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Trader Takes 16-year-old Boy From Ebonyi To Ogun To Work As Apprentice Without Family’s Consent, Returns Corpse With Missing Organs Eight Months Later

December 24, 2021

The teenager was said to have suddenly disappeared from the community in March this year without anyone knowing about his movement.

A family in Ntezi community under Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State has cried out for justice over circumstances surrounding the disappearance and eventual death of their 16-year-old son named Ebube.

The teenager was said to have suddenly disappeared from the community in March this year without anyone knowing about his movement.


The entire family searched vigorously for him for several days before finally resigning to fate, hoping that he would return alive one day.

In a swift turn of events, news reached them a few weeks later that Ebube was sighted in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, working as an apprentice for one of his kinsmen known as Ifeanyi Otuvo.

Excited and also confused at the news, family members of the teenager contacted Otuvo, a trader, to confirm if indeed Ebube was with him and also working as his apprentice.

The businessman confirmed the news to the family and apologised for taking him from Ebonyi to Ogun State to work for him without their permission.

He claimed that he wanted to assist the boy to become useful to himself in future and that he didn’t want anyone to block the teenager’s progress in life, saying that was why he didn’t seek consent or inform anyone about it.

With the knowledge that their son was at least safe and under the care of their kinsman, family members allowed the matter to pass and encouraged Ebube to be of good behaviour while under the care of Otuvo.

However, in November, the family received depressing news from their kinsman – the trader announced to them that Ebube had died of Malaria in August – two months before he disclosed the information to them.

Shocked and enraged at the news, the family instructed him to come physically to explain what he had told them on the phone.

“Instead of coming to face us, Otuvo sent his friend to represent him and properly break the news of Ebube’s death to us.

“After we insisted that he must bring our son’s body himself to the village, he showed up last week with a body in a coffin.

“When we checked to confirm if indeed the corpse was that of Ebube, we realised that several organs on the body were missing.

“The penis had been removed, everything inside the stomach was removed, some fingers were missing and several other body parts were no longer there.

“We rejected the body and told him to take it away and bring that of our son.

“He took the body away from our community and till this moment we have not seen him again.

“How can somebody under your care die and for more than two months you didn’t even inform their family about it.

“All the while the boy was sick, why didn’t he inform us. Why did he wait until we began to ask after Ebube and demanded to see him that he told us that he died of Malaria.

“All the places that we went to check things spiritually, we were told that Otuvo had used Ebube for rituals.

“He has refused to produce our son dead or alive and has failed to give any satisfactory explanation on what he did to him,” elder brother of the victim, Godswill, told SaharaReporters on Friday.

Speaking further, Godswill revealed that the police in Ebonyi have yet to arrest and investigate Otuvo over the whereabouts of their son while the leadership of Ntezi community has been urging them to accept fate and move on.

According to the young man, the matter had been reported to human rights organisations in the state but nothing significant has been done so far to bring the suspect to justice.

When contacted by SaharaReporters on Friday, Otuvo refused to comment on the matter, insisting that his hands were clean and that he had nothing to do with the death of Ebube.

Spokesperson for the police in Ebonyi, Loveth Odah, said the matter had not been formally reported to them but that they would commence investigation into it as soon as it was brought to their notice by the family of the victim.

She urged any of the parties involved in the case not to take the laws into their hands, assuring that the police will get to the root of the matter immediately a formal complaint was made by the victim’s family.