Two heartless women have been arrested in Lagos for deliberately injuring a nine-year-old girl and using her to beg for alms.
Punch reports that the women identified as Mrs Amadi and Mama Esther abused the victim whose name was given as Joy Esemonu, in the FESTAC Town area of the state, by pouring a corrosive chemical on her which made her sustain injuries in different parts of her body.
It was gathered that the minor was then led every day by either of the suspects to a pedestrian bridge in the FESTAC area where she was made to beg for alms from passersby.
At the end of every begging trip, the two women reportedly shared the money collected without bothering to treat the poor victim.
Their wicked business was brought to a close when a Good Samaritan who observed the victim’s condition on the bridge, reportedly alerted policemen from the FESTAC Division, leading to the arrest of the two women.
After arresting the suspects, the case was referred to the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) which transferred the victim to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP).
A social worker who is treating the girl said that Mama Esther who is a relation of the victim, lured her from their village in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with the promise of sponsoring her through school.
“The girl lived in Port Harcourt with her parents. But last year, her mother handed her over to Mama Esther after the latter promised to support the family by taking the girl to Lagos.
She said the girl would continue her education when they get to Lagos. However, when she brought her to Lagos, she decided to hand her over to Amadi, who she owed some money. The woman then decided to use her for begging.
The girl said she noticed that Amadi would make her sleep before pouring a substance suspected to be chemical on her body. By the time she woke up and scratched the spots after feeling some pains, they would become sore.
The woman would then bandage the place and take her out for begging. She said whenever the injuries heal, she would make her sleep again and pour the chemical on her.
The woman started with her bottoms and then her laps. She said such had happened about four different times.”
During interrogation, Mama Esther was said to have confessed that she always collected between N2,500 to N3,000 as her share of the proceeds every day.
The Director of OPD, Olubukola Salami who condemned the action of the women in very strong terms, said that the state would ensure that justice was served as child abuse and cruelty is strongly frowned upon by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.