By Samson Folarin
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a woman for allegedly flogging and locking a 10-year-old orphan in a kennel.
The PUNCH learnt that the incident happened in the Surulere area of Lagos.
There had been outrage on the social media after a video went viral showing the suspect beating the boy for an unstated offence before throwing him into the kennel.
Not done, she padlocked the kennel housing some dogs and walked away, as a neighbour secretly filmed the incident.
Nigerians had called for the arrest and prosecution of the suspect, as a former spokesperson for the Zone 2 Police Command, Dolapo Badmos, promised to act on the video.
In a post on her Instagram page on Thursday, Badmos said the suspect had been apprehended.
She said, “Last week, we got the report of a lady who beat up a lad and threw him into a dungeon of dogs.
“The domestic violence response team of the Lagos State Police Command was activated. The team went into action and the lady was arrested.
“The suspect is in custody and will be charged to court. The boy who happens to be an orphan has been rescued and kept in a shelter provided by the Lagos State Government.”
The Coordinator of the Lagos State Domestic Sexual Violence Response Team, Lola Adeniyi, commended the resident who recorded the video and gave information to security agencies.
She said the suspect was traced based on the information from the mandatory reporter.
“On getting to the house, she was not around. So, we dropped a letter of invitation to her and she responded yesterday (Wednesday). She was arrested and the child taken into protective custody.
The 10-year-old is her cousin. Apparently, the boy is an orphan and had been living with her. She claimed that he stole.
“But of course locking him in a kennel cannot be the right thing to do. It is a violation of his right has a child. He has the right to life and dignity. He should not be tortured. So, aside from the beating, he was debased as if he was a dog and that will not be allowed in Lagos. We have enshrined the Child Rights Law since 2007 and we are ensuring that the law is enforced,” Adeniyi added.
She urged Nigerians not to keep quiet when they see child abuse in their environment.
Adeniyi applauded the mandatory reporter for being a good Nigerian.
She said, “You can report anonymously so that your identity will be preserved. The most important thing is that when you see something, say something.”
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana, in a statement confirmed the incident.
He identified the suspect as 24-year-old Onyinye, who lives in Aguda, Surulere.
He said, “On August 14, 2019, a team of detectives from the Gender Unit, Command’s Headquarters Ikeja, arrested Onyinye for assault and child abuse. This followed a viral video on the social media showing the suspect torturing one Chibike of same address.
“The video also showed the suspect locking the boy up in a kennel, sharing space with dogs. The video was widely condemned by well-meaning Nigerians.
“The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Zubairu Muazu, ordered the Gender Unit of the command to identify the woman in the video, rescue the child and make the suspect face the full weight of the law.
“The Domestic and Sexual Response Team, Alausa, Ikeja, also added its voice to the call for investigation with a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police to that effect.
“The Gender Unit traced the suspect to a liquor store in Surulere and her residence at Aguda. The boy was rescued and taken to a secure shelter. The suspect admitted that she was the one in the viral video flogging the child with belt, but she denied locking the survivor in a cage with dogs. That she only locked him in an empty dog kennel where bags are kept.
Source: The Punch