A 25-year-old fashion designer, Okwuchi Udeh, is battling burns at a Lagos hospital after she was bathed with hot water by a trader, Esther Okoroafor, during a disagreement in the Orile area of the state.
Punch Metro gathered that the victim was scalded while separating a fight between her sister, Ndidi, and Esther’s husband, Uche Okoroafor.
It was learnt that Ndidi was married to Uche’s younger brother.
Ndidi had reportedly reprimanded Esther’s son, identified only as Junior, after the latter allegedly stepped on her toes.
The boy was said to have reported to her parents, who took the matter up with Ndidi’s husband.
A Punch correspondent was told that the case was being resolved in a family meeting when Ndidi flared up.
The parties were said to have exchanged words as they returned to their different apartments.
Uche was reported to have gone to Ndidi’s apartment, where another squabble broke out.
Okwuchi, who was on a visit to her sister, was alleged to have attempted to mediate when Esther poured the hot water on her.
The victim’s sibling, Oluchi Udeh, told Punch that the incident happened around 4pm on Saturday.
She said she reported to the police at the Orile division, adding that Esther had been arrested.
Oluchi said, “My elder sister, Ndidi, had a quarrel with Esther, the wife of her husband’s elder brother.
“During the quarrel, Uche asked his wife to go in, while he went to my sister’s house within the same vicinity.
“They started another argument there during which he gave my sister a slap. Okwuchi, who had gone to visit my sister, saw as the man was trying to drag her out of her apartment and decided to intervene. She tried to drag her back into the house. From nowhere the man’s wife appeared and poured hot water on her body.”
The victim was said to have been burnt in the neck, face, back and busts and was rushed to a clinic where a police medical report was allegedly demanded.
The family was said to have subsequently taken her to a medical centre where she was admitted.
Okwuchi, who spoke to Punch Metro, said her sister had reprimanded Esther’s son earlier.
She said, “Although the man had been threatening my sister before this time, the man’s son started the fight. The small boy stepped on my sister and did not apologise.
“My sister threatened to beat him up if he tried that again. The boy reported to his parents, who then reported my sister to her husband.
“They were trying to resolve the issue between my sister and the boy when my sister said she felt insulted that they called a meeting to resolve a matter between her and a boy she could give birth to.
“I was trying to hold my sister back and stop her from fighting when his wife, who was behind me, poured the hot water on me. The hot water was originally prepared by my sister to wash her baby’s feeder.”
While saying she was in pain, she said she wanted the suspect punished for the injuries inflicted on her.
The woman, Ndidi, said Uche’s 12-year-old son started the fight.
“My sister only wanted to stop him from beating me when she was scalded with hot water,” she added.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, confirmed the incident, adding that the suspect was in custody.
He said, “The women are neighbours and live within the same neighbourhood. They had a quarrel and one poured hot water on the victim. The state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, has ordered that she should be charged to court tomorrow (Tuesday).”