The mysterious death of a nine-year-old boy, who allegedly committed suicide, has thrown residents of Tundun-Wada, in the Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, into confusion while law enforcement agents are still battling to unravel the circumstances behind the incident.
Family members and other people who live in the same house with the deceased are still wondering why Henry Goodnews, a Primary 1 pupil, would decide to take his own life.
Saturday Tribune gathered that the incident occurred at about 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday when the deceased’s parents had both gone out. His body was said to have been found dangling from a rope within the premises by one of the occupants.
The incident created a lot of hysteria in the area, with people wondering how the young boy was able to take his own life successfully without anybody seeing him. The position they found the boy was also a source of concern to those who thronged the house to catch a glimpse of the body.
Saturday Tribune gathered that the body of the boy was found with a belt wound around his neck. The belt itself was tied to a rope usually used for drying clothes after washing. A bucket of water was also said to have been found beside him, which suggests that perhaps he was about to take his bath before the incident.
The mother of the deceased, Madam Hanatu Goodnews, who is yet to recover from the shock occasioned by the death of her first son, said the incident was still like a dream to her.
She told Saturday Tribune that the boy was hale and hearty when she left home that day.
She said: “I left home that morning to take his younger brother to the hospital. Before I left, I told him to stay at home and do some domestic work that he could handle. I had no premonition that anything would happen to him because he was doing well that particular morning.
“At about 12 noon, I was called by my husband that my boy had died. He did not explain the circumstance of his death to me. I therefore abandoned what I was doing and rushed home.
On getting home, I saw a lot of people in front of our house. As I approached, they stopped me from entering but I forced myself in, only to discover the boy with a rope around his neck.
“My major concern now is how the boy could take his own life by himself and the people in the house did not know. In this house, there has never been a time that people would not be around. There will be at least up to six people at home. How come the boy took his own life and nobody was aware?”
A relation of the husband, identified as Bala Goodnews, also asked a similar question. He told Saturday Tribune that they suspected foul play in the whole thing, saying that the way the boy hanged from a rope that, according to him, could not sustain any object, was suspicious. He maintained that there was no way the boy would hang himself in such a manner, considering his strength and age.
Bala Goodnews urged the police to probe the incident, saying the way it happened called for thorough investigation. He urged the police to spread their dragnet to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act were brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.
Saturday Tribune gathered that residents of the area where the incident occurred are currently living in fear of arrest by the police. A source close to the house disclosed that all the tenants in the house where the incident occurred, including the landlord of the house who does not even reside there, were interrogated on Wednesday at the ‘A’ Division of the Nigeria Police command, Jos. Some people in the neighborhood are also said to have gone into hiding to avoid arrest.
When contacted, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Salawu Adigun, who confirmed the incident, said the police had commenced full investigations, but said he would not make further comments on the issue until investigations were completed.