The Lagos State Government says Precious Chinwedu, a nine-year-old housemaid, who was tortured by her boss for allegedly stealing crayfish is now in its custody.
Our correspondent learnt that the Office of the Public Defender had moved the primary three pupil, who hails from Orlu, Imo State, from Rem-Yems Hospital in the Agbado area of Lagos, where she had been on admission since December 28, 2015.
Our correspondent had reported on January 12, 2016, that Chinwedu’s boss, Ifeoma Mbakwe, had on December 27, 2015, sent her to bring the crayfish in the kitchen but she could not find it. The woman, however, accused her of eating the crayfish without her consent.
In a fit of anger, she reportedly beat up the girl before pouring hot water on her.
It was reported that the woman forced her to sleep in pains on that day before taking her to the hospital the following morning.
Chinwedu had said, “She (Mbakwe) said I should go and bring crayfish, but I told her I did not see it. She said I ate it. She used something we used to grind pepper to hit my head. She bit me in the back and poured hot water on me. I complained that my body was paining me. But she told me to go and sleep like that.
“She does not give me food regularly. There is no food for me in the afternoon when I come back from the school. Sometimes, she would not give me food in the evening. She always beats me. I want to go back to my parents.”
Neighbours of the woman, who had been arraigned in court, said they had warned her against beating Chinwedu on several occasions.
The Director OPD, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said Governor Akinwumi Ambode and the state Attorney General, instructed the agency to cater to the girl.
She said, “The attention of the governor and the Attorney General was drawn to the plight of Precious Chinwedu, whose boss poured hot water on. We were instructed to take over the matter and the girl has been taken from the hospital with the help of the police. She is now in our protective custody.”
Rotimi said OPD would provide a legal representative for the victim for the prosecution of the case.
“Henceforth, our legal representative will appear in court on behalf of the victim and we will ensure that the case is diligently prosecuted to get justice for her,” she added.