A nursing mother has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly setting her husband's nephew on fire.
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a 36-year-old nursing mother, Gift Igwe, for allegedly setting her husband's 10-year-old nephew on fire at their home on Adenugba Street, Agunfoye, Ikorodu.
Punch reports that Igwe was angry that the victim identified as Chimobi, had misplaced his trousers and could not produce it when his aunt demanded them and in her anger, she brutalized him and ended up by pouring kerosene on him and setting him ablaze.
The young boy who has been taken into protective custody by the Lagos State Government, according to neighbours was a victim of serial abuse by Igwe who maltreated him at the slightest provocation.
It was gathered that the Ishielu, Ebonyi State-born indigene, was arrested after residents of the community reported her to the police when they heard the cries of the victim and managed to put out the fire during which he reportedly passed out.
Chimobi was subsequently rushed to the Ikorodu General Hospital, Ikorodu, while police from the Igbogbo division were said to have arrested the suspect.
A source said that the child was brought to Lagos in 2016 by the uncle to start living with his family but all through his stay, his aunt never saw anything good in him and brutalized him at will.
A police source said that the matter came to a head when Igwe set the boy on fire on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.
“He is the younger brother of the man who is a security guard in a firm. He was not enrolled in any school after he was brought from the village.
The brother wanted him to be assisting the wife, who had a baby about a year ago, with house chores and other things.
The woman has been abusing him for some time now. There are marks of past floggings on his body. He also has sores.
People in the community could no longer keep quiet when the last incident happened on Wednesday, September 6. She poured kerosene on the boy and lit him with a matchstick.”
The victim who spoke with Punch correspondent on his hospital bed, said he was in a primary school in their hometown before he was brought to Lagos from Ebonyi.
He explained that his uncle and his wife had refused to enroll him in a school since he started living with them.
“I misplaced my trousers and ‘mummy’ poured kerosene on me and used a matchstick to light fire. People came to help me. I have not been going to school since they brought me from the village,” he said.
The State Police Public Relations Officer [PPRO], ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole who confirmed the incident, said that Igwe had been granted bail because of her child, saying she was mandated to be reporting at the police station daily.
“We gathered that the boy was accused of misplacing something and because of that, she got kerosene and set him ablaze. Some Good Samaritans put out the fire. The boy is recuperating.
When our attention was called to the case, we ensured the prompt treatment of the boy at the Ikorodu General Hospital. We also involved other government agencies, including a human right group working with the police in that area. The suspect was arrested and interrogated.
She is a nursing mother; she has a child that is less than two years old. She has been admitted to bail with instruction to be reporting daily to the Investigating Police Officer and the Office of the Public Defender, pending the conclusion of an investigation.”
ASP Famous-Cole, however, said she would be charged to court as soon as the police conclude investigations into the matter while the husband will also be prosecuted.
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