A seven-year-old boy, Chibuike Miracle Oramalu, has been arraigned before a magistrate’s court in Enugu over alleged murder.
On May 29, in the Independence Layout area of Enugu state, Chibuike, a primary two pupil, accidentally fired a gun, which killed a 12-year-old boy, Oluebube Boniface.
The gun belonging to Mr. Edwin Oforma, an employer of Chibuike’s mother, where she worked as a cleaner and housekeeper, was accidentally fired by Chibuike as he was instructed by Oforma’s son, Chukwunanu, after discovering the gun in Oforma’s room while making the bed.
Chibuike’s mother, Nwakaego, narrates how her son got involved in the alleged murder, disclosing that on the fateful day, while she was away, the son of her employer, Chukwunanu, a National Youth Service Corps member, asked Chibuike and his 10-year-old elder brother, Ifeanyichukwu, to clean and tidy up his father’s room. The two children proceeded to carry out the assignment – Ifeanyichukwu swept the room while Chibuike laid the bed. In the course of the assignment, Chibuike saw a gun near the bed and took it to his brother, Ifeanyichukwu, who asked him to return it.
But, according to the mother, while Chibuike was returning the gun, he mistakenly pulled the trigger, releasing a bullet which hit the late Oluebube, who was in the next compound, in the chest. Oluebube died instantly.
Following the incident, the boy was initially detained by the police from May 30 till July 13, when he was released.
Although Chibuike’s mother, Mrs Nwakaego Oramalu, and her lawyer, Mr. Olu Omotayo, of the Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network, had raised the alarm over the little boy’s detention, the Enugu State Police Command claimed he was in “protective custody.”
About two weeks after his release, Chibuike was on Friday arraigned, without prior notice, before an Enugu Magistrate’s Court over alleged conspiracy and murder, alongside Mr Oforma, the owner of the gun.
Chibuike and Oforma were, in count one, before Magistrate Hillary Asogwa, accused of conspiring among themselves to commit murder.
In count two, the seven-year-old boy and Oforma were accused of murdering Oluebube, while Oforma, in count three, was charged with unlawful possession of the double-barrelled gun.
Represented by his Lawyer, Omotayo, who argued before the court that the boy was a minor and therefore incapable of committing crime, Chibuike was released to his mother on bond but Oforma, the owner of the gun, was remanded in prison custody.