A woman has been arrested for brutalising her young niece for allegedly eating food without permission.
The Punch reports that Essien, an indigene of Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, had, on January 14, inflicted severe injuries on the girl identified as Queendaline Phillips, at her residence in the Ijesha area of the state.
The case was reported by the Primary one girl's teacher at the FESTAC Police Division, after the teacher noticed that the girl was quiet and complained of pains in the class.
When the teacher inquired from the girl, she explained that her buttocks had peeled from the alleged torture from her aunt, warranting the teacher reporting the case to the school authorities and was mandated to go and lodge a complaint with the police, and Essien was arrested.
Essien, herself a mother of one who works as a nanny, said she asked Phillips who is her brother's child, about five times if she ate out of the soup brought for her by her neighbour, and the girl insisted that she did not, which infuriated her and made her to beat the victim.
“Queen (Phillips) is the daughter of my elder brother. I brought her to help me because I have a small boy. On Wednesday, a neighbour in my estate in Ijesha gave me Afang soup. It is not everyone who gives me food that I collect and eat.
I moved into the house in September 2015 and I had been very careful. The woman made the Afang soup and she was a friend actually. But Queen, my boy and I just finished eating around 5pm and I was taking my son out when the woman brought the soup.
I was going to take him to the barber’s. So, I asked Queen to bring a plate so we could keep the soup. I did not want to collect it, but for the insistence of the woman. When I returned, the girl was asleep and everyone had gone to bed.
In the morning, I wanted to throw the soup away. That was when I found out the soup had been partly eaten. When I confronted Queen, she denied eating the soup. The girl lies a lot. If she had told me the truth, I would not beat her.
I asked her the question five times. She denied. I knew my son’s hands could not reach the table where she put the soup. I did not beat her because I hated her.
If that soup contained poison, and she ate it and died, I would still go to jail for it. So I angrily took a club used for stirring amala, and I beat her bum bum. She was wearing a wrapper. When the wrapper fell off, I continued beating her bum bum. But I meant good for her. She will get married some day.”
But the victim insisted she did not eat from the soup for which she was punished.
“When my aunty was going out, she gave me money to buy water and clean the house. But I did not see water to buy. When she came back, she started to beat me up.
The people in the house asked her to leave me, she did not answer them. I did not eat from the soup. It was kept where she asked me to keep it.”
However, officials of the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, has provided a temporary shelter for Phillips and she is being given medical treatment.