One Bassey Rebecca was Monday arrested by the police in Lagos State for allegedly beating her husband’s 3-year-old niece, Bassey Deborah, to death.
The 21-year-old woman reportedly engaged in the act at Ijaiye Ojokoro area of the state on July 22 because the minor puked and defecated on herself.
The victim was said to have woken up at about 5.30am on the said day with a high temperature after which she started vomiting and defecating soon after.
This was said to have angered Rebecca, who instead of administering treatment to the child, decided to beat her up.
Although the matter has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID Yaba, the state police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmus, who confirmed the arrest said, “The victim (Deborah) lost her mother in 2010.
“Early this year, Deborah’s father was evicted from his home and he decided to send Deborah and his second child to go and stay with his brother, Vincent, until he settles down.
“Deborah and her 9-year-old sister were living with Vincent and his wife, Rebecca, in a one-room apartment at Powerline, Jankara, Ijaiye Ojokoro. However, Rebecca was always maltreating the two children.
“In the process of beating the girl, the suspect pushed her and she fell, hitting her head against the edge of a wooden chair in the room. The impact of her hitting her head against the edge of the wooden chair caused her to start bleeding.
“Some neighbours rushed her to Ahmadiyya Hospital, where she was referred to Orile Agege General Hospital where she later died.
“A woman leader in the area, Kudirat Ogunseyi, reported the matter to Ijaye Ojokoro Police Division after which the suspect was arrested.
“Some neighbours, in their statements at the police station, described the suspect as a hot-tempered woman, who was fond of beating the children.
“The way that woman beats up the children was very worrying to the extent that the landlord had threatened to evict them,” one of the statements reads.”
On his part, Vincent was quoted by the police as saying he was not present when his wife beat his niece to death.
According to him, “I was not at home when the incident happened. I am a photographer during daytime but I work as a vigilante group member. So I hardly sleep at home,” he said.
But in her defence, the suspect said it was not a deliberate act, as she had only pushed Deborah and she hit her head against the chair.
“I am a housewife and I have a 10-month-old baby. I did not mean to kill her (Deborah). I only pushed her because she vomited and defecated on the floor
“I was only trying to correct her. It was not deliberate. I am a mother too and I know how I would feel if my son was killed,” the suspect noted.