How The Benue Man Who Set Himself And His Lover Ablaze Hinted Co-Workers About The Action

The PUNCH takes up the tragic story of a married man who set his lover on fire in Benue State.


John Charles writes about the painful death of a young woman, Shininenge Pam, set on fire by her jealous lover. Nicodemus Nomyange, who set her on fire, was also burned in the process after she reportedly rejected his marriage proposal, in Makurdi, Benue state.

The last few days have drawn unprecedented attention to Inikpi Street in High Level, Makurdi, the capital of Benue state. News of how a jealous lover named Nicodemus Nomyange set himself and his lover on fire in an apartment he had secured for the lady had spread across the country and drawn media attention to the area.

Nomyange, who was married in his 40s, was said to have done so because his lover, Ms. Shininenge Pam, had rejected his marriage proposal after he sent his wife and two children because of her.

The house is an old structure painted yellow, but it’s faded to reveal gray stains and accumulated dirt, suggesting that it has seen better days. It is in the Brazilian style (Face me-I face you, also called civil barracks) with about 15 rooms. A nasty wave of stench welcomed visitors to the extension of the building from the only route leading to the apartment of the late Pam, who was said to be in her 30s. She and her lover, Nicodemus, died in a fire last Saturday.

Lovebirds, according to neighbors, were often seen together as a happy couple.

“They were always together; her workplace was a stone’s throw from her lover’s workplace. Once Pam closed for working at Lobi Hospital (where she worked), she would go to the Millennium Guest House where Nicodemus worked as a manager, ”said one of Pam’s neighbors.

But recently, signs of problems began to appear in their relationship when Nicodemus proposed to Pam and she rejected his proposal. Pam was said to have rejected his proposal because he was married with two children, who lived in his village in the State Logo Local Government Area.

How Nicodemus sent his wife and children to pack Pam

According to Teryima Achaku, who works as a security guard at the Millennium Guest House, where Nicodemus was a manager, his boss’s deadly action was ‘unexpected’.

She said: “He was my boss here and we were together all Friday night until that Saturday when he and Pam were set on fire. We didn’t know that he was planning to end his life.

“We both slept in the hotel until Saturday and when I woke up, I told him that I was going home and that I would resume work at noon and he said that he would stay until I returned.

“When I returned around noon, he asked us (three colleagues, including Achaku) if we remember an incident on Vandeikiya Street in Makurdi here a few years ago where a woman killed her children, her husband and herself. And we all said we remember it. Then he went to the generator room, grabbed a 10-liter barrel that we normally use to buy gasoline, and left.

“It was after the incident that it occurred to me that he had transmitted some message. Another strange thing I remember is that less than a month ago, he and I attended a funeral in his town. Arriving there, he took his wife and two children away from their father’s house before returning to Makurdi. “

Corroborating Achaku’s story, Pam’s neighbor, who identified herself as Sunny Pawa, said: “Before the incident, we learned that the man went to his village during his father’s burial and took his wife and children.

“The two lovers had had misunderstandings lately; It could have to do with his proposal that was rejected by Pam. The lady told her that she could not marry a married man. The subject was known by some leaders of this area and they intervened and urged the man to accept the position of the lady.

“It was after the intervention that he went to his village and took his wife and children. I think he did that to show the lady that he was serious about marrying her. But the lady insisted that she could not marry a family man and even showed him the photo of the man she wanted to marry ”.

The last moments of lovers

According to Nicodemus’ nephew, who only identified himself as Kelvin, he was with his uncle a couple of hours before his death.

“He called me and said that I should go and be with him. He gave me clothes to wash him. It’s true that my uncle had a wife and two children in town, ”he said.

When asked if he knew his late uncle was dating Pam, Kelvin confirmed it, saying the couple was always together and had been dating for a long time.

“Even the day they died, the lady came here after leaving her workplace. They chatted as usual and she left. He behaved normally and showed no sign that he was going to do something like that later. But I remember that he took a key to the generator house, gave me one of his mobile phones and told me the password to access.

“Afterwards, we went home and ate together. Then he said he would go out and come back later. He left with a barrel, ”added Kelvin.

At Pam’s workplace, Lobi Hospital, one of her co-workers, Nancy Orave, described her as a very charming person who was loved by many people.

“She is a good person; she worked as a nurse here. She worked the day shift the day she was killed, so she left the hospital around 1:30 pm,” he said.

Orave’s mood, however, suddenly changed the moment he was asked about Nicodemus, suggesting a strong dislike for the man who caused the death of his colleague.

The painful end

Neighbors who were present at the time of the tragic incident painted a bloody picture, which they said would not leave them for many years.

For example, Pawa said that he had just returned from work and was planning to cook a sumptuous meal for himself, only to be greeted by a loud noise in Pam’s room. She was calling him and another neighbor (Andy) to rescue her.

He said: “It happened around 5 pm on Saturday. I had just returned from work and only saw one neighbor, Andy, in the complex. My neighbor said he saw when Nicodemus came in with fuel.

“But we don’t suspect anything since the man was a regular visitor here. They were in a relationship and he often spent time with the lady. But when Saturday came, Pam wasn’t there. She worked in a private hospital while the man worked in a boarding house around here.

“We later learned that he had asked her to go home and prepare food for him. Then the lady came home and started cooking yams. Then he decided to go buy okra to prepare the soup. It was during this period that man entered. He called Pam on the phone to find out where she was and asked her to come back.

“Pam didn’t get the okra, so she asked a neighbor to help her get it so she could go home. When he entered his room, there was no sign of an argument between them, but I heard later that the lady called our neighbor who was nearby and said, ‘Andy, come, come, come.’

“It was when his voice got louder that we both ran to his room, but the burglary test at the entrance prevented us from accessing his room. It was while we were trying to force open the burglary evidence that the man struck matches and we heard an explosion. The impact knocked down Andy, who was in front of me. He threw it a few meters away and was hit against the well of the compound.

“So we couldn’t do anything else to access his room. Fortunately, Andy has a brother who works with the state fire service. He called him and the fire department arrived. But before they arrived, the girl kept screaming for help until it was too late.

“The fire service could only prevent the building and those who were getting up from catching fire. The fire only affected Pam’s room and the one next to it. But can you believe that the man didn’t scream at all during the entire incident? He was silent until the firefighters were able to put out the fire and evacuate them.

Fourteen-year-old Agabi Agatha, who was staying in the room next to Pam’s, considered herself lucky to have escaped the fire incident.

According to her, that fateful day she decided to wait for her sister to arrive at another venue.

Agatha further said that a few days before the incident, she had a dream in which the house was destroyed by fire, starting from Pam’s room.

She said: “I came to Makurdi two weeks ago. On Saturday I decided to stay with a woman when my sister went to the market.

“It was when I went back to the compound to check if my sister had returned that I saw our neighbor, Uncle Andy, running around in a car. I saw smoke coming out of our complex and quickly ran inside to see if it was our room that was burning so I could prevent some items from burning. I saw that it did not start from our room, but had spread there. The uncle threw me out and warned me not to enter the room. There I was pouring water to put out the fire before the firefighters arrived. A few days ago, I dreamed that fire engulfed this house, starting from Sister Pam’s room.