By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
A magistrate’s court in Kaduna State has directed that a female staff of an oil company, Mrs. Yemi Awolola, who was arrested for allegedly child torture and sexual abuse, respect of her maid, be remanded in prison.
Her arrest followed a report by her 14-year-old maid, identified as Princess Michael, of how she was maltreated by Awolola and her children during her stay with them.
The teenager was forced to live with the Awololas after her family was displaced by bandits.
She alleged that at the slightest provocation, Awolola would beat her and inflict injuries on her.
The last straw was when Awolola, according to her, placed a hot knife in the fire and placed it on parts of her body, including her vagina. At other times, she said that she (Awolola) burnt parts of her body with lighter.
Mrs. Awolola was charged before the court with her daughter and house help, and Presiding Magistrate, Bashir Shitu Yusuf, had earlier denied the accused bail.
el-Rufai’s wife lauds court’s decision
Reacting, the wife of the Kaduna State governor, Hajiya Ummi el-Rufai, who witnessed the proceeding in court, commended the decision of the magistrate’s court, stating that the issue of child abuse would not be tolerated in Kaduna State.
In an interview with journalists, immediate past Chairperson, International Federation of Female Lawyers, FIDA, who is the complainant, Bukola Ajao, said the accused had pleaded guilty to the allegation levelled against her, hence the decision of the court to adjourn the case till August 27.
Victim’s father reacts
The victim’s father, Michael Augustine, said his daughter became a house help in the house of Mrs. Awolola, who had promised to enrol her in school, as a result of unrest in his community.
“It all started when some gunmen, in April 2019, attacked our village, Kutura station, Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where my elder brother and his son were murdered,” he said.
He explained that the development made him send his daughter to stay with her younger sister, Esther Moses, a mother of two, who coincidentally lost her husband to gunmen in another attack in Kajuru Station in the same local government area in September 2019.
Esther, who was present in court, said amid sobs that “we enquired about the woman before we allowed the girl to go and stay with her.
“People said she was a nice woman and that cleared our doubt about the safety of the girl. We were so happy that the girl will continue her education under the care of her master. We are sad that what started peacefully has brought us to this point.”