Obioma Odum, a 13-year-old boy, has died after his mother, Chinyere Odum, allegedly poured kerosene on him and set him ablaze, after she accused him of stealing her phone’s memory card, The Punch reports. It was gathered that the incident was said to have occurred at Umuloghe Agbolughe, in Amuzukwu, Umuahia, Abia state. Chinyere, together with her friend, initially tied the 13-year-old with a rope and gave him many strokes of the cane.
An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity said the two women later dragged the boy into the kitchen and set him ablaze in order to make him to confess. The witness added that the youths of the community forced the kitchen door open when they saw smoke coming out of the kitchen and found the boy on fire. “The youths brought out the boy from the kitchen after putting out the fire. But when they rushed him to a hospital in the area, he had sustained up to 54 per cent burns. “He was subsequently referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, which also referred him to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. He died at the FMC this morning (Tuesday) before he could be moved,” the witness said.
Obioma Odum, the father of the deceased, said, “I was not at home when the incident happened. “I was at my place of work when my elder brother called me that my wife and her friend poured kerosene on my son and set him on fire. By the time I got home, some youths had rescued and rushed him to the police clinic in Umuahia. “We were later referred to the FMC, Umuahia. They asked us to come the next day and take the boy to UNTH, Enugu. But he died before we could move him. “I have been at peace with my wife until she was taken to a place where she turned into something else. There was a time she broke my head with a cutlass for asking her to severe a relationship with one boy.”
By Mercy Kukah