By Sampson Oko Nweke, Ebonyi State
A 13-year-old boy master Ifeanyi Umoke from Inikiri in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state is currently battling at the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, FETHA2, to stay alive following first degree burns he sustained after he was thrown into a burning furnace by one Paul Ifere Amah and Paul Nweke, who accused him of stealing rice at the market square.
According to a Human Rights group, HURIDE, this little boy in question has lost his mother while the father is bedridden with chronic mental illness.
Mr Sampson Oko Nweke, the Chairman Ebonyi chapter of HURIDE, the Human Rights Defenders (HURIDE) got a call from Mr George Etamesor of the HRCRC over this grave abuse and evil act meted out on the poor child.
“Because he was caught trying to steal some rice in their village market, he was tied up, thrown into bonfire at a refuse dump in the market and allowed to roast like a goat. The perpetrators, Mr Paul Ifere Amah and Mr Paul Nweke of the same village after committing this evil, saw the critical condition of their victim, yet they abandoned him to groan to death. It took the intervention of sympathisers to rush him to AMURT hospital there in Effium, but due to the severity of the damages, the burnt boy was declined treatment. Efforts were thereafter made to bring him to AE-FETHA2 where he is currently battling between life and death.
When HURIDE interviewed the perpetrators, they said; “Ifeanyi has been in the habit of stealing cassava, yam and others. So, this time, we caught him stealing our rice and we decided to teach him a lesson so that he will not come back to steal our food again”. “It was not our intention to burn his whole body. We only tied him up and after beating him, we tried to roast his toes in the fire, but because he was struggling, he slipped of our hands and fell into the fire and got burnt beyond our expectation”.
So far, the police have been communicated.
HURIDE commended Comrade George Etamesor, (the state Director of HRCRC) and Comrade Abraham C. Egbe (HURIDE finance officer) as well as Comrade (Barr) Sampson N. Ekigbo the head of the legal unit for their efforts to save the life of the boy.
By Sampson Oko Nweke, Ebonyi State chairman, HURIDE.