A 7-year-old boy, Chibuike, who allegedly shot and killed a 12-Year Old in Enugu has been kept in the “Protective Custody” of Enugu Police for over two weeks now.
According to the Enugu Police Commissioner, Emmanuel Ojukwu, he said that the 7-year-old boy, was not detained or put in prison, as claimed by his mother. However, he is being kept in ‘protective custody’ to keep him safe from the family of his victim.
Ojukwu told press;
“The community rallied round to kill the boy so we had to put him in protective custody. We already lost one person owing to that unfortunate incident; we didn’t want to lose another person.
“We also protected the house because the angry residents wanted to set it ablaze. As we speak, policemen are still guarding the compound – we don’t want to lose another life or property. He will be freed in due course.”
The mother of the alleged killer, Nwakaego, worked as a housekeeper for one Edwin Oforma at his residence in Independence Layout, Enugu.
The tragic incident took place when she was in church and Chibuike discovered the gun while cleaning the house. He accidentally fired a shot, killing Oluebube Boniface, who was in the next compound.
His mother narrated:
“On May 29, while I was away at the Adoration Ministry at Emene in Enugu, for the Sunday church service, my boss’ son, Chukwunanu Oforma, a National Youth Service Corps member, asked my son, Chibuike, and Chibuike’s 10-year-old brother, Ifeanyichukwu, to tidy up a room belonging to his father.
“While Ifeanyichukwu swept the room, Chibuike laid the bed. Chibuike found a gun near the bed where he was lying, and he took it to Ifeanyichukwu, who asked him to return it.
“It was while he was returning the gun that he mistakenly pulled the trigger, releasing a bullet which struck Oluebube, who was in the next compound, on the chest. He died on the spot.”
The Police took Chibuike, his siblings, and their mother, Nwakaego into custody after the incident. The mother and her other children were released two days later but Chibuike remained in custody.
Meanwhile, the house owners, Edwin and Chukwukanu have not been seen since the incident as they may have gone into hiding for fear of detention. However, family members of the boy, says that their 7-year-old son has been in police custody since May 30, 2016 over the alleged murder.
A human rights lawyer, Olu Omotayo who works with the Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network has filed a petition to the Inspector-General of Police demanding Chibuike’s release and appropriate punishment for the police officers involved in his incarceration.
“Nowhere in the world will a seven-year-old boy be detained in a police cell for over a month alongside hardened adult criminals,” Omotayo said in the petition.