14 Nov 2015

KINGSLEY IGWE

Boy Suffers Ruptured Intestines After Father’s Brutality (pictured)



While children’s birthdays are supposed to be filled with fun, happiness and love from their parents, for 13-year-old Somtochukwu Ajebughobi, November 2, 2015, his birthday, was the day his father nearly killed him.

That day, Somtochukwu was rushed to the Reginal Mundi Catholic Hospital, Mushin Lagos, where doctors gave a frightening diagnosis. He had sustained an injury that ruptured his intestine.

This internal injury along with old scars and fresh injuries on the boy’s body reportedly raised the suspicion of the doctor, who attended to the boy.

Saturday PUNCH learnt when the boy was asked how he sustained the injury, he said he got the injury from school, an answer, which would turn out to be what his parents had coached him to say.
The doctor, who said he instantly suspected it was a case of child abuse, referred the child for further tests apart from the initial scan, which had shown the internal injuries.

But the parents allegedly came back to the hospital without carrying out the second test. When the angry doctor insisted they had to present a police report if they refused to say the truth about what happened to the boy, they opened up.

Somtochukwu’s mother, Priscilla, then told the doctor that the boy was kicked in the stomach when her husband, Sunny, was beating him brutally.
The boy was later referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, for further treatment.

A referral letter signed by one Dr. Okojie, indicated the boy suffered “generalised body pains with abdominal swelling and hyperaemia” following the beating.
The letter stated further that an assessment of domestic abuse was made, and that an abdominal ultrasound revealed “free peritoneal fluid ascites, ruptured viscus.”

In agony, Somtochukwu explained on his hospital bed that his father descended on him simply because, he decided to visit his aunt, whom his father had warned him and his older siblings never to visit.

He said, “My mummy’s sister said she would buy a new pair of slippers for me and I went there to collect it on my birthday. My daddy never wants us to see her even though she has been taking care of us since we were small.

“When my daddy saw me with the slippers and knew she bought the slippers for me, he started beating me. He locked me up in a room and beat me. He kicked me in the stomach many times before he left me there.”

Priscilla told our correspondent that she was away in church when the beating took place, so she was not in a position to stop it.
When asked about the different scars on the body of her son, she attested to the fact that her husband had in the past beaten the boy brutally.

Priscilla has five children, of whom Somtochukwu is the youngest.

“I am not trying to cover up for my husband. I would accept even if he has to be locked up for some days and made to sign an undertaking not to beat the children anymore,” she said.

When Sunny was contacted, he sounded remorseful as he explained he did not expect the result of the beating would be that severe.

He said, “I did not expect he would be injured that much. What happened was a big mistake on my part. I blame myself for whatever has happened. He is very troublesome but I know nobody wants to hear that now.

“He wanted to jump out of the window and with annoyance, I drew him back. I think my leg must have kicked him in the process.
We rushed him immediately to the hospital.”
The boy’s case was so severe that officials of the hospital had to inform activists from the Esther Child Rights Foundation about the plight of the child.

Director of the foundation, Mrs. Esther Ogwu, said the boy could have died simply because his mother was covering up for his father despite past brutal beatings.

The case has yet to be reported to the police but Ogwu said her foundation was taking up the case with the National Human Rights Commission.

“Parents should not pretend they do not know they cannot just treat their children like animals. The protection of children against abuse and domestic torture is important.

“In this case, we want to ensure that this child is protected. The commission would determine the next line of action but the welfare of the child is very important at this point,” Ogwu said.



PUNCH

KINGSLEY IGWE

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