State to prosecute 70-year-old woman, others over alleged child abuse

JusticeTHE Lagos State government has vowed to prosecute a 70-year-old woman for applying pepper to a 12-year old boy’s penis for stealing.

The government also vowed to prosecute another woman, who specialises in bringing children from the village for the business of alms begging in Lagos.

The children were brought to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) after they were rescued in Badagry, Ajamgbadi and Maza-Maza areas by government officials on Tuesday.

Permanent Secretary, WAPA, Omobolanle Ogunmola, said the ministry got a text message that a 12-year old child (name withheld) was being abused by a woman, who is around 70 years of age for alleged stealing. The woman allegedly applied pepper to his private part, having inflicted marks on his body from heavy beating.

According to Ogunmola, our team went to Badagry to rescue the boy who attends Ansarudeen Secondary School. She said: “Information obtained from one of the officials of the school revealed that the woman is around 70 years and the husband, over 75 years, so we could not arrest them, but that does not mean we are not going to prosecute them.    “We are going to prosecute them. We will take custody of the boy and take him to school in one of our care homes,” she said.

Ogunmola said the state government had declared zero tolerance on child abuse and domestic violence, saying that government would not hesitate to prosecute people found to have violated the rights of children in the state.

On the woman who engaged two children in begging, Ogunmola said government was also going to prosecute the woman for engaging the children in begging, advising parents to live up to their responsibilities by not releasing their children to live with others without proper investigation.

She noted that government had lots of child abuse cases being prosecuted at various Family Courts in the State, with some of the culprits being jailed.

However, the 12-year old boy confirmed that the 70-year old woman applied pepper on his private part for stealing money, which he admitted to, saying that since his mother left him, he had been staying with his relation who happened to be the aged woman.

He identified the aged woman simply as Mrs. Amosun, but the boy refused to disclose how much he stole.    One of the girls being engaged in begging (name withheld) said the woman, identified as Amaka, told her parents in Abia State that she wanted to engage the girl in selling provision in Lagos, noting that on getting to Lagos, she was turned into a beggar and paid N100 every month.

The girl, 19, who was discovered to be pregnant, said one of the boys in the neighbourhood got her pregnant, saying that she detested begging, which she normally did at Alaba Market in Ajamgbadi.

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