A combination of shock and disbelief, like a low, dark cloud, has enveloped the neighbourhood where 34-year-old Solomon (surname withheld) lives in the Tasha Gwagwa area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, with his family.
Almost in the same measure, a gentle wind of sympathy continues to blow around the family as it bears its grief over the unintentional killing of their 11-year-old son, by Solomon, in a bid to correct him for a major error.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wilson Inalegwu who confirmed the unfortunate incident to Sunday Sun described it as pathetic and a very troubling demonstration of the decay that has crept into the Nigerian society, and which calls for parents to keep close tabs on the kind of visual materials their children are exposed to at home through movies
At the State Criminal Investigation Department of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, where he is being held, Solomon has been bemoaning his action and cursing the evil spirit that led his late son into the grievous error of committing incest with his eight-year-old sister (name withheld).
As he recounted to Sunday Sun reporter in Abuja, Solomon said that he came home one day in April 2016 and saw his young son engaged in sexual act with his younger sister right in his bedroom.
“Victor was my son, an 11-year-old boy. I had been receiving bad reports about him. The height of it was that he started sleeping with his sister, who is eight-years-old. I had been receiving several reports about the ugly incident. Around 4.00 pm, I came back from work and met Victor sleeping with his sister in my bedroom. The stepmother was not at home,” Solomon said.
Overcome by anger, he rushed out again, picked up a stick and beat him severely. But then the devil took over, twisted the situation to the point that the little boy went into convulsion and then lost consciousness the next day. Benevolent neighbours of the family rushed him to Gwarinpa General Hospital, where he died soon after he got to the hospital.
The father, who earlier in the day had gone out was summoned to the hospital by phone. When he got to the hospital and introduced himself, the doctor informed him that his son had died.
The doctor detained him on pretext and promptly called the Gwarinpa police station, which sent policemen and Solomon was arrested.
According to Inalegwu, the doctor told the police that the boy died as a result of internal injuries he sustained in the course of being beaten by his father.
Visibly weighed down by the sad outcome of the seeming punishment he administered on the late boy, the bereaved father who hails from Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, said: “ I wept when the doctor told me that my son had died. I didn’t have the intention to kill my son. I was trying to correct him because of the immoral act he committed. How can I beat my son to death? I couldn’t believe what I saw. I only acted in anger; I never wanted to kill my son.”
When Sunday Sun visited Tasha Gwagwa community, a neighbour of the bereaved father, Ali Ahmed told Sunday Sun reporter: “We heard when the father was beating the child. He beat him to correct him for what he did. The son was very stubborn. The father never had intention to kill his son.
He spoke further: “What the doctor did that night in the hospital was bad. How could he call the police to arrest the father of the dead boy? We were expecting the doctor to tell the father how to carry the corpse of his son. It is a lesson to every parent.” Another neighbour, John Gabriel, however, had a contrary view: “What the doctor did was right. The doctor thought that the father would run away upon hearing that his child had died. The parents of the boy are good people. It was me that even called the father on the phone to meet us at the hospital.”
Meanwhile the FCT Commissioner of Police has said the matter would be charged to court.