A year old baby fell into an uncovered sewage pit and died at 36, Damilola Morounfolu Street, Orisumbare, Akowonjo area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, at about 5.30pm Sunday.
The victim, little Alimat Adetunji, was said to have been playing near her mother while Mrs. Bilikisu Adetunji, her mother, was washing clothes.
According to the father of the deceased, Mr. Adetunji Obakayeja, he was away when he was called and informed that our daughter was missing.
"While we were searching for her, they brought my daughter back to me dead and I was informed that she fell and died inside a sewage pit beside our compound."
The mother of the deceased said,"I was washing inside the compound with Alimat by myside. I was inside our compound washing with my baby. I discovered that the cloth she was putting was wet and I quickly went inside to get another cloth for her.
Before I came out of the room, I couldn’t find her any longer. I went round the street in search of my daughter only for my child to be brought to me lifeless by a neighbour, Bolaji Adejobi.
Though I don’t have the power to fight back, I’m calling on the government to take the matter seriously and bring about justice."
Commenting on what has happened Bolaji Adejobi said, "We live in the same street with the mother of the deceased. I took the little girl as my child. This was a child who had never left her mother. I had to join them in the search after she went missing.
While the parents of the little girl went to the Baale’s palace to lodge their complaint about the missing child, I and other people started looking for her everywhere including an uncompleted building around the street.
My focus shifted to the 4ft sewage pit where the hands, legs and the cloth the little girl wore were noticed and I quickly called on people around to assist me in bringing her lifeless body out of the pit."
Speaking about the incident, Bilikisu’s neighbour, Yemisi Rawas, said that water always overflows from the sewage, which is about 4ft deep and left uncovered.
The house where little Alimat died
No occupant of the building was available for comment on the matter as some of them were said to have locked themselves inside their flats for fear of being attacked as friends of the bereaved family attempted to vandalise anything on sight.
Efforts to speak with the caretaker of the house proved abortive as he refused to come out for comments when information got to him that newsmen were around.
The soakaway pit the toddler fell into
The Police from Afonka Divisional Police Headquarters, Shasha, Lagos arrived the scene about 7.30pm. Inspector Orisa Cletus, who led the team blamed the parents of the child for failing to take proper care of her.
He also described the case as a murder case, saying that the landlord of the building would be charged with murder. Meanwhile, the remains of little Alimat was taken to Afonka Police Station along with the parents and the caretaker of the house for further investigation.