Mr Sunday Aigbogun, the father of 16-year-old Divine Aigbogun who was the victim of severe machete cuts inflicted on him by a soldier, has bemoaned the fact that his son may not be able to use one of his hands again.
The soldier Private Eugene Nwali of the 195 Battalion of the Nigerian Army Agenegbode Edo State inflicted the wounds on Divine last month and the story was exclusively reported by Saturday Telegraph. ‘‘The painful aspect of it now is I don’t think my son would be able to use his hands again, presently he is out of school because he is still not fully alright. I just pray God will perfect his healing completely because my son is too young and intelligent to drop out of school.”
Divine a senior secondary school Two (SSS2) student of Saint Francis College Ubiaja in Esan South East Local Area Government, Edo State, has been at the Wisdom Medical Centre for the past one month receiving treatment. At the completion of his treatment, he was held hostage for days by the hospital management over the inability of the parents to pay the hospital bills of two hundred and eighty thousand naira (N280, 000).
But he was later released after the settlement of the bills just a few days ago. The father of the battered boy in an interview with the Saturday Telegraph said that he is graceful to God that the son is still alive today as no one thought that he could survive from the ghoulish wounds that were inflicted on him by the soldier. According to him: “I must tell you that members of my family and I have gone through hell since this ugly incident happened to my son. It has not been easy for us at all. I cannot just understand why that soldier boy did that to my son. My boy stayed in the hospital bed for one month plus.
‘‘Thank God for Doctor Braimoh Kasimu for using his medical expertise to save my son from dying. Even though I paid through my nose, I’m happy that Divine is okay today. When it happened anyone that looked at the injuries on his body will not think that he will survive the next moment.” Speaking on how he was able to raise the funds to settle the bill charged by the hospital management for the treatment, days after he was pronounced fit and discharged by the medical doctor, he said: “Actually the doctor charged us N280, 000. The father of the soldier boy brought N100, 000 but the doctor refused to collect it then the Army authorities at the 4th Brigade Headquarters in Benin invited us for settlement and on getting there, Nwali was brought out of detention by his superior officer and asked whether he has any money he said yes.
‘‘Following this, they later took him their vehicle to the bank where he withdrew N80, 000 to add to the one the father brought, the remaining balance was brought by me. It was when we paid the doctor that he released my son from the sick bed.’’ One thing that he is not sure of now is whether the amount of N100, 000 paid by him to complete the medical bill would be refunded by the military authorities, as he said that: “It was after our meeting in Benin that I left them and went back to my base in Ewohimi.
We never agreed on any concrete agreement terms whether the Army authorities in Benin will help offset the remaining bill or not I do not know. But as a law abiding citizen of Nigeria, I do not want any trouble.” However, Aigbogun, is grateful and gave credit to the Army authorities over their handling of the matter, adding that their efforts are commendable.
“I would also like to give credit to the Army authorities in Benin for all their efforts. They never left me alone in the case, they were so nice to us, and I still want them to come to my aid and help me pay my debts because as I speak to you now, I’m so much indebted to people. I have sold some of my properties to settle my son’s medical bills.” Saturday Telegraph gathered that Nwali has been transferred to Abuja while a military board has been set up to try him, with a promise by the Army authorities to get back to the family on the completion of the trial process.