News

March 1, 2024

Police parade lawyer over alleged abuse of 10-year-old househelp

The Kogi State Police Command has admitted complacency in the killing of Barrister Elias Ugwu last week Friday, admitting that the Nsukka-based lawyer was however killed in error.

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has paraded Mrs Adachukwu Okafor, an Anambra-based lawyer who was recently apprehended for allegedly assaulting her 10-year-old househelp.

Okafor, presented herself at the police station after she had been declared wanted and a N2 million bounty placed on her for allegedly using a red-hot knife, an electric pressing iron, and other weapons to brutalise the underage househelp.

ACP Olumiyiwa Adejobi, Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), while addressing the media at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) on Friday in Abuja, said it was a case of attempted murder and child abuse.

Adejobi, represented by CSP Olabisi Okuwobi, National Coordinator, Police Campaign against Cultism, and other vices, explained that the househelp worked for two weeks in the house of the suspect before the incident occurred.

According to him, the suspect alleged that she saw the househelp fondling the penis of her six-year-old son, while bathing him.

“On January 29, 2024, this suspect accused her of this and proceeded to tie her hands, mouth and flog her. She also inserted a hot knife into her private part and poured ground pepper into it.

“She then plugged an electric iron into the socket, allowed it to be hot, and used it on the maid’s cheek and buttocks.

“After causing the maid trauma, she now locked her up in the toilets from the afternoon of the incident till the evening of the following day without food.”

The FPRO added that the aunt of the househelp raised an alarm, which attracted passersby when the suspect returned her to the house after inflicting grievous injuries on her.

“It was at that point that she dropped the young girl with the aunt, without cloth with the burns on the cheek and buttocks with blood and water oozing out of her private part, that the aunts raised an alarm.

“This attracted passersby who brought out their phones and recorded them, and it went straight to the social space, which attracted the police and Commissioner for Women Affairs in Anambra State.

He, therefore, reiterated the commitment of the NPF to ensuring prosecution of the case and justice for the househelp.

“Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (I-G) has assured Nigerians that a diligent prosecution of this case will be carried out and no iota of the incident will be swept under the carpet.

“And we will ensure that justice is served to the little girl. And this should serve as a note of warning to those who use little children for child labour,” he said.

Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, Minister of Women Affairs, urged the public to speak out and report any violence to ensure that justice prevails for the victims.

“You see any bad thing, you shout out; if you don’t shout out, you will die in silence, so I’m so glad you shouted out, and it is like a command to us.

“We in government are assuring you that we will always take it up and will never let you down ever again.

“You have been let down before, but not anymore, because the President has already said the poor should breathe. So what he means is that Nigerians should be more respected, taken care of, and treated with compassion.

“So this is the lady. We have brought her and are assuring you that we will get justice for that girl and justice for the nation. We will not let go,” she said.

On her part, the suspect, Okafor, who is a mother of four, denied inflicting injuries on her househelp, who she said fell on a burning camp gas while she was trying to flee from being beaten.

“She entered the kitchen with her back because she was running away from the cane, and she mistakenly sat on a burning gas cylinder. That was what happened to her.

“I didn’t use iron or anything like that on her or a knife,” she said.

According to her, she was not happy with the incident, as “that was not what she envisioned.” (NAN)