Until June 23, not many could have suspected that all was not well between Emeka Agu, 28, and his pregnant girlfriend, Miss Bidemi Akinsolufe. That night, disaster struck in their home in Ayobo area of Lagos, as Emeka allegedly set his lover ablaze.

The reason? To prevent the lady from charming other men with her beauty. Nearly a month after, Bidemi still writhes in pain at the Gbagada General Hospital, even as Emeka awaits his date with the law. The reporter met the badly burnt lady on her hospital bed and she narrated what led to the sad incident.

“I started dating him last year but my boyfriend is very jealous. Even whenever my sister called me, he would want to call back to be sure it wasn’t a man that called me. “He was working before and had his own place but he later lost his job and had no place to stay. I secured a mini-flat in Ayetoro and asked him to join me there.

“He used to work in the night as a bouncer in a hotel. The day before he set me on fire, his former boss had summoned him and I thought maybe the man wanted to offer him a job. So, on the morning of that day, Sunday, June 23, I called him to know if he had gone to the man’s place.

As we were speaking on the phone, he told me he was already high. And I asked him why he should spend his money on alcohol when I was hungry at home. “I was angry, so I went to report him to his friend. His friend then called him and talked some sense into him. But when he knew that I was with his friend, he became angry and accused his friend of sleeping with me. He said he would suck my blood for sleeping with his friend.

I was even explaining to him that I couldn’t be sleeping around with my pregnancy but he wasn’t convinced. He began to call me names, that I was a useless woman. He later said it was all right, that he wasn’t angry again.

So, I went back home. “When I got back home, one of my friends told me that Emeka had reported me to her, saying I locked him outside in the rain. So, when I got to our apartment, I begged him and my friend also begged him. He said he was no longer angry but I didn’t know he still had plans to deal with me.

“After a while, he pretended as if he wanted to go to the toilet and while walking past me, he suddenly gave me a terrible slap. Then he began to beat me. In fact, I had never been so thoroughly beaten since I was born.

He had only slapped me on two earlier occasions. That night, I was yelling for help but I guessed people weren’t hearing me outside. I was crying and threatening to pack out of the apartment. “Then he said he would destroy my beauty. But I didn’t believe he would do anything so devilish.

Then he went to the kitchen, brought out the stove and poured the kerosene on me. He lit a match and threw it at me and I was burning. I rushed to the kitchen to get water but he was pushing the buckets of water away. I was yelling and crying.

Then after some time, he began to say to me: ‘My babe, your face is burnt, I’m sorry.’ “I didn’t even know that my face was badly burnt. I initially thought my hands were the only parts affected until much later when I saw my face in the mirror.