Life has not been easy for Funanya Okafor, the child whose father allegedly fractured his leg and left scares on his body for allegedly stealing a piece of meat and failing to do his homework.
Right from birth, his story has been full of sorrow and agony. During the time of delivery, he was told that he almost died due to complication his mother had.
At the tender age of three, Funanya and his siblings had already lost the warmth and love of their mother as she had separated from their father.
Despite the unfavourable and harsh condition he found himself, the 8-year-old boy distinguished himself from the rest of his siblings, a virtue that endeared him to his father. He has always been known for his brilliance and smartness.
Narrating his ordeal to Aso Chronicle, Funanya said the same positive quality that stood him out from others, ironically turned out to become a bad omen for him.
He said the father who had always claimed to be a disciplinarian, would never spare him anytime he did not take his studies seriously. He said although he used to flog his other siblings, his was always heavier due to the special love he has for him.
He said when their mother was around, she assisted them with their assignments, adding that the father, rather than assist them, always descended on him with a cane or his belt anytime he failed to do his homework.
He recalled a day he was tired and feeling sleepy and had to postpone doing his assignment till the following morning, but later forgot to do it.
“When my father realised that I did not do the homework, he flogged me mercilessly,” he said.
Fumnanya also said his mother was not spared in the beating, not even when she was pregnant. He said his father used to accuse her of been a lazy woman. Even sitting down while praying was laziness to him, he added.
Admitting that he used to steal sometimes, the little boy said that there was a day his dad tried to burn him alive, after pouring kerosene on his body and wanted to strike a match.
He, however, said neither him nor any of his siblings could open up to anybody on what they were passing through in the hands of their father as he had warned them that he would kill any of them that dared tell anybody.
“My father had once used a razor blade to cut my finger which still aches till today. Sometimes, when he beats me, he would use handkerchief to cover my mouth so that I cannot scream aloud,” he said.
Funanya who shed tears as he related his ordeal in the hands of a ‘loving father’, said he would not want to go back to him. He said he longed for the day he would meet his mother again.
One of the teachers at the school where Funanya attends, told Aso Chronicle that it was some months after Fumnanya and his siblings were admitted in the school that they observed many scares all over his body which raised many questions.
“After Funanya confessed to us that it was his father that inflicted all the marks on him, we had to talk to him (the father) on the dangers and consequences of abusing a child,” she said.
She said when they realised that he was not ready to heed to their advice, they resolved to take the case to the police.
“The recent one that compelled us to report the matter to the police was the day Funanya came to school limping, following a deep cut he sustained on the leg,” she added.
Aso Chronicle gathered that soon after the father was arrested and detained at the police station, he had to be taken to the Kubwa General Hospital, the same hospital where his son was admitted.
“He saw the pictures of the battered son displayed on the social media while browsing with his phone at the hospital,” a police source said.
Reacting, the Kubwa Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Chief Superintendent Nuruddeen Sabo, said the boy had been handed over to the social welfare unit, after receiving treatment at the hospital, while the father had been released but is expected to report at the Legal Department at the Force Headquarters.