Detained seven-year-old boy released at last

Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu

A seven-year-old boy, Chibuike Miracle Oramalu, who was detained over alleged murder in Enugu, has been released on Wednesday evening.

Chibuike,  a primary two pupil of a nursery and primary school, has been detained since May 30, after accidentally firing a gun, which killed a 12-year-old boy, Oluebube Boniface.

The incident occurred on May 29, in the Independence Layout area of Enugu.

The gun belonged to Mr. Edwin Oforma, who employed Chibuike’s mother as a cleaner and housekeeper in his house.

Chibuike accidentally fired the shot after discovering the gun in Oforma’s room while making the bed, as he was instructed by Chukwunanu, Oforma’s son.

Chibuike’s mother, Mrs Nwakaego Oramalu, and her lawyer, Mr. Olu Omotayo, of the Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network, had raised the alarm over the little boy’s continued detention.

In a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Omotayo demanded Chibuike’s release, describing the boy’s detention as “a brutal attack on the rights of the child in Nigeria” and “a very dangerous dimension to rights violations by the Nigeria Police”.

Following the development, the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State, Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu, on Tuesday said the boy was not detained.

Rather, according to Ojukwu, Chibuike was in ‘protective custody’.

Although the police chief had said that the boy would be released, his mother, Nwakaego, was not able to take him home on Tuesday.

She was reportedly told that, as a woman, she could not take a ‘suspect’ on bail.

However, the boy has at last been released to his mother on Wednesday evening.

Omotayo, who confirmed the development, however, noted that Chibuike’s mother, Nwakaego, and her children are now homeless, having lost her job as house keeper and cleaner in Oforma’s residence, where she was given accommodation.

He appealed to public spirited Nigerians to come to the aid of the woman, as well as the family of the late Oluebube, who was accidentally killed by Chibuike.

Omotayo explained that Oluebube’s father, Boniface, a tricycle rider, was not able to provide the sum of N60,000 demanded by the police for autopsy on his late son’s corpse, before it could be released for burial.

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