A ten-year-old boy, one Ifeanyi Umoke, a native of Inikiri Benard village in Effium community, Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State has been thrown into fire for allegedly stealing a small measure of uncooked rice at the market.
Ifeanyi miraculously survived the roasting, but with severe burns.
It was gathered that the victim lost his mother and is currently living with his father, who is bedridden with a chronic mental illness.
MediaNG gathered that Ifeanyi’s relations were not forthcoming to assist him and he has since been living in hunger, together with his bedridden father.
It was gathered that the victim’s hands and legs were tied up by two men, Paul Amah and Paul Nweke of the same village, thrown into a burning fire in a refuse dump at the market and abandoned him to groan to death.
Speaking with journalists in Abakaliki, the Chairman human right defender, Mr Samson Nweke said “we got a call from one George Etamesor of the HRCRC over this grave abuse on this poor child.
“This little boy is 10yrs old. According to our feeders, his mother is no more and the father is bedridden with a chronic mental illness.
“Because he was caught trying to steal some rice in their village market, he was tied up and thrown into burning fire in a refuse dump in the market” he said.
MediaNG learnt that it took the intervention of sympathizers who brought the victim out of the fire and rushed him to AMURT hospital there in Effium, but due to the severity of the damages, he was rejected.
However, Ifeanyi was later brought to Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching hospital Abakaliki, AE-FETHA2 through the efforts of sympathizers, but according to reports, he is currently battling between life and death.
When contacted, the perpetrators, Paul Amah and Paul Nweke said “Ifeanyi has been in the habit of stealing cassava, yam and others.
“So, this time, we caught him stealing rice, we decided to teach him a lesson so that he will not come back to steal 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 fell into the fire and got burnt beyond our expectation,” they stated.
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State police command is yet to react to the incident as of the time of filling this report.