Last Friday, December 9, 2016, people across the country and beyond were alerted to the news of a 16-year-old boy, identified as Aduragbemi, who was found in-between two walls (about 10 inches apart) in the Oduduwa Area, New Town in Ondo Kingdom, Ondo State.
When the incident happened, there was a barrage of questions on the minds of people who came across it, as to how he entered such a narrow space, who he was; where he came from; was he a normal human being or a demon; could he also be a witch that fell from the sky, and many of such questions.
Well, it’s been eight days since he was rescued and normalcy has since returned to the area, but the tortuous experience the boy subjected the occupants of the house to may not go away quickly.
“We were already looking for another accommodation, because it was strange for human voice to be coming out of a fence wall for three days; non-stop, throughout the day and at night,” one of the residents, who identified herself simply as Becky, said.
When our correspondent visited the premises on Akinyosoye Street on Wednesday, the tenants looked relieved, given the nightmares they said they had for the three days the boy spent in-between the wall of their fence and that of the adjoining property. They said they were already thinking a ghost had arrived in their community as the situation was completely strange to them.
She said, “We never knew anyone was there. So, when the noise refused to stop and was unbearable, I told my friends to start looking for accommodation for me because it was becoming scary that we would be hearing a strange voice from in-between walls. Could it be a ghost, I once asked myself. It has never happened before and I don’t think I would forget the experience of those three days.
“Initially, we laughed when the person was talking incoherently, because he was fond of repeating anything people around said. We, in our compound, thought the voice was from the shops on the other side, so we confronted them to know who was doing that, but they said they also thought it was from our compound, or maybe we had a visitor.
“That was when we sensed trouble. We also realised that in the night when the shops would have closed, the voice persisted and the person was saying meaningless things, like ‘my name is Judas Iscariot; I’m Jesus; I was the one who killed Jesus, bring your gaari (cassava flakes), etc. It became unbearable and I couldn’t wait to run away. We thought we were being haunted by some ghosts, because it was very strange.”
She recalled that there were times they couldn’t sleep in the night and they had to bring out their seats in the midnight to sit outside. “It was scary to remain indoors, with the kind of things he was saying at that time of the night, so, sometimes we all came out to sit down outside; it felt safer,” she added.
However, their troubles came to an end that Friday afternoon when the boy’s noise became unbearable and they alerted the police, since the owner of the house could not be reached. With the help of neighbours and passersby, they broke the wall and there he was, naked and looking very emaciated. He was taken to the police station and moments later, his mother, arrived at the scene and she was directed to the police.
“We learnt the boy had mental issues, because people who knew him confirmed that he was fond of going to hide himself and doing strange things,” Becky added.
She explained that on Wednesday, one of their neighbours had said she saw the boy running towards their house naked, around 11pm, and that even though it remained uncertain how exactly the boy got in-between the walls, he apparently climbed their fence and fell inside that night, more so that they started hearing the voice from that Wednesday night.
Findings by Saturday PUNCH revealed that the boy, an Indian hemp smoker, had been undergoing treatment for mental illness since the past three years. The place where he was found is some distance from where his mother lived. He was then taken to a church, and after some efforts, the head of the church called his mother to come and take him away.
When our correspondent visited the head of the church, Prophetess Dorcas Adebayo, she admitted to being the one taking care of the boy but that she had to release him having told the mother what she needed to know about the cause of the boy’s problem.
“That incident happened three days after I discharged him from here and I learnt she took him to another place,” she added.
Meanwhile, the house where the boy’s mother lived at 11, Okegboyi Street, was locked when our correspondent visited, and according to neighbours, their whereabouts remained unknown.
The Ondo State Police Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, said the mother of the boy had been advised to take him for immediate medical care “as he looked so emaciated.”