A Mrs. Mariam Hafia, allegedly burnt her housemaid, Monsurat, on her stomach and lap with a hot electric iron.
The 13-year-old housemaid lived with Hafia and her husband on Ola Akinpelu Street, Alimosho area of Lagos and was said to have been hired out to the couple by her parents based in Oyo State.
It was learnt that Hafia had given Monsurat, a Primary 2 pupil, N1, 500 to keep on September 29, but the girl presented N1, 000 the following day when told to bring the money.
Hafia, a nursing mother, reportedly accused Monsurat of spending the money and used a sharp object to cut her body. Not done, she allegedly plugged an iron and pressed it on the girl’s stomach.
Our correspondent gathered that the woman left Monsurat groaning with pains, and refused to treat the injuries she sustained.
A Good Samaritan in the neighbourhood who heard of the incident was said to have alerted a human rights group, Esther Child Rights Foundation, which reported the case at the Mosalasi Police Station.
A social worker at the foundation, Mrs Chinyere Tony, who rescued Monsurat, said the girl told her that she used the N500 to buy a book in the school.
Tony stated, “Someone called our office to report the case on October 8 and we went for the rescue the next day. We found out that the woman used a razor blade on her as a punishment for using her N500 to buy a book. The girl said she was the only who had not bought the book in her class.
“The woman also used a hot iron to burn her abdomen and lap. But she claimed she was ironing clothes when the girl fell on the iron.”
It was learnt that the police arrested the woman, but later released her on the orders of the Divisional Police Officer and the girl handed over to her.
Shocked by the DPO’s decision, the foundation reported the case at the neighbouring Isokoko Police Station whose DPO also reportedly failed to effect Hafia’s arrest.
The Coordinator of the foundation, Mrs Esther Ogwu, said a petition was written to the Office of the Public Defender, Lagos State Ministry of Justice and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.
She said, “According to the victim, Hafia gave her N1, 500 to keep for her and the next day when she requested the money, it was short by N500. I feel really terrible. It’s sad to believe that cases like this still come up in our society. What hurts the most was how the matter was handled by the police. This case was first reported to Moshalashi Police Station where the culprit was called in for questioning. Before hand, the culprit had already threatened the victim; stating that if she opens up about what really happened, she would be denied her right to go to school.
“The victim was then brought in for her statement alongside the suspect for questioning. The victim, out of fear, said she fell on an iron, which I’d like to believe is not possible. The DPO discharged the case and told us that the evidence is not concrete enough to prosecute the culprit. We took action and wrote a petition to the Office of the Public Defender and NAPTIP.”
The case was further reported at the Anti-Human Trafficking unit, Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Alagbon, and Hafia was arrested.
The head of the unit, ACP Mary Ajunwa, said investigation had commenced on the case and the woman rearrested.
She said, “They took the child to her village in Oyo State; they didn’t want the authorities to see the degree of the injury. My office ordered that the child must be brought back to Lagos and that has been done. We are trying to get exactly what happened. The suspect has been rearrested and she is in custody. We have seen the degree of the injury and we want to ascertain why it is so. The woman is claiming that she fell on the iron. But mere looking at the injury, we don’t think it is a case of the girl falling on the iron. We believe there is more to it which the woman has not been able to tell us.”
The OPD Director, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, said the agency took up the matter immediately it received a petition from the human rights organisation, but was disappointed over how the police divisions handled the case.
She said, “I have never seen that kind of abuse before and the woman is claiming that he child fell on an iron. How would a child fall on an iron and the injury would be that much? If she actually fell on an iron, it would be the edge of the iron that would burn her.
“The girl has deep cuts and the burns are in two places. It is sad. We found out that the two police divisions where the case was initially reported compromised. They said the injury was an accident and they even released the child to the suspect.”
Adeyemi explained that the state government would continue to monitor the matter to ensure that justice prevailed, adding that Monsurat would be taken into protective custody.
She added, “We learnt that the girl was hired out as a home help. Her parents were also hiding because NAPTIP has learnt about the case. Eventually, they brought the girl to Lagos.
“What we plan to do now is to take the child away from them and put her in a protective shelter and get medical attention for her while the police continue the prosecution. We don’t want the girl to live outside Lagos State jurisdiction because the offence was committed in Lagos.”
Man Video-calling His Girlfriend gets Crushed by a Car
On Wednesday, a 26-year-old man, Olajide Asade, was crushed to death by a commercial car, while he was making a video call to his girlfriend at the Adedero village on the Abeokuta-Siun-Sagamu Expressway.
The accident involved a Honda Odyssey car with number plate AAA 589 FV, which was conveying crates of eggs.
It was gathered that the deceased was reportedly making a video call to his girlfriend while crossing the road when the accident occurred.
An eyewitness told our correspondent that the deceased and his brother boarded a car from the Kuto motor park in Abeokuta, but the vehicle developed a mechanical fault on the road.
The eyewitness said while the other passengers were standing by the roadside waiting for the driver to repair the vehicle, the deceased reportedly concentrated on the video call.
The deceased’s brother, Azeez, said they were both travelling to their mother’s residence in the Ajah area of Lagos State.
Azeez confirmed that his brother had been making a video call to his girlfriend since they took off from Kuto in Abeokuta.
He added that they left their apartment at Ijoga in Abeokuta very early in the morning to embark on the journey.
Azeez maintained that the driver of the car, who hit Olajide, was on a normal speed.
The driver, whose car hit the deceased, Bolaji Balogun, said Olajide was the one who bumped into his vehicle.
Balogun, an employee of an agro firm, said he was going to the Obasanjo Farm to purchase crates of eggs for his company.
The driver stated that the deceased had already got to the front of his car before he could apply the brake.
