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Tragedy: How three children of same parents died in mysterious fire

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three childrenMR Fidelis Ezenwa Amalaha has not stopped blaming himself for taking his estranged wife back to his house as her return allegedly resulted in the death of his three children, Chidera (7) Destiny, (5) and Precious (3) on the same day.

Married to Ugochi with two boys and a girl, the electrician said incessant quarrels with his wife, whom he described as a stubborn and wasteful woman, became unbearable for him, but he tolerated her because of their children.

The last straw was when she mismanaged the cosmetic and condiment businesses he helped her to establish. After the collapse of her businesses, Ugochi took the money that Fidelis had kept for the repair of his car without his consent. When he confronted her, rather than remorseful, Ugochi refused to own up. In anger, Fidelis told Sunday Tribune, that he personally took her and her belongings back to her parents’ house at Ohia in Umuahia South Local Government Area.

The misunderstanding lasted for seven months, but he decided to take her back when his first son, Chidere, woke up one day and asked when their mother would be coming back. “Because of my children, I  began to consider reconciliation with my wife,” he said.

Thirty-two years old Fidelis Ezenwa Amalaha sought the consent of his parents, especially his father, John Amalaha, who took custody of Fidelis’ children for seven months in their Ubakala community in Umuahia South LGA, which he got, and a reconciliation move was made in November, 2017, when both families met and settled their differences. It was, however, agreed at the meeting that Ugochi would have to move in few days to Christmas.

However, Ugochi went to Fidelis’ parents’ home and begged to be allowed to take the children away for some days, promising to bring them back before her final return to her husband’s house. Once it was agreed, Mr Amalaha called his son to notify him that Ugochi was around and wanted to take the kids to her place for a few days with a promise of bringing them back. Fidelis told his father not to release the children to her, but his father pleaded and told Fidelis that Ugochi was still their mother. After much pleading, Fidelis agreed that the children could be released to his wife.

“My wife took the children on December 17, 2017, around 4.00pm, and by 4.00am on December 19, my father received a call from the president general of Ohia Development Union, telling him my three children had died in a fire outbreak.

“On receiving the news, me and some family members rushed to Chief Onyemata, my in-laws’ house, where I saw the corpses of the children in the room with thick black smoke all over the wall,” he told Sunday Tribune.

Fidelis said from his investigations, he learned that Ugochi had allegedly locked the three up in the room they slept, while a candle was burning. “The candle was on the edge of a chair and later fell on top of a Ghana Must Go Bag, which caught fire. Smoke engulfed the room, leading to the suffocation of the children. My eldest son attempted to come out of the room, but the door had been locked. My children died mostly of suffocation. It was only the eldest that suffered a litle burn in the cause of struggling to leave the room. The walls were all filled with smoke.

Asked how it happened, Fidelis said his wife told him that after the children had gone to sleep, she went to her uncle’s house nearby to charge her phone and slept off there, while her parents were in their room sleeping, unaware of what was happening. He blamed the death on the carelessness of his wife, adding that a similar incident had occurred in the past where Ugochi left a candle on top of the television and went to sleep with the children.

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“I came back home late that day to find the entire house engulfed in smoke, while they were all asleep.”

Reacting, Mr Amalaha, a retired school principal and grandfather of the late children, said the marriage had been turbulent, and admitted that his daughter in-law was wasteful and wayward. “She and her mother ran aground the two businesses that my son helped her to set up. Also, she had a secret child she never disclosed until it was later discovered. I never believed in separation or divorce, so when my son came up with the idea of reconciling with his wife, I gave my consent. I even  went further to call for the reconciliation meeting and gave N10,000 to my in-law to buy the necessary items required for peace settlement.”

He also confirmed his son’s statement that on December 19, around 4.00am, he received a call from the president general of Ohia Development Union, who told him about the death of his grand children two days after Ugochi took them away.

“I was shocked and could not believe it when I was told they had died, But I was not satisfied with the reason given as to the cause of death. Also, I am not satisfied with the role the police at Umuopara division played. It took over a week for the DPO to call me on phone to express his readiness to investigate the matter. Eye witness account and on-the-spot accessment for evidence would have been lost, but I commit the whole incident in God’s hands,” he said.

Preaching during the burial, the pastor of Liberation ministry, venerable Don Kalu, regretted the death of the three children, pointing that it was one death too many and prayed that such death should never occur again.

The post Tragedy: How three children of same parents died in mysterious fire appeared first on Tribune.

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