This particular unpleasant incident happened in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. This three months-old baby boy named, Etimbuk, had his right hand cut off (amputated) by his step brother right after a fight with the new born’s mother.
The step brother, Mr. Nathaniel John, 30, was brutally murdered by the youths of the community following the atrocity.
Read the detail news below
Enobong Sunday John had celebrated the birth of her new baby, Etimbuk John with her friends and neighbours. Etimbuk, a boy, was the second child of the family. But barely three weeks later, her happiness turned sour as Etimbuk’s right hand was cut a little above the shoulder by her stepson, Nathaniel John.
Enobong, Sunday Tribune gathered, is married to an aged man, Mr. Sunday John, whom she has to cater for in all respects, yet giving birth to children almost on a yearly basis, even as she barely feeds the family with the proceeds from firewood sales. So, the latest predicament is an agony and added punishment for the young woman.
While narrating her ordeals from the hospital bed at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) along Abak Road Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, the young woman in her 30s stated that on September 27, after bathing the baby, she had laid him in her bedroom to sleep while she got busy tidying things at the back of the house.
Based on the baby’s mom, she was attracted by the unusual scream of her three week-old baby and when she rushed into the room she saw the baby in the pool of his own blood.
When she observed well, she saw his right hand lying separately from the rest of the body.
“When I rushed into the room, I saw so much blood and I was confused. When I carried him up, I noticed that the right hand was not there, then I later found the severed part on the bed,” she narrated in vernacular.
Speaking further, she said it was another little son of hers that drew her attention to the fact that it was her stepson, Nathaniel John, who severed her baby’s right hand.
Enobong, who lives in a village called Uruk Otong in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, told Sunday Tribune that she and the baby were first rushed to a health centre in the area, from where the case was transferred to UUTH.
On getting to UUTH, Enobong said that the doctor who examined the baby and the hand said that the severed part was dead and could no longer be joined to the body, adding that it had become black and stiff and was disposed in the hospital.
“I came to the hospital with the severed hand but the doctor told me it was dead and could not be rejoined to the remaining part of the body. I believe they must have thrown it away because it was black and stiff by the time I got to the hospital,” she stated.
The perpetrator of the evil act, Mr. Nathaniel John, according to the mother of two, was a man of about 30 years old, who had lived all his life in Calabar and only returned to the village not long ago.
She maintained that her stepson was sometimes behaving as if he had gone insane. “Children were afraid of him, because he used to pursue them all over the place, hurting them at the slightest provocation, until that fateful day that he cut my son’s right hand,” Enobong said.
Enobong said the stepson was killed by the youths of their community after committing the atrocity. “I learnt that he was caught by the village youths while trying to run away and was killed. The people who visited me told me that he is no more,” she stated further.
When Sunday Tribune visited the UUTH where the child was receiving treatment, the baby, who seemed to be oblivious of the fact that something had gone wrong with him was crying profusely. A white bandage was wrapped round the severed part and the left shoulder, while the mother was breastfeeding him almost continuously to stop him from crying.
On the hospital bill, Enobong said her aged husband, Mr. Sunday John, is jobless and had not visited the hospital since the incident, while the proceeds from firewood selling could only cater for feeding of the family.
She said it was the coordinator of Uyai Iban on line, Mrs Favour Obono that had been helping her with clothing materials and money for their upkeep in the hospital, even as she had been relating with the hospital authorities on her behalf.
Mrs Favour Obono, who happened to visit the victim when this reporter visited the hospital, confirmed that she was informed by someone in the hospital who pleaded with her as a philanthropist to take over the case.
She said that since she stepped in, she had been assisting the poor woman and the child. She said that she had posted the case on the internet, adding that initially, she had so much opposition and threat, but there had been some positive responses too, with the hope that Akwa Ibom State government would take over the case.
As at Thursday morning, according to Favour Obono, Etimbuk was taken to the theatre for an operation on the amputated right hand and she was unable to raise the required N100,000 for the said operation.
“I was asked to come with N100, 000 because some drugs would be needed during the operation. I have not been able to raise that amount but I had put down what I had this morning, I am still looking for ways to raise the balance. I am sure the child will survive,” Favour stated.
She, however, admitted that some individuals within and outside the state were willing to offer some help but none had reached her as at the time of filing this report.
Also, the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital, Dr. Emem Bassey, who insisted that this correspondent must submit a written application before talking to the victim’s mother, confirmed that the state government had indicated interest in the case as he had received a call from the state government to that effect.
“I have not even seen that child, I knew nothing about the case until this morning when I recieved a call from the Government House. I know that the government is interested in the child’s case.” Bassey stated
Etimbuk who had become an object of pity to all other parents in the ward, according to nurses, is beginning to cope with his present predicament.
Though without a right arm, there is every assurance that little Etimbuk John would leave the hospital soon.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Onyeka Orji, who reacted to the case said it was a serious criminal offence, stating that the police was still investigating the matter.
He said that the command was not aware of the fact that the culprit, Nathaniel John, was killed by the youths of the community.
“As I told you, investigation into the matter is still on and we will make our findings public when we are through. I am not aware of the killing of the culprit, that may be a new development,” the PPRO stated.
This is brutality of the highest order. God have mercy