Rage in Port Harcourt as man kills 7-year-old son over N1,000
From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
It is one of those strange-but-true stories. An incredible, distressing story of a heartless father, who starved, brutalised and finally killed his seven-year-old son for allegedly stealing his N1,000.
In the early hours of Saturday, May 20, 2017, residents of Amadi-Ama community in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area woke to behold the gory corpse of a little boy identified as George Tamunoibuemie, who, until his untimely death, was a Primary 2 pupil. Upon investigation, it was discovered that his father, Richard Tamunoibuemie, a.k.a. Oyibo, was the perpetrator of the heinous act. The little boy until his death lived with his father and stepmother.
Findings from Saturday Sun investigation indicated the boy’s mother left Oyibo because of a series of domestic violence in which she was reportedly turned into a punching bag. After she left, Oyibo married another woman from Akwa Ibom State. The woman bore him a son and is currently pregnant. The absence of his mother put young George in great jeopardy as he was starved and maltreated by his father and stepmother on a daily basis. Neighbours claimed the young victim fended for himself. That explains why he was sometimes caught stealing food.
Murdered at midnight
According to reports, after Oyibo allegedly killed the boy around midnight, he called a carpenter to construct a little coffin for him. He allegedly told the carpenter his son was deceased and he wished to bury him quickly in the night. Residents claimed his desperation for the coffin aroused the carpenter’s suspicion whose alarm attracted neighbours. Policemen from the Amadi-Ama station arrived shortly in the nick of time to arrest the suspect, saving him from being lynched by an angry mob. His wife, according to sources, escaped the wrath of the crowd by hiding inside a church where she was later arrested.
A concerned resident of the community, Martha (surname withheld) narrated this heart-wrenching story about the poor boy, George: “There was a day his hands were burnt in fire by his stepmother because he stole meat from the family’s pot of soup. I met the little boy on Tuesday at a place where he stole doughnuts. The people he stole from understood he was driven by hunger, so they gave him more. From there, I took him to my house. He told me how he has been suffering. After I gave him biscuits and a pencil, I took his picture. I promised to see his father within the week. I hoped to find a way to intervene. Therefore, I was shocked to hear on Saturday that his father had butchered him, claiming he stole N1, 000.”
She added: “Because of their maltreatment of the boy, many residents of the area are not on speaking terms with the couple. If you advise him (his father), he will quarrel with you and warn you not to interfere in his family matters.”
Another resident, Glory Samuel, observed that the man’s wife did not help the situation “as she takes care of her own son very well but treated the poor boy like a slave.”
Samuel painted a nauseating picture of a stepmother who made a seven-year-old work like an adult, and frequently subjected him to physical abuse for works not well done.
“Merely looking at the boy, you could see he was really suffering. He was a very sharp and intelligent boy. The day I spoke with him, I knew he was clever. When he was leaving, he told me he did not have pencil, and I gave him one.”
Another neighbour, Michael, recalled how elders in the neighbourhood had tabled Oyibo’s issues in their meetings a couple of times. On each occasion, he reportedly rebuffed them, warning them to not meddle in his family’s affairs.
A neighbour, who claimed she once gave poor George bread to eat when he was starving, said she incurred his father’s wrath. He poured insults on her and warned her severely not to give him any food again.
Mama Princess was one of those who told Saturday Sun she was not on talking terms with the man. She explained why: “There was a day he was dragging the boy on the road and I cautioned him against such a harsh treatment. He told me to mind my own business and to not interfere in his family affairs again.”
According to reports, Oyibo used to work with a multinational oil company in Rivers State, but was sacked after he allegedly tested positive to hard drugs.
He is currently in detention.