Two men, Paul Ifere Amah and Paul Nweke, have been arrested for throwing a 13-year-old boy, Ifeanyi Umoke, into fire at a dump site for allegedly stealing rice in a village market.
This was revealed by the Chairman of the Ebonyi State Chapter of the Human Rights Defenders, Sampson Oko Nweke, in a statement on Saturday.
Nweke said Umoke, from Inikiri Benard village in Effium community, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, is motherless, with his father bedridden with a chronic mental illness.
He said the punishment meted out to the boy was reported to HURIDE by George Etamesor of the HRCRC.
He was said to have been caught trying to steal some rice in their village market.
He was tied up, thrown into a burning fire in a refuse dump in the market and “allowed to roast like a goat”.
Amah and Nweke, said to be 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 roasted 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 off our hands and fell into the fire and got burnt beyond our expectation.
“So far, the police have duly been communicated.
“Special appreciation to Comrade George Etamesor, (the state Director of HRCRC).
“Same goes to Comrade Abraham C. Egbe (HURIDE finance officer) and Comrade (Barr) Sampson N. Ekigbo (HURIDE legal Head).