THE Kwara State police command and the ministry of women affairs are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the case of an Immigration Officer, Mr Yemi Sunday Afolayan, who allegedly inflicted several body injuries on a 12-year-old girl, Favour Emmanuel, with hot pressing iron after tying her up and beating her.
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Narrating her ordeal, Favour said that Afolayan asked her to prepare rice but as it was taking too long for the food to be ready he first beat her mercilessly and latter tied her up and used an electric pressing iron to inflict the injuries on her body.
Corroborating the claims of the little girl, neighbours who spoke under condition of anonymity said that the manner in which the girl was being treated is far from being human but as they were not party to her being brought into the house, they cannot challenge the couple.
When a neighbour noticed the manner of maltreating the girl, a report about it was made at ministry of women affairs.
The Director of Child Development, Kwara State Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Lucy Adeniyi, confirmed that the incident was reported to the ministry by a neighbour to the couple.
Adding that Favour sustained serious injuries on her neck and foot, adding that she was in a critical condition as her foot and some parts of her neck were burnt and infected requiring immediate medical attention and that the victim has been taken to the state Civil Service Hospital, Ilorin for medical attention.
Investigations revealed that Favours guardian, wife of the immigration officer is popularly known as Iya Beji, is a trader selling frozen foods and grainsalong Basin Road.
Asked about the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Fabode Olufemi, also confirmed the incident and said warrant of arrest had been issued on the suspects. Olufemi added that the police would do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice.
Meanwhile, Favour Emmanuel is currently at the Children Reception Centre, Gaa Akanbi, owned by the Kwara State Government.
Reacting to the development when our correspondent visited the Afolayan residence, the Immigration Officer and father of five denied the allegation, claiming that “the girl was only being naughty.” He said Favour was not a house help as she claimed, maintaining that she hailed from the same community in the Eastern part of the country with his wife.
The suspect further explained: “She said when she was running out of the house, maybe she got it before she got here, may be on the street. I told you I’m a father myself and I wouldn’t do that to any child. I wanted to scold her where she was ironing and she ran out but I got burnt on my left thigh. I feel that was a mistake by her, maybe when she was running out but I didn’t burn her with iron.”
Our reporter, therefore, observed that Favour’s guardian may have travelled with her five kids, as she was neither in the house nor her shop.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Comfort Afolayan said: “The Ministry went there and reported at the anti-child trafficking department of A Devision and made arrest. The victim was arrested. The child is in our custody where we are taking care of her and we will take her back to her family.”
“The girl was taken to a child centre at Gaa Akanbi. As a mother no even as the Commisisoner for Women and Social Affair,
but as a mother, the act is very horrible. As a mother, who has gone through the process of child bearing, you can not see tat situation and keep quiet. Such a treatment is not acceptable. ”
“The Ministry will not relent on its efforts in protecting the rights of these children. We have been embarking on sensitization and enlightenment programme son child abuse and child labour, even after all these efforts, people still involving in such practices.”
“As a result of this experience which we have seen again, we will continue to persuade our people on the dangers of exposing our
children who are the pillars of tomorrow for maltreatment. We are appealing to guardians, elders and even parents that they
should see children as a gift from God and pillars of this nation.
Any child that is maltreated will have malice in her. Since the
We appeal our parents and guardians to treat our children the way they
would want their children to be treated”.
The girl is from Anambra but the mother resides in Lagos. She is aged
between 12 and 13 years.