A pregnant mother of four has been arrested by the police in Lagos for torturing and burning her 10-year-old maid over theft allegations.
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a 32-year-old pregnant woman, Juliet Ozoarinze, for allegedly torturing and burning her 10-year-old maid identified as Blessing because the hungry girl ate the food meant for the children.
Punch reports that Ozoarinze committed the act at her Ijesha, Surulere residence shortly after the girl came to live with her family and assist her with household chores.
Ozoarinze, a mother of four was also accused of assaulting the victim since she started living with the family in July 2017, often using different objects on her over allegations of being slow in running errands, not being prompt in answering questions and a child-witch.
The husband of the suspect, Kenneth, it was gathered, was said to have returned the young victim to her aunt identified as Vivian on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, after the wife allegedly used a knife to cut Blessing in the hand for allegedly stealing and eating the food meant for her children.
Vivian who gave the kid to the couple because Kenneth was a family friend, narrated that Kenneth said he was returning the child because of the injury.
“Blessing’s mother lives in Abuja and she has four children, including her. She had been saddled with the care of all the four girls.
We thought the couple could assist with Blessing’s education in exchange for helping them with house chores.
The man suddenly brought the girl back to our house. The woman used a knife to cut her in the hand and the man said he was not happy with the wife.
After he left, I saw that she could barely sit and I asked her to remove her clothes. I was alarmed at the extent of her injuries and she told me that Juliet had been torturing her since she started living with them.
I called Kenneth and asked if he knew about the girl’s injuries and he denied. He came back and was angry to see all her sores. I asked him to pay for the girl’s treatment, but he refused and said he didn’t have money.”
Vivian went further to say that when she could not raise money for the girl's treatment, her neighbours advised her to approach a human rights organization and that after several attempts to convince Kenneth to foot Blessing’s medical bill failed, she reported the case to the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender.
An official of the agency said that when the victim was brought to the office, she could not sit due to the extent of her injuries.
“The woman is a housewife and mother of four children. She is currently pregnant with her fifth child. The girl had been cruelly treated and poorly fed by Juliet. Instead of sending her to school as her family promised, they enslaved her.
When we checked her body, we saw many physical injuries ranging from knife cuts to marks of flogging with wire and other objects. She could barely walk or sit because she had severe injuries on her buttocks and had also been hit on the head and waist with a pestle.”
After the OPD reported the case to the police at the Itire division, Ozoarinze was arrested and detained. When queried on what the victim did to warrant such maltreatment, she allegedly claimed that Blessing stole her children’s provisions and food, but denied beating her with objects.
The Director of OPD, Mrs. Olubukola Salami, who confirmed the incident, said the agency will continue to get perpetrators of child abuse to face justice while urging residents of Lagos to be vigilant and report all forms of child abuse in their community.
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