While a mother and father from New Hampshire traveled overseas to Nigeria, Giobari Atura, the father’s brother, was asked to watch the twin 9-year-old boys. However, authorities discovered that the boys during the five-month period that the parents were out of the country, the boys were often left home alone for days at a time.
While alone, the boys had nothing but ramen noodles to eat. There was also no operable phone in the home making it possible for them to call for help in case of an emergency. In the court affidavit, the care of the children was entrusted to Atura, who failed miserably.
As stated by Michael Valentine, assistant attorney for Hillsborough County, Atura has been charged with endangerment of a child, which is only a misdemeanor. Reportedly, Atura told law enforcement officials that he had agreed to watch the twin boys for his brother but rather than moving into the apartment with them, he would go to the home about three days a week to check on them.
The situation was uncovered after the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families was contacted by the boy’s school advising they had not been in attendance. Upon arriving, police officers found the only edible food in the home was ramen noodles in a cabinet. When questioned, the boys stated they woke up for school in their own, got dressed, hopped on the bus, and then ate breakfast and lunch provided by the school.
Although Atura had told the boys they could call him if they needed anything, like help with homework or food, without an operable phone this made it impossible so, he told them they could go to the neighbor’s to use their phone if needed.
The parents were supposed to come back to the States after being in Nigeria for one month but because of issues with their passports and illness, they were gone five months. They claimed they had spoken to Atura who said everything was fine. Shortly after hearing about the situation, the parents came home and authorities have returned the children to them.
Against the parents, Valentine said that no charges will be filed because the boys had been left in the care of what they believed to be a trustworthy adult. Although a call was made to Atura’s attorney, he had no immediate comment.