A 12-year-old girl, Chisom Okechukwu, has committed suicide.
Okechukwu hung herself at her family compound at Nnoche-Uduke Community in Okpoitumo in the Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Okechukwu, a primary five pupil at Nnoche-Uduke Primary School, was said to have left home on Saturday and was not seen until Sunday morning, hanging on a tree at the back of her compound.
Her dangling body was discovered by her younger sister, Ndidi, who was going to the toilet dug at the back of the compound.
An eyewtness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that Ndidi raised an alarm, which attracted their parents and other members of the community who came and brought the lifeless body down.
The eyewitness said: “The whole scenario brought tension and confusion in the community as people were seen in clusters discussing the death.
“People, especially some members of Okechukwu’s family, are of the opinion that she did not commit suicide and insisted on a thorough investigation to unravel the true cause of her death.”
He claimed that a neighbour to the Okechukwu family had reported to the girl’s parents that she stole her egg, which made them to beat her.
“After the incident, Okechukwu went inside their house, changed into her new cloth and left the house only to be seen dangling lifeless on a tree on Sunday,” he said.
An elder in the community, Friday Itumo, told NAN that the incident had brought confusion to the community as such a tragedy had never been experienced before in the community.
Itumo said: “Mr. Okechukwu is not the girl’s biological father as her mother came in with her when she re-married Mr. Okechukwu after her former husband’s death.
“Her former husband’s family members are now insisting that Mr. Okechukwu should provide their daughter alive and this has compounded the problem.”
Hundreds of sympathisers were seen trooping in and out of the compound, including her school mates, who were visibly shocked by her sudden death.
The Ebonyi State Police Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Chris Anyanwu, confirmed the incident, saying that the matter was reported to the Police Division in Ikwo.
Anyanwu said: “We have commenced investigation into the girl’s death to ascertain why she should engage in such act.
“We can’t confirm that she committed suicide because one can be killed and hanged by his or her killer, to claim that the person committed suicide.
“We assure her family, members of the community and the whole state that we would get to the root of this matter.”
The girl’s body has been deposited at the Onueke General Hospital Mortuary in the Ezza South Local Government Area for autopsy.