There is shock and outrage as the police in Enugu State it arraigned a 7-year-old boy, Chibuike Oramalu before a magistrate court for murder.
Just about three weeks back we reported that Chibuike, a primary two pupil of a nursery and primary school was detained for nearly one month for accidentally firing a gun, which killed a 12-year-old boy, Oluebube Boniface. However, following public outcry, the police said he was in “protective custody.”
The commissioner of police in Enugu State, Emmanuel Ojukwu had told journalists that the minor would not be charged because the law forbade that.
However, the matter took a dramatic twist on Friday as Chibuike was docked for murder.
A civil society group, Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN), which has been at the fore-front of struggle for Chibuike’s freedom expressed shock over the latest development.
It has, therefore, in a petition, asked the Police Service Commission to bring to book all those involved in the saga.
In a statement made available to DAILY POST by the group’s President, Mr. Olu Omotayo, he described the arraignment of the minor as “most shocking.”
His petition read in part:
“We started the massive campaign for the release of Chibuike Oramalu on Saturday the 9th day of July 2016. The 6 year old was taken into custody at the State Criminal and Investigation Department (State CID), Police Headquarters, Enugu, on the 30th May 2016 and was finally released on the 13th July 2016.
“During the unlawful 6 weeks sojourn of Chibuike Oramalu, in Police cell at the State CID, Enugu, the Police Commissioner had maintained that Chibuike was in ‘protective custody.’
“The case took another dimension this morning when the Police called Mrs. Oramalu that she should bring Chibuike to the Police Headquarters. Mrs. Oramalu went there with Chibuiike and Police proceeded to Magistrates’ Court with Chibuike and Edwin Oforma, the owner of the said gun who had earlier reported to the Police.
“At the Magistrates’ Court, Police filed a Charge of Conspiracy and murder against Chibuike and Edwin Oforma. Oforma was also charged with unlawful possession of a Zebra English made double barrel gun.
“Chibuikes’ mother informed us as they were being taken court and we promptly made appearance in court on behalf of the 6 year old boy Chibuike Oramalu.
“The Learned Magistrates’ His Worship Hillary Asogwa, after listening to our submission agreed that the 6 year old boy is incapable of committing crime and as such he could not be remanded in prison custody."
“The learned Magistrate, therefore, released Chibuike Oramalu on bond to the mother but went ahead to remand Mr. Edwin Oforma in prison for murder and unlawful possession of double barrel gun. We attached herewith the said Charge Sheet.Olutayo maintained:
“that the arraignment of the 6-year-old Chibuike today for murder by the Police is a mockery and abuse of administration of justice in this country.
“The question is why are the officers handling this matter bent on sending the 6 year old to prison either by whatever crook means. The Police Service Commission has to live up to his responsibility and save the Nigeria Police and the country in general from this type of embarrassment."
Chibuike accidentally fired the shot after discovering the gun in Oforma’s room while making the bed, as he was instructed by Chukwunanu, Oforma’s son.