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Rage in Ijegun as three year-old is murdered, dumped in well

Posted by By TONY OGAGA ERHARIEFE on 2006/01/02 | Views: 647 |

Rage in Ijegun as three year-old is murdered, dumped in well

Anger has descended upon Ijegun, a sleepy neighbourhood, located in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, following the brutal murder of a toddler.

Anger has descended upon Ijegun, a sleepy neighbourhood, located in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, following the brutal murder of a toddler.

Three year-old master Chidera Ogeri’s body was found floating in a well at number 12, Folarin Street, Ijegun Lagos, in an uncompleted building on the evening of December 21st, 2005. Almost two days after he mysteriously went missing.

“We went for a naming ceremony but returned around 4pm,” his uncle, Obinna Dick, told Sunday Sun, a look of impotent rage etched on his features. “My nephew, Chidera was in the house playing video games with the kids of our Nigerien neighbour, Issa who is a night guard.”

Mysterious disappearance
As evening approached, National Electric Power Authority, (NEPA) struck, plunging the neighbourhod into darkness. Little did the Ogeri family know that they were about to be plunged into the darkest ordeal of their lives.

By 6:30, the younger star had not returned. His parents got panicky. Chidera wasn’t the kind of a kid that kept late nights. By 7:15pm, he had not returned. A SOS rang through the streets of Ijegun: A three year old Kid, Chidera had disappeared.

Once more as has been the case in times of natural tragedy, Nigerians were united, casting aside tribal sentiments, united in a course: find Master Chidera.

“We were angry. This is a very quiet neighborhood. We weren’t going to stand back and watch Chidera just disappear. We were going to find him,” said Mr. John, a neighbour to the Ogeri’s.
I was shocked. I have children myself so when the news got to me. I was so scared because I am a mother. It could happen to my own kids too.

Within a matter of minutes, a search party was launched.
Mallam Issa and his wife, (Nigerien neighboiurs) were cooperative. The search began from their compound where Chidera’ family had hoped to find him because he had been spotted playing with their kids after the power outage. Eyewitnesses say that with the devotion and care they displayed, it was like Chidera was their own child:

“They stood by us through out the first and second day, even offering us words of advice and consolation. When we searched the compound, nothing was found.”
However, what transpired the next day was a shocker that Obinna has not recovered from.

Deaf mute to the rescue
“In the evening of Monday, December 20, a ‘deaf and dumb’ boy came to us. He could perceive that we were looking for Chidera who happens to be very happy on the street. He used sign language to tell us that he had seen him playing with our neighbour’s kids (Nigerien). He insisted he had seen him with his kids playing together the evening before. He said that when he saw a deep gash on Chidera’ right leg, he was moved and asked the kid to go home and get treated.”

Because of the role he had played, Mallam Isa and his wife were placed above board but some residents innocently insisted that they search his house again.

They tide had changed. Number one sympatiser had become key suspect in an unfolding murder rap.
According to residents, despite initial resistance from his wife, the search party had forced its way into the compound only to find his body floating in the same shallow well which they had ‘dredged’ the day before with a broken bamboo. Now it was sealed with pieces if wood.

“I was mad and I angry. I couldn’t believe that my nephew was dead!” laments Obinna. “What I saw floating in the shallow well was Chidera. What shattered me most was it was Mallam Issa’s well. I wanted to retaliate at once.”

Pandemonium broke loose! The residents were angry and descended on Issa and his family like a pack of angry wolves. Issa mysteriously disappeared.
But for the timely intervention of a man who Sunday Sun could not identify, Isa’s wife and seven kids would have been incinerated.

Meanwhile, the gentleman who had secured their safety immediately called the Agboju Amuwo Police Station who swooped down on the neighbourhood in a timely bid to calm frayed nerves.

However, Isa’s residence was not spared. The angry mob descended on the uncompleted building, setting part of it ablaze and destroying all of he’s property.

Obinna is alleging that Issa is responsible for the brutal murder of Chidera and the subsequent cover-up bid: “This is a case for murder.” Obinna said emphatically. “On the day he went missing, we had dredged that well but nothing came out so he definitely wasn’t in that well. They killed him and dumped his body to conceal their crime. There was a deliberate attempt to hide his body because when we came back the next day, the well which was open the day before was sealed with pieces of wood.”

He is not done. “Chidera had a deep gash in his head and wound and was bleeding through his nose. The case for drowning when he fell into the well does not hold water because his stomach was not distended. This clearly suggests he was murdered and dumped in the well like his killers would want us to believe.”

All attempts to reach his parents, Mr. & Mrs. C. Ogeri proved abortive. However, when Sunday Sun visited Agboju Amuwo Police Station where the case was reported, a source who sought anonymity confirmed that the incidence was reported and stated that the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba Lagos.

“He was my very good friend,” sobbed little Emeka. “We always played together. Now, he is gone forever. I will miss him.”

“We played video games together that evening. We all came down stairs together to play after the NEPA outage. He was a good friend, whom every body loved,” said another friend.


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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown