A two-year-old boy, Eniola Ajakaye, has drowned inside a drum of water while holidaying with his grandmother in Aboru, in the Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the police arrested the victim’s father, Sunday Ajakaye, a mechanic, and Sunday’s 65-year-old mother, after the boy’s mother, Mary, accused them of complicity in the death.
They were reportedly detained at the Oke Odo Police Division for alleged murder.
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Eniola drowned around 2pm on Foursquare Street, Ago 40 Estate, where his grandma lived.
He said, “The woman had gone out for a church programme, leaving him with some other children who had come to holiday with her.
“She was called on the telephone that the boy was missing. People searched for him for hours without any success.
“When it was evening, a woman said she saw something inside a water drum in the house.
“When they checked the drum, they found Eniola there.”
The boy was reportedly taken to a private hospital in the area where he was confirmed dead.
Another resident, Jide Thompson, said the family took the dead child back to the house and invited some pastors to bring him back to life, adding that all the effort was in vain.
It was learnt that Mary’s family did not believe the account of the grandmother as they insisted that there was more to the death than meet the eye, adding that the Ajakaye family had a case to answer.
The police subsequently arrested the grandma, Sunday and another relative who reportedly raised the alarm when the boy went missing.
Investigation by our correspondent showed that there had been bad blood between the two families since Mary became pregnant with Eniola.
Our correspondent learnt from a source that Sunday had rejected Eniola’s pregnancy.
He said, “The man is a mechanic and can barely fend for himself. When Mary, his lover, became pregnant, he rejected the pregnancy.
“When Eniola was born, Sunday’s mother took the responsibility for his upkeep and was always sending money to Mary’s family.”
The source explained that the grandma later took custody of the child after a major disagreement, adding that Mary returned some weeks later to take back the child.
“However, Mary called the woman one day, saying she was returning Eniola to the grandma.
“The girl took the child to the woman’s church and dropped him there. The grandma picked the child from the church and handed over to the police station,” he added.
The police allegedly called the two families and gave custody of the child to the father.
It was learnt that the grandma handed over the child to her first child, who became his guardian.
PUNCH Metro was told that the guardian had brought him back to the grandma, along with some other children of the family, for holiday when tragedy struck.
A relative told our correspondent that the grandma was devastated when the boy was found in the drum.
“She invited pastors to pray for the child, but nothing happened. When it was getting late, around 10pm, we reported the matter to the police and after making statements, the corpse was deposited in a morgue,” he added.
He explained that after much persuasion Mary’s mother dropped the case against the family.
He, however, expressed surprise that the police were taking up the matter again.
A police source said the police had closed the case file when Mary’s mother demanded that the matter be revived.
The source said, “The primary issue is that the two families are at loggerheads. After asking that the case be withdrawn, Mary’s mother said her family went to take the boy’s clothes and was told that they had been burnt and there was nothing left of the boy’s property. She said the man’s family knew about the death for being in haste to forget the victim.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the boy’s corpse was in the mortuary pending the release of the autopsy report.
She said, “It is a case of sudden and unnatural death. The two-year-old allegedly drowned inside a drum of water.
“Our operatives visited and photographed the scene. The corpse has been deposited at the Mainland Hospital’s morgue in Yaba for autopsy. The case is under investigation.”