There was confusion on Omohwovo Street, Iwhrekpokpo community, in the Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, after a physically challenged woman allegedly killed her own baby hours after delivery.
The accused, identified simply as Elohor, was alleged to have given birth to the baby boy on Monday in her apartment, where she stayed with her mother, without any medical aid.
The cry of the newborn baby was said to have attracted neighbours, who immediately rushed to the apartment to offer assistance to the new mother.
The mother of the physically challenged woman was said to be away when she put to bed.
Elohor, who neighbours said was a plantain chip seller in her late 20s, was alleged to have killed the baby before the following morning, and lied to neighbours that the baby’s father took him away.
The identity of the man responsible for the pregnancy had remained unknown before she put to bed on Monday.
However, neighbours, who were not satisfied with the explanation, questioned her sibling.
It was then revealed that the baby had died in the night after the mother allegedly forced hot water into his mouth before suffocating him to death.
A resident, Simon Ohwo, who took to Facebook to decry the incident, said, “After the celebration (of the baby’s birth), everyone went home, leaving Elohor and her sibling, since the mum was not around that day, hoping to check on her in the morning.
“…the neighbours came in the morning to see how she and her baby were doing, only to find out that there was no baby anywhere. They asked Elohor about the child; she claimed that the father came late in the night and took him away having noticed that the child was not breathing well.
“The neighbours could not believe the story Elohor gave and decided to interrogate her. She held on to the same story. But one of them suggested that the sibling would give a better version of what actually happened to the child.
“The sibling said late in the night when everyone was gone, Elohor boiled water and forced it on the child to kill him, but the child could not take much which ended up burning the mouth of the day-old child. When the child defied death, she took a rag and tied it around his nose and mouth, which suffocated him to death.”
Ohwo added, “When she noticed that the child was dead, she put the corpse in a sack filled with refuse and plantain peels, and then gave it to a man to dispose of early in the morning as refuse.”
PUNCH Metro gathered that following the confession, neighbours searched all the surrounding dumps in the area, and the corpse of the day-old baby was found with bruises in various parts of his body.
The baby’s mouth was said to have been severely burnt.
It was gathered that the suspect was handed over to operatives of the ‘B’ Division, Ughelli, for further investigation.
Some residents told our correspondent that the suspect had not been known to be mentally deranged.
Further investigation by our correspondent revealed that she had been granted bail by the police and ordered to always report at the station every week.
Efforts to speak to members of her family were unsuccessful, as their apartment was under lock and key when PUNCH Metro visited.
The spokesman for the Delta State Police Command, Mr. Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The fact is that somebody reported the case at the police station and she was arrested. Investigation will reveal the next line of action to take.”
When our correspondent asked if he was aware that the suspect had been granted bail, he said, “That hasn’t been brought to my knowledge. She is alleged to have committed the act. If she is found culpable, you know that is a murder case.”