Women affairs Minister places 2 million naira bounty on Anambra lawyer, Mrs Okafor over Onitsha child abuse
The Honorable Minister of Women Affairs, Barr Uju Kennedy Ohanenye has placed a reward of N2 million for any member of the public with information concerning the where about of an Onitsha-based Lawyer, Mrs Adachukwu Okafor who was alleged to have inflicted bodily harm on a minor (girl), Happiness Nwafor a child live-in maid by designing her legs and body with hot iron and a kitchen knife.
Addressing the media today, the Minister expressed her concern over the health status of the 10 years old girl who is presently undergoing medical treatment in a hospital at Awka, Anambra State, attacked recently by her guardian living at the GRA in Onitsha.
The visibly infuriated Minister described the lady’s actions as unacceptable and unpardonable acts of “child abuse, infliction of grievous bodily harm and inhuman treatment” and reiterated the resolve of Ministry of Women Affairs under her watch to fight against all forms of abuse against the vulnerable children in the society.
She also added that the lady who is presently at large after committing the heinous act, has boasted that nothing will happen since she is a Lawyer and urged members of the public with any vital information about the lady to provide such with a reward of N2 million naira.
According to a statement issued by Ohaeri Osondu Joseph, Fnipr, Fcai, Special Assistant, Media, said the Ministry is presently on a review and regulation of the procedure for taking in house maids in Nigeria especially in view of Section 28, 1 (d) of the Child Rights Act which prohibits the employment of a child under 18 years old as a domestic help outside his/her own home or family environment.
“The Ministry will engage the Federal Ministry of Justice on this matter to ensure that we protect vulnerable children from this manner of avoidable inhuman treatment”
“We have been investigating the matter through the Anambra State Commissioner for Women Affairs and since the suspect is claiming to be above the law, we will equally forward a formal report to the President, Nigerian Bar Association to also look into this barbaric act, investigate and take appropriate action against their member. Mr. President does not wish for any Nigerian to suffer unnecessarily and we will drive this matter to a logical conclusion”
Meanwhile, the Minister also announced that the Ministry will provide some succor for the parents of the victim to earn a living that will change their economic status and discourage them from giving out any of their children as house helps.
According to media reports, little Miss Happiness was attacked by her guardian who used the hot-iron she was using to iron her children’s school uniform to stamp her face.
When she jumped up crying for pains, the woman on sensing that her neighbours may be hearing her loud cry, tied her two hands up, pushed her into the toilet and locked her there.
With her repeated cries there in the toilet, her guardian came the second time to use the same hot iron and a kitchen knife in designing her legs and body. Speaking further, the little girl also stated that she was kept there for two days without any food or water. It was on the third day that her guardian on seeing her weak and dying, opened the door and bundled her into her car back and took her to her Aunt’s place, at Nkpor, the little girl narrated.
The mother of the badly battered girl, allegedly with hot iron on parts of her body, said she gave the girl to her sister’s daughter, who is the Lawyer, to live with, lamenting that she had made a wrong decision.