Tragedy struck at Ugwu Ogede in Itchi, Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria on Monday, when the bodies of three lifeless children were discovered in a car at a retired police officer’s home.
The victims identified as Chibugo Eze, Chinenye Eze, and Ebuka Ene, were reported missing after they went to fetch water at a commercial borehole owned and located at the home of the former police officer.
It was gathered that two other children named Kingsley Eze, and Mmasichukwu were equally rescued from the same car.
Upon resuscitation, they claimed that three hooded men abducted them and left them in the car. The hoodlums reportedly returned in the middle of the night to take them away but they couldn’t open the car doors which were faulty, so they abandoned the kids and ran away.
The parents of the children had raised a search team when the five kids who had gone to the borehole at about 8 am on Sunday, November 22, did not return home as usual.
The traditional ruler of the community, HRH, Igwe Ike Oke, who confirmed the incident said that he also mobilised personnel of vigilante and Forest Guard groups who joined in the search of the missing children.
“We were almost frustrated in our search when a community member who went to fetch water heard the voice of a little child calling her name. She traced the voice to a car that had been parked for over six months in the compound where she discovered the children and raised the alarm,”said the monarch.
“We found three of the children already dead by the time we opened the car. I think they suffocated to death because the car doors were stiffed when we tried to open it at first but we engaged an artisan who forced it open. One of the two children rescued said they went to fetch water but didn’t meet anyone at the borehole because the owner and the entire members of the family had gone to church service,”
“He informed us that they were about going home when three hooded men came from a hill beside the scene of the incident and abducted them into the car and left. He said they were all dressed in red cloths. He also said that the hoodlums returned at the middle of the night to take them away but they couldn’t open the car doors because they were stiffed. We are still investigating the incident and the dead victims have been deposited in the mortuary. The owner of the house has been arrested by police,” he explained.
Also confirming the incident, the youth leader of Nkalagu Obukpa community where two of the victims hailed from, Ifeanyi Eze, described the news as shocking.
Eze added that leaders of the community are working toward unraveling the circumstances which led to the mysterious death of the children.