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Parents of acid bath victim tell their story

By Luka Binniyat
After Vanguard broke the sad story of Comfort Sunday, the reaction from all over the world was unbelievable, but encouraging. For an update Vanguard Metro eventually caught up with her father, the very man accused of bathing Comfort with acid. Mr. Sunday James, a retired Police corporal, now an unemployed  security guard  in Akwanga, had played hide and seek with Vanguard the first time we attempted to get his side of he story.

A bulky man, in his mid-fifties, who spoke in a  gentle manner, Sunday was sipping a local brew of sorghum  at  a rundown part of Akwanga when someone spotted him in the crowd for Vanguard Metro. Without much ado, he volunteered his story, as Gbemiga Olamikan brought out his camera and caught his image for the  world to see for the first time.

Said he: ” What you said she told you about how I poured something one her was the same thing she told the police. But it is not true. Look, at me, It is just that I  don’t want to sue that pastor that took me to the police station. I am a man of peace. I am sure the pastor and Comfort are into the same thing.”

He said he didn’t know what happened to comfort.

Comfort

He continued” Right now as I speak, she has succeeded in making sure that I am sacked from any job  I get. I don’t have a job. I have been laid off everywhere. I am doing nothing now, all because of Comfort.”

He said he was not responsible for the injuries sustained by comfort. said he: ” I want to tell you that I am not responsible. The major cause of my problem is that Igbo pastor;  I don’t  know the man. It is  Comfort that knows him. I don’t know how she conspired with him to take me to the police station. They conspired and I was arrested and taken to the State CID, in Lafia.”

He explained that Comfort became afflicted with her condition after she woke up one morning.

“When I woke up that fateful morning, I saw   some rashes on her face. She told me that someone poured something on her. I went on to treat  her and she was healed. Yes, she was healed. The doctors can attest to that. But I don’t know what led to her present condition” he said adding that this  happened about three years ago. He further said Comfort had confessed  being a witch.

She is a witch

Said he: ” I have made several attempts to get her off that  Secret Society. I have taken her to Masaka to remove her from that organisation. Just about the time this problem happened to her,  I was told that the woman in charge at the prayer house was indeed the queen of the witches.”  He said he would be grateful if the  Government could  fix  her face. ” I feel very sorry for her. I am indeed sorry for her condition, and if you ask her, she would tell you so.”

He continued: “She is not in school, because  she cannot see well. How can she read like this?”

“In our place, a child belongs to everyone. If government can find a place to keep and care for her, I don’t have problem with that. But I would like to be allowed to visit her from time to time.

“She is my daughter.  I still believe  she is a witch.  I know the sign.

“We have a way of knowing these things. You don’t have to use a seer. Around 2 am I know what usually visits the house. Someone would come and call her that she should go for a meeting. If the person comes, even we ordinary people would know. Not, that she would open the door and go out, No!. the person comes in the form of a bird. And you would  hear the cry of the bird. But in the past one month, we have not heard that bird’s cry again. I don’t know if it is a sign that she has left the Secret Society. Only God can say that.” Comfort’s Step mother Mrs Julie Sunday also spoke to Vanguard.  Here is what she said about the matter.

“As a child, she is respectful and hardworking.  Since the death of her mother, it is sad that the father has not allowed her to stay with me  to groom her the way I would have loved to.  He has been moving her from place to place. Her coming home to stay coincided with the time that this incident happened. After the death of her grandfather, I was told that she was in Secret Society.

“And She has tried it on me; so I was told. There was a time, I became suddenly ill. I went to the hospital, and was hospitalised for some days.

Step mother speaks

And when I got better, as soon as I returned one of my  children, Abel  starting having serious  dysentery. I was told it was comfort that was  responsible. I must say the truth to you, this is what people re saying. I was told that Comfort confessed to being responsible for the ailment. And she later freed the boy and his dysentery stopped .

“Yes, he too medication, but it took an unusually long time for the dysentery to stop. I am a Catholic and I have been praying for her.  There is also a policewoman that is gifted. The woman has been praying for her. But at a time Comfort said she wasn’t going anymore. As for me, all I know is that her father and other people are saying she is a witch. To be frank with you, I don’t know if that is true or not. But, as a child, she is very respectful and hardworking.

“There is no work you tell her  to do that she doesn’t do. If she has any problem, it is this thing that her father said she has joined. That morning when she came back, I was the one that gave her water to bath. I have never seen such a thing before.

“Since, you said your visit is to help us find assistance, I pray God will help us. But, I want to tell you something. This my husband is just a husband in name. He does not care about  how we feed or how we are faring. I am staying in this marriage simply because of my children. I am responsible for the upkeep of this home and   even for  comfort. Ask him how much he spent on her. I am the one that used my N2000 (two thousand) to buy injection for her.

Police arrests Comfort’s father

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Nasarawa state Police Command, Mr. ASP Richard Akoji in Lafia confirmed to Vanguard   Metro last Friday  that indeed the case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department. He said he didn’t how far investigation had gone into the matter.

He promised to get the details of the investigation for Vanguard Metro this week

But, on Saturday afternoon Comfort placed a call to Vanguard  to say that her father had been arrested by the Police.

The PPRO of  Nasarawa state  could not be contacted as at the time of going to Press, but the Executive Director of Better Leven NGO’ Mr. Tashi N Tashi confirmed the arrest of Sunday James. But, he was not sure where he was being held.

“I want my father to come home, please tell them to release him. The other time they arrested him, he was beaten up. Please let them release him”, Comfort pleaded.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.