Mrs. Ogechi Iruwane has allegedly tortured her 12-year-old girl, Mmesoma Ani, by using her bare hands to pinch off the victim’s chest and inflicted serious injuries on her back.
The girl has now been admitted to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Surulere, because of the severity of the injury.
According to Punch, the woman also starved for the girl for two days for allegedly stealing a piece of meat. The woman’s evil act was exposed by a trader on Nurudeen Street, Orile Iganmu, Lagos State, where the incident happened after she raised the alarm on Tuesday.
Officials of the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender, who are now handling the case, has handed the woman over to the police. The victim was afterwards taken to LUTH.
Explaining why she raised alarm, the trader, who discovered the incident, said Ani returned an empty bottle of soft drink to her when she saw her injuries.
She said, “I observed that she was not walking well. I drew closer to her and that was when I saw that her hands were also swollen. She said her aunt flogged her. She showed me her chest and I saw that the skin covering one of her maturing breasts had been pinched off. She removed her clothes and I was alarmed when I saw serious injuries on her back.
“I wanted to take her back to the aunt to ask why she battered the girl so badly without taking her to a hospital, but her neighbours told me it was not the first time she would beat her. I decided to report the matter to the OPD,” she added.
A source at the OPD said the residents prevented the suspect from escaping when she went to find out why Ani had not returned home from the errand she sent her.
He said, “The girl claimed she was 12 years old, even though she looked younger. She also looked malnourished. There were different scars on her back. The irony is that the suspect has three children and they look well-fed.
“The girl claimed that she is the 11th of 12 children. She said the woman came to take her from her parents in Enugu State in December 2015. She said she was in primary three before she was brought to Lagos, but since her arrival, she had not been going to school. She said the woman accused her of stealing a piece of meat and for about two days, she was not given food to eat.”
The Director of the OPD, Mrs. Salami Olubukola, commended the trader that reported the case, urging residents of the state to always be on the watch for child abuse cases.
“The girl is now in our care. We will not relent in our efforts to stem the tide of child abuse in Lagos State,” she added.
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the incident, adding that the matter would soon be charged to court.