A woman identified as Pauline Okpahefufe has cried out to the public and government of Cross River State to help investigate the incident leading to the killing of her 16-year-old son accused of conspiring to steal from a shop.
The aggrieved woman states that her son was burnt to death by some hoodlums at the Ogoja area of the state over a crime he knew nothing about.
It was learnt that a group of boys known to be friends with the late boy had reportedly stolen from a shop in the area after which the hoodlums went to his grandmother's house where he lived and whisked him away.
He was taken to where he was beaten and eventually burnt to death.
The woman further explained that all efforts made by her son to prove his innocence to the hoodlums remained unsuccessful.
She said, "The only offence my son committed was that he was a friend to those boys. That's why those boys said he should be killed too.
"He is 16 years old and in SS2 schooling in the village where he lived with his grandmother. After school, he helped my mother.
"On November 19, 2021, around 6:30pm, my mother called me that two boys stole from a shop in the village. When they were being beaten, those men said the boys were friends with my son. They went to my house and dragged the boy who was with my mother in the house to the scene of the incident and started beating him. He wanted to explain himself several times but he was not given the chance. They didn't allow him to explain himself. They overpower my aged mother and dragged my son to the scene. When my mother was trying to save him from them, they also beat her and tore her wrapper in the process.
"I asked my mother and cousin to report the case to the police and they went to the area command in Ogoja. That asked for them to pay money before they could go for the arrest because they did not have a car. They needed to hire a van to be able to go to my village, Yache in Ihiala LGA. I sent the money to them and they went to my village. They started arresting people at the entrance of Yache during which they arrested two boys who were brothers to the culprits and left.
"I've been sending money to them to go back and arrest the culprit but they keep giving different excuses. After I've pestered them so much, they finally wrote a letter to the elders in the village that they should fish out all the boys or else they would arrest all of them.
"The elders said the boys had ran away from the village. Meanwhile, I got the information that the boys are still in the village and I asked them to go back that the boys were still in the village but they keep asking me to send money. I don't have money any more.
"I've spent over N40, 000 and my mother's blood pressure has been fluctuating since then. It's only God that has been keeping her. I'm pleading with the government of Cross River State to help me get the deserved justice. I need justice for my late son."