Couple arrested for torturing 12-year-old boy with hot pressing iron in Kogi

A couple, Alatile and Omowumi Olamilekan, have been arrested for allegedly torturing a 12-year-old boy, Gbenga Oreniwon with hot pressing iron in Kogi.

The couple’s arrest was ordered by the Chairman, Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State, Pius Kolawole, after using hot pressing iron to inflict severe burns on the boy.

According to Toba Abraham, the Senior Special Assistant to the Chairman, Kolawole gotto know about the incident through a Facebook post and immediately ordered the security team of the council to find the couple and hand them over to the appropriate authorities.

A Facebook user, Fikayomi Aaron had on Saturday, March 10, 2021, posted photos of how Oreniwon sustained serious injuries inflicted on him by the couple, who were suspected to be his guardians.

Kolawole described the action of the couple as evil, saying it was wickedness against humanity.

He vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Graphic image of the injured boy.

Below is Fikayomi’s post on Facebook:

I Need Your Help, Please!

So, this boy normally comes around to sell locust beans in my neighborhood every day. Including Sundays. He is well known for his mixed Yagba East and Yagba West dialect. It’s always a funny moment with him around and he has been hawking for some years now.

Sometimes in March, we didn’t see this boy around. We hoped he was sick and would soon recover. Then a week later, and two, we didn’t hear from him and rumors circulated in town that whoever he was living with pressed a hot knife to his back. Well, we saw it as mere rumors and refused to believe that.

Few days after the rumor, we saw this boy hawking his locust beans as usual and this time, he didn’t stop by. We called him, but he was nervous, in pain, scared and had lost much weight. I looked into his eyes from the window of our living room and I told my sister “something isn’t right with this boy. I know that look in his eyes and that nervousness, I understand it.” We watched him as he walked hurriedly in so much distress as he crossed the street.

His eyes haunted me all night. I felt I heard him screaming for help and he brought back memories of me being stepped on, thrown against the wall, episodes of epistaxis, bones broken and body perpetually in pain, yet no one could see through it until…Story for another day.

There was no way to confirm the rumors until a day we were able to confirm it with the pictures inserted in this post.

Some days later he was asked about his whereabouts and what happened to him. He said he was sick and he narrated that, “I was removing a pot of water from the fire and the water poured on my back…” He answered in his mixed dialect.

I felt his story doesn’t even add up. “Hot water from the fire, poured on your back? Like this?…” I feel there is more to the story and the boy was nervous. With what we heard and what you see in the pictures, the rumors would be almost true.

I sat with the pictures and a well of anger rose within me. Why people are so wicked and try to cover up with the lie that ‘they are training and disciplining a child’ will forever be a wonder to me. I had my own fair share too and it is not going on well, but for grace that saved me. Why use the rod to kill the child? And in most cases, not even “rod” but the craziest things you can never imagine to be used on a child.

With the heaviness in my heart of not knowing how to save this boy from his caregiver or aunt, I started searching for a human rights activist and child domestic violence forum in Kogi State, but I didn’t know how or where to search. I know they are many and we have quite a number of them, but I didn’t know how to locate them or find their contact. I was worried and scared that this child might die or become handicapped if left with his aunt (like we heard) for a long time.

I reached out to two good friends and we couldn’t do much from a distance. We wanted someone that no one knows and no one would be able to point fingers at in the community, but it was quite difficult to work around this idea. For the first time in a long while, I cursed disability from the depth of my being. I was angry that I couldn’t move around and it aroused double pain in me.

We were trying to see what we could do, but then I heard some elders in the community heard about this boy’s case and took it up. I wasn’t really pleased with the News. I didn’t want the elders to take it up, I have experienced this and… We will tell the story. I really wanted something different. I wanted justice for this boy. I want him to be adopted by someone or an organization, tushed up, taken care of, led to Christ, sent to school and go through psychological counselling. I wanted something real and true, so I wasn’t really excited about the development and eventually, we heard the boy has been missing for days. And life happened to me, I couldn’t ask around or follow up with the rumors surrounding this.

Did his caregiver return him to his family, is he dead, could she be hiding him somewhere hoping the wound would heal quickly and then the elders will settle the issue amicably, sweep it under the carpet, everyone would hug and smile like nothing really happened and just leave the boy to grow up either with his family with a childhood trauma on his heart like badge or back to the woman and continue to suffer silently while hawking around town with a primitive attitude and accent?

So many questions. So many.

If you have read to this point, thank you and well done. I don’t know the whereabouts of this boy, but each time I open my gallery and see these pictures, I hear him screaming, “please save me!”

I wish someone heard mine too and came to my rescue… But all praise to God.
Do you know someone that knows someone that can take this up and most importantly, find this boy from that woman and give him a better life?

What do you advise to be done or can be done?
How can we take this up from the “elders” and give this boy justice?
Feel free to share and also drop your response or mention names that can effectively help out with this.

Thank you.


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