Christian Ehima: Death of unfortunate kidnap victim feels like double jeopardy – Peju Akande

Christian Ehima: Death of unfortunate kidnap victim feels like double jeopardy – Peju Akande

 

 

Did you encounter the recent sad and unfortunate story of Christian Ehima?

 

 

I hate travelling by road in Nigeria, no thanks to kidnappers and bandits that have taken the joy of travel from some of us.

 

 

However, in the last few occasions I have travelled by road to Asaba; I was always relieved to find soldiers at the checkpoints. Their presence signalled, for me, a cautionary presence to kidnappers who want to rampage; while also serving as an assurance for road travellers like myself; that help is present, just in case some band of kidnappers got ambitious.

 

So, to my mind, Christian Ehima too must have felt some relief at seeing the military at a checkpoint after he escaped from kidnappers.

 

 

It turned out to be his nemesis.

 

 

Anyone who’s read about the painful death of Christian Ehima, a 24-year-old undergrad of Computer Science, University of Benin, will wonder at his double trouble.

 

It was reported that the young man, son of a policewoman, unknowingly boarded a kidnapper’s truck; while heading to Ekwesa somewhere in Edo state. Somehow, he managed to escape by jumping off the truck. He hid in the bush for a while and afterwards ran to the railway checkpoint in Igbanke, Edo state; seeking help from the military men manning the checkpoint.

 

They didn’t believe his story. They mistook him for a yahoo yahoo boy and they tortured him so much and left him in a pit…His mother came, saw him there in the pit, took him to the hospital, where he was at least able to tell her what befell him…

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However, he later died from injuries sustained from the military torture!

 

 

That’s the report!

Christian Ehima shouldn’t have died especially after he escaped the kidnappers. He was smart enough, strong enough, God-enabled enough to escape with his limb and life intact.

 

Then he got to where help should be; where relief and succour should be found and there, they tortured, jeered, mocked and beat him to a pulp; supposing him to be a fraud…After all, boys with dreads are all yahoo, yahoo. That’s their logo… and so, they left him in a pit!

 

 

Like Joseph in the Bible, only his name is Christian, not Joseph, so there was no help coming to give him another life

 

 

A cruel fate befell this young man.

 

 

The Nigerian government has been known to be kinder to kidnappers and bandits than their victims! So, Christian, who was innocent, suffered.

 

 

Maybe if Christian had said he was a kidnapper; he would have been better treated, I think. He would have been given food, money, a house perhaps, you know, amnesty…

 

 

Christian Ehima: Death of unfortunate kidnap victim feels like double jeopardy – Peju Akande

 

But Christian Ehima was a kidnapper’s victim that escaped. He must have told the soldiers he was no thief, no fraud nor yahoo yahoo; he must have told them he just escaped from kidnappers and all he wanted was help to get home. In fact, he must have let in on the information that his mother is an Assistant Superintendent of Police in Delta state; a few hours away from the checkpoint. If they were in doubt, they only needed to call to confirm.

 

 

Without evidence to the contrary, the young man was tortured.

 

 

Did they catch him with human parts?

 

 

Or 2000 ATM cards?

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Why didn’t they believe his kidnap story, especially as kidnapping and banditry is active in that part. Isn’t that why they are there at the check point in the first place?

 

It’s sad that Christian Ehima suffered no physical harm from kidnappers but was tortured to death by the very people mandated to help him! It’s an unfortunate tale in our country. Victims of kidnapping and banditry are languishing in IDP camps and traumatized. But the bandits and kidnappers are given incentives to recant.

 

Thankfully, Christian was able to tell his mother exactly what happened before he succumbed to the injuries inflicted on him by the military.

 

 

This ought not be so!

 

 

The Nigerian Army has been reported to have summoned one of its Guard Commanders to look into the case; saying the Army has no room for abusive officers. Here’s hoping they get to the root of this and get justice for Christian Ehima’s poor mother.

 

May the souls of the many Christian Ehimas killed by soldiers and uniformed men, simply because they looked a certain way, find rest.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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