Confirming the crash, the Public Relations Officer of the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Babatunde Akinbiyi, said there were two male occupants in the vehicle that killed Olajide.
He stated, “There is a road diversion along the Abeokuta-Siun-Sagamu interchange due to the ongoing reconstruction; the deceased probably assumed it would be better and safer for him to cross to the other side, where road reconstruction is ongoing.
“The man, while crossing back to the other side of the road, was making a video call and was oblivious to the fact that a vehicle was coming from the Sagamu end to Abeokuta.
“The vehicle, a Honda Odyssey, hit him and he died on the spot.
“His corpse has been deposited in the morgue of the General Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta, while the driver of the Honda Odyssey and the vehicle are now at the state Motor Traffic Division, Ibara, Abeokuta.”
Ebonyi Man Whips 11-year-old Neighbour to Death
On Tuesday, an Ogbonnaya Daniel was arrested by the Ebonyi state police for killing the 11-year-old daughter of his co-tenant, Miss Ukamaka Nwuzor.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Loveth Odah, stated this in a statement in Abakaliki on Tuesday.
Odah said the matter was reported to the command’s ‘B’ Division, Kpirikpiri, Abakaliki by the deceased’s father, Peter Nwuzor.
She said following the beating, the victim was taken to the Alex Ekweme Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (AE-FETHA) for treatment where she was confirmed dead.
Odah said the suspect had been arrested and an investigation was ongoing after which he would be charged to court.
The statement read, “On May 2, 2020, at 2.15 pm, one Peter Nwuzor of Omege Avenue, Abakaliki, reported at ‘B’ Division Kpirikpiri, that by 9am of the same date, his co-tenant at the address mentioned above, one Ogbonna Daniel, aged 28, a native of Asaga in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, beat up his daughter Ukamaka Nwuzor, aged 11, to a coma.
“Following the report, police detectives immediately visited the scene of the incident. The victim was rushed to the A-E Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FETHA I) for medical treatment, but was later confirmed dead by the medical practitioner on duty. The corpse was deposited at the same hospital mortuary for preservation and autopsy.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is a next-door neighbour of the deceased’s family and there was an altercation that the deceased (Ukamaka) poured unclean water near the suspect’s apartment. As a result, he descended on her, beat her to a coma, which led to her death.”
Three Kidnapped UNIPORT Students Corpses Found
The decomposing corpses of three kidnapped University of Port Harcourt students have been found in a shallow grave, and the three kidnap gang members have been arrested by the Rivers State Police Command.
The suspects, apprehended on Thursday by the command’s Anti-kidnap Unit, also allegedly buried the remains of the undergraduates in a shallow grave at Etio community, Eleme Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that the UNIPORT students were kidnapped on April 7, 2020, and murdered the same day.
One of the suspects, who identified himself as Friday Akpan, from Akwa Ibom State, told journalists in the forest on Friday that two of his colleagues gang-raped the female among their victims, Joy Adoki, before eventually killing all of them.
The two other victims, who were also buried in a shallow grave, were identified as Nelson Nwafor and Fortune Obimba.
Akpan said, “We held the three persons at the sand field. All of us, five in number, killed them. They (victims) were three: two young men and a woman. Two among us gang-raped the female. Bright brought the gun we used in killing them. I am a member of Iceland.”
Speaking on the matter, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, said the command’s Anti-Kidnapping Unit, led by its commander, Collins Shadar, a Chief Superintendent of Police, swung into action after the victims’ kidnap was reported to the unit.
He said, “They confessed to kidnapping the three undergraduates and taking them to the forest. They killed them and buried them in a shallow grave. They had earlier demanded ransom before they killed their victims.
“Their confession after they were arrested led us to this forest, where we recovered the bodies of these undergraduates. We have identified the corpses. One is Nelson Nwafor, the female is Joy Adoki, while the other one is Fortune Obimba.”
Omoni added that one AK-47 rifle, one pistol, three magazines and 72 rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the suspects.
Ogun 17-year-old Raped to Coma, Dumped in Pit by Admirer
The Ogun State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of a 28-year-old man named Godday Robinson, for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl into a state of unconsciousness and throwing her into a pit.
Robinson was reported to have dragged his victim into the bush, while she was returning home from work and raped her for rebuffing his love advances.
The incident occurred at Agbara in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of the state.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
Oyeyemi said the suspect was arrested on April 24, 2020, after the victim regained consciousness in the pit and was rushed to a hospital.
The PPRO explained that the suspect was arrested following a report received by policemen attached to the Agbara Area Command that a young lady was lying unconscious in a 10-feet deep fit in the bush.
Oyeyemi said, “Upon the report by good Samaritans, the Area Commander detailed his men to the scene, where the young lady was rescued with the help of members of the public, and she was quickly taken to hospital.
“Having regained consciousness, the victim explained to the police that on April 22, 2020, while was coming from night duty, which she performed in the company where she works, the suspect, who had been making advances to her, accosted her, capitalised on the isolated nature of the area and dragged her into the bush, where he raped her.”
Robinson was also accused of dispossessing his victim of her Galaxy Samsung phone valued at N85,000 and strangulating her until she passed out.
Oyeyemi stated, “Having believed that she was dead, he dragged her further into the bush and dumped her in a pit.
“After some time, she came back to life and started shouting for help.
“On the strength of her explanation, the Area Commander, ACP Bolanle Muritala, gave an order to his detectives that the suspect must be traced and apprehended.
“The detectives swung into action immediately, traced the suspect and got him arrested.
“On interrogation, the suspect made a confessional statement and owned up to the crime and blamed it on the devil.”
The PPRO said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Kenneth Ebrimson, had ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and diligent prosecution.
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