was said to have destroyed the apartment substantially before neighbours helped the land lord of the house in putting it off. It was later discovered that the arsonist poured a bottle of petrol through the window of the house, believing that Mr. and Mrs. Stephen were still occupying the place before setting it ablaze using a stick of matches.
â€œIt was when the news of the strange fire got to the Stephenâ€™s family that they reported the matter to the police, informing the detectives that they strongly suspected Mary to have set the place on fire to wipe out the entire family having failed in her earlier bid to kill Mrs. Stephen and her baby.â€
As at the time of filing this report, the said Mary was still in police custody in a bid to help the police unravel the source of the mystery fire, even as her husband was said to have disowned her over the matter.