Kehinde Toba, a primary one pupil of Fasok Nursery and Primary School in the Ketu area of Lagos State, has slipped and fallen into an open 25-foot latrine.
Kehinde, who lost his father five years ago and had been staying with his uncle on Alapere Street, was walking out of the house on Wednesday around 7pm when he fell into the pit.
His corpse was later discovered at about 5pm the next day, after a bricklayer had sealed up the pit without knowing that he was trapped in it.
Policemen from the Alapere divison were said to have arrested the caretakers of the house, as tenants had fled for fear of being implicated.
When PUNCH Metro visited the house on Friday, it was observed that the two-storeyed building was deserted, just as the latrine remained open.
It was learnt that the victim and his siblings lived in a house at the back of the affected building.
His guardian, Julius Adeniyi, said the two buildings shared the same exit doors.
Adeniyi explained that Kehinde; his twin sister, Taiye; and elder brother, Seun; started living with him after their father died.
He said, “Their mother is a trader, but she stays in the Seme, Badagry area of Lagos State. The three children live with me.
“On Wednesday, Kehinde returned from school and started doing his homework along with his classmates.”
Adeniyi said he went out to see a friend and when he returned around 7pm, Seun told him that his brother was missing.
He said the family began looking around for him and when it was 10pm, they decided to alert the police to the development.
“I informed his mother, who started crying. I was also confused because we could not tell what had become of him. His mother left Seme for our hometown in Ipokia, Ogun State, and after our family members there made some consultations, they were assured that the boy would be found,” he added.
On how the victim was found, a resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the tenants of the affected house had emptied the latrine since January 2016.
She explained that the old concrete slab, however, fell into the pit.
She said, “A bricklayer made a new concrete slab and placed it beside the pit because they had yet to pay him for the job.
“However, on Thursday, the tenants began to look for the bricklayer to cover up the latrine.
“The bricklayer went and covered it up. He decided to take a break before cementing it. He went to a restaurant to eat and from there went to watch a football match at a viewing centre.
“As he returned to cement the slab he had placed over the latrine, he remembered that he left his earphones at the restaurant. It was at the restaurant that he heard the news of the missing boy.
“It was at this point that the bricklayer remembered seeing a pair of shoes inside the latrine he sealed.”
The bricklayer reportedly told those who gave him the job about his discovery in the latrine, but was allegedly asked to get on with his job.
The man, however, opened the slab and was said to have found the victim’s head showing under the old slab that fell into the latrine.
The guardian, Adeniyi, reportedly passed out and was admitted to a private hospital, as the police were again invited to the scene.
Although officials of the Lagos State Fire Service were invited to the scene, our correspondent learnt that residents brought out the corpse with a ladder.
The police were said to have arrested the two caretakers in charge of the house, while the tenants in the house took to their heels.
Kehinde’s elder brother, Seun, 10, while fighting back tears, said he could not believe that his brother was dead.
“I just want them to produce my brother; tell the government to produce him,” he said.
The spokesperson for the state fire service, Amodu Shakiru, confirmed the incident.
He said, “At about 6pm, we received a call to a house on Alapere Street, Ketu. A boy of about eight years was recovered dead from a latrine of about 25-feet deep on the premises of a two-storeyed building. The corpse was handed over to the police from the Alapere division. The State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency were also there.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the incident, adding that the police did not arrest anybody.