Nigerian Police, Family Declare Arsonist Wanted in Delta


Emmanuell Ella

The Nigerian Police have declared one 21-year-old Douglas Igbenije wanted for alleged arson carried out in Ute Erunmu in Agbor area of Delta State.

Douglas, who hails from Ute Erumu community in Ika North East Local Government Area of the state. was said to have allegedly burnt down their house over a Will kept by his late father, Mr. Leonard Igbenije.

The state police command in a statement made available to journalists at the police headquarters in Asaba, the state capital, by its Public Relations Officer, SP John Ekanem, said the incident was reported to the station by Douglas’ step mother, Mrs. Patricia Igbenije.

In the statement, Ekanem explained that the suspect had in June 17, 2015, set ablaze his father’s house which was also his inherited property from his late father, and in the process, the mother and sister, Mrs. Blessing and Evelyn Igbenije respectively, died in the inferno.

The state police spokesman urged every one with useful information on the whereabouts of Douglas, who was a fuel attendant in Agbor, to report to the police.

He said: “The state Police Command has declared one Douglas Igbenije ‘m’, a native of Ute community of Delta State wanted. He is a graduate of Ozoro Polytechnic.

“He (Douglas) is wanted for the alleged arson he planned and executed on 17/06/2015 on a property worth millions of naira in Ute in Ika North East LGA of the state.

“Any person or group of persons with useful and actionable information as to the whereabouts of the wanted person should report to the nearest police station in the state.”

However, when journalists visited the community, the people of the area lamented that Douglas is a humane and humble easy-going man who could not hurt a fly. The denied that Douglas could carry out such atrocity on a property which he would have inherited from his late father.

A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he was very close to Igbenije’s family, therefore, was able to observe all the happenings in the household. He added that there had been a running battle between Douglas and his mother and his step mother.

The source, who stated that he grew up with Douglas, said: “There are rumours that the step mother allegedly burnt down the house when she brought suspected assailants to the house in search of Douglas and the Will written by his father, and started shooting which led to the fire that burnt the house and killed Douglas mother and sisters.”

He insisted that Douglas wasn’t responsible for the fire, and that he has run away as the police and some members of his (Douglas) are looking for him.

When journalists inquired further about Douglas’ whereabouts, he declined giving answer, saying he wasn’t Douglas’ keeper. All efforts to get the suspected arsonist to get his side of the story proved abortive as the community declined to give journalists any clue about his whereabouts or how he manage to escape.