By Esther Onyegbula
Twelve –year-old Goodluck Ameachi, left his parents abode on 6 Ajanaku street, last Friday,June 7, 2019 in the company of his two friends, to fish in a canal on Isha Ibrahim street, Mebamu community in Okokomaiko area of Ojo Lagos.
The victim and the swamp where the boy went fishing
That turned out to be his greatest undoing , as his mission was not only thwarted but he ended up having his right hand cut off by 61-year-old Jeremiah Obifor, who accused him of stealing fish from his pond.
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But when Crime Guard visited the densely populated community, there was no pond sited at the bungalow of the suspect on 14 Isha Ibrahim street. Rather, a swampy land next to his building where fishes settled whenever it rained, was sighted.
Crime Guard gathered that children in that community usually went to the swamp to catch strayed fish.
Visit to the hospital
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At the moment, Goodluck, has lost his right hand and part of his wrist , as the hand that was cut off was discovered to have been lifeless as at the time he was rushed to the Igando General hospital.
During a visit to the hospital Thursday, it was gathered that he underwent a surgery on the hand , same day.
Initial attempt to speak with him proved abortive as he was writhing in excruciating pain.
His widower father, Mr Ikechukwu Amaechi , sat by the side of the bed , battling to control his emotion.
He disclosed that his ailing son had been running temperature since the previous night , having cried all through, after the surgery.
He said he wished the pains could be transferred to him, to enable his son have some sleep.
The father of four who described the incident as another tragedy that had befallen his family, said he had gone out to look for his family’s daily bread only to receive a call that changed the course of the day for him.
He said: “ I received a distress call from one of my in laws that my first son was sick. Immediately, I rushed to the house to meet people gathered, wearing sad looks. I didn’t see any of my children. I went straight into my one room apartment, only to be informed that a man on the next street had cut off my son’s hand and that my son had been admitted at Igando general hospital”.
He stopped at this point to catch his breath . After exhaling, the 47-year-old man continued, “ see how Jeremiah Obifor, an elderly man who has children, has made my son handicap. For four days my son has not been able to sleep because of the pains.
Since I lost my wife about four years ago, I have been struggling to provide for my kids, with the little salary I earn”.
I did not steal
At this point, Goodluck beckoned on his father. By the time he came closer, he told him not cry again. Looking at this reporter, he said, “ I did not steal anything from the man” , with tears rolling down his cheeks.
Narrating how it happened, he said, “ He doesn’t even have a pond. What actually happened was that my friends and I were playing within the community when we decided to fish in the canal beside the man’s fence. I placed my right hand on the wall and was pointing at a fish for my friend to catch, when some hard object landed on my hand. As I turned round , I discovered that my hand had been cut off by his cutlass. Blood started gushing out. Immediately, he took the fallen wrist and ran away. I began to scream for help.
“As I was shouting, people gathered but they were scared to help because of the blood that was gushing out of my hand. Rather than help me, they were using their phones to video the incident, until a man who was riding bike came and used a hand towel to wrap my hand. One of our neighbours, mummy Esther, took me to the hospital”…
He stopped at this point, holding his hand as he began to cry. Later , he muttered , “ I am in pains”.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Elkana Bala, who confirmed the incident, said that the suspect had been arrested. As at Thursday, he was said to have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Yaba , from where he would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigation.
Meanwhile, Crime Guard gathered that there were attempts to sweep the case under the carpet before it was transferred to the SCIID. This , followed attempt by the suspect to instigate some policemen into compelling the victim’s father to accept N150,000 and thereby, drop the case. But the victim’s father rejected the amount.