A 12-year-old girl, Favour Israel, has narrated how she was allegedly stripped naked and tortured by her mistress, one Mrs. Oshiaha, in the Somolu area of Lagos State.
The Victim alleged that after the torture, she was sent out of the house to find the missing money, adding that she slept outside the house.
She was later assisted by some worshippers at a branch of the Deeper Life Bible Church, who handed her over to social workers with the Lagos State Government.
It was gathered that Israel was the first of five children and she had been living with her parents until they separated.
After a divorce, her father was reported to have had an accident which damaged his leg.
Unable to take care of the children, the father was said to have handed her over to Oshiaha, who reportedly promised to take care of her in addition to sending her to school.
Israel claimed that since she arrived at the suspect’s house on Ayoade Street, Somolu, she had faced continuous maltreatment and abuse.
She said, “It was when my father had an accident and started using crutches that things became hard for us. I had stopped going to school and a neighbour, who saw how we were suffering, told my father that she knew a woman in Lagos who could help us. She introduced the woman to my father and I was asked to follow her to Lagos.
“She has three children and I took care of them. But since I arrived in Lagos in November 2016, she has been maltreating me. I fetched water, sweep the house, wash plates and run errands. Sometimes, I don’t eat for a long time.
“She put me in a school when I came to Lagos. But she sometimes stopped me from going even after finishing my chores because she would say I had to do another thing. I did not go to school some times for more than a week.
“On Thursday night, she came back from the market and said her money was missing. I told her that I didn’t know what happened to the money. She sent her first daughter to go to buy a cane. She told me to lie down on the ground and removed my clothes. She flogged me despite my insistence that I didn’t steal her money. She chased me out and told me not to return until I find the money. I went outside and slept outside the gate.”
Israel said she wanted to return to her father due to the abuse.
A worker with the Deeper Life Bible Church, Akinlolu Ayobami, told PUNCH Metro that the church was having a prayer session when the victim strayed in.
He explained that after the programme, she met him and asked for help.
“She said she had not eaten for about two days and I had to get food for her. This was around 11am on Friday after we finished the programme. She said she was wandering about when she saw the signboard of the church and joined us,” he added.
The matter was said to have been reported to policemen at the Somolu division, who arrested the suspect.
A social worker said that multiple marks of floggings were seen on Israel’s body, adding that she had been taken to a government shelter.
He explained that the victim was brutalised over N200.
The Director of the OPD, Mrs. Olubukola Salami, confirmed the incident, adding that the agency would continue to fight child abuse in the state.
She said, “The OPD is concerned about the rise in child abuse in Lagos State in spite of legislative measures and several awareness and advocacy mechanisms put in place by the state government.
“While the OPD will continue to get perpetrators to justice, we urge all residents to be vigilant and report all forms of child abuse in their communities.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )