The life of an 11-year old girl, Ita Bassey-Eno, hangs in the balance after she was allegedly set ablaze by the woman she lives with, Mrs Nkese Iroakazi, a nurse at a hospital in Surulere.
Nkese was alleged to have poured kerosene on Bassey-Eno before lighting a match stick to set her ablaze after the girl was said to have stolen a piece of meat from the pot.
Witnesses said the girl ran out of their apartment at 7, Adeniran Ogunsanya Street, Surulere, to the main road with fire all over her body as she cried for help from passers-by to rescue her.
She was said to have been saved by someone driving by, who put out the fire with his car’s fire extinguisher.
The incident, which occurred last Saturday, was immediately reported at the Bode Thomas Police Station and the police from the station arrested Mrs. Nkese, while the little girl was rushed to the Burns and Trauma Centre, an annex of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital at the General Hospital, Gbagada, for urgent attention as the doctors in the hospital said she had suffered 95 percent burns and would take a miracle for her to survive.
The girl’s private part was damaged, as almost all her body got burnt.
Executive Director, Esther Child Rights Foundation, ECRF, Mrs. Esther Ogwu, who was at the hospital to see the girl, wept when she saw her pathetic state, saying that in all her life as human rights activist, she had never come across such a gruesome case as that of the little girl.
According to Ogwu, “the situation is terrible. The doctor said the girl suffered 95 percent burns and that her private part has been damaged. This woman is more than wicked. Justice must take its course.
“One of the health officials at the General Hospital, Gbagada called me and said a woman poured kerosene on the little girl staying with her and lit up a match stick and set her ablaze. The girl ran out of the house to the main road where a Good Samaritan used her car fire extinguisher to put out the fire.”
Bassey-Eno, who hails from Akwa Ibom State, was brought from the village with another girl, Happiness Okon-Bassey, 13, to live with Nkese in June 2013 on the premise that she would send them to school, but that was not to be as the two girls allegedly performed the function of domestic servants for Nkese.
The second house girl, Okon-Bassey, said she did not see when her colleague was set ablaze but that she heard her screaming when their mistress was beating her shortly before the she saw flame all over her body when she ran outside their home.
She alleged that they were maltreated and beaten thoroughly very often and that they had no time to rest as they work almost throughout the day for their mistress without going to school, saying that they normally eat twice daily.
Daughter of the alleged culprit, Ijeoma Akiti, 27, said she was not at home when the incident occurred and that she could not tell whether her mother poured kerosene on the little girl’s body and set her ablaze, but that she heard such story at the police station.
Police sources alleged that the little girl confessed that her mistress poured kerosene on her. The police at the station said the woman would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti for further investigation into the matter, but Ogwu alleged that the police were trying to shield the woman from prosecution.
In her statement at the police station, Iroakazi denied that she poured kerosene on the little girl’s body and set her ablaze.
According to her, she was in the sitting room when she heard a loud cry and rushed out only to see the girl on fire and called on people to help put out the fire.
Officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, were at the hospital and the police station where they spoke with the woman, but she denied the story.
WAPA officials took Okon-Bassey, the second girl with them for rehabilitation pending when she would be reconciled with her real mother.
Bassey-Eno lies groaning in pain, and in critical condition at the General Hospital, Gbagada, with doctors battling to save her life. [PMNews]
Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, Loses 13-year-old Daughter
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has announced the loss of his 13-year-old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali.
The Minister took to his Twitter account on Monday night to announce this sad news.
Pantami stated that the funeral prayer for the deceased will be conducted in Abuja on Tuesday at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2.
The post by the minister announcing the incident reads; “Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun! My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
“Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer In sha Allah. May Allah forgive and be merciful to her.”
Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun!
My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer in sha Allah. May Allah forgive & be Merciful to her.
— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) November 23, 2020
Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has imposed a 24-hour total curfew for two weeks on some parts of Port-Harcourt, the state capital.
The Governor made this known during a broadcast on Sunday where he noted that the curfew begins from Monday 23rd November 2020.
The statement noted that the upsurge noticed by the state government in cases of cult activities, other forms of violence, and killings is responsible for the curfew.
Wike in the statement declared that the entire area along and around the Okoro-nodu flyover up to a one-kilometre radius from Saint Emmanuel Anglican Church, Rumuokoro, extending to the Rumuodomaya Slaughter and Local Government daily market will be affected.
He added that no form of trading, human or vehicular movement is allowed in the affected areas until further notice.
Zamfara Governor Secures Release Of 11 Kidnapped Victims
Governor of Zamafara, Bello Matawalle has announced the release of 11 kidnapped victims.
According to reports, ten of the victims were male and a female from Bukkuyum Local Government Area.
Matawalle received the rescued kidnapped victims on Saturday night at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.
The Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Muhammed Dauran revealed that the victims were released without paying a ransom.
He stated they were released as a result of the peace initiative and stakeholders meeting summoned by Governor Matawalle with all critical stakeholders from Bukkuyum Local Government Area on Thursday.
Governor Matawalle assured that his administration will not rest on its oars until total peace is achieved in all parts of the state.
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