By Peter Okutu – Abakaliki
A couple, Mr and Mrs Philip Iboko, were Monday, arrested by operatives of the Ebonyi State Police Command for allegedly torturing an eight-year-old pupil.
The maltreatment of the little girl was said to have been seen in a trending video clip where she was kept in the scorching sun with her two legs tied together by her madam, Mrs Iboko.
The victim and the suspect had lived for two years.
The couple who hail from the Izzi Local Goverment Area of Ebonyi State, unleashed their anger on the little girl for eating part of the N10.00 sweet they bought for their two-year-old baby.
A source said it took the intervention of caring neighbours (Mr Chinedu and Mr Raymond) to untie the little girl.
The two neighbours, according to the source, “Untie and took the girl off the scorching sun, as she was already getting weak consequent upon the beating she received from her aunty and the heat from the harsh sun”.
Efforts made to reach the Ebonyi State Police Command, to comment on the matter, proved abortive as calls put across to the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mrs Loveth Odah, were not answered.
She was also yet to reply text messages sent to her mobile line, as of the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, Human rights groups, under the auspices of Human Rights Defenders Foundation (HURIDE); Child Protection Network; and Save The Next Child Foundation, among others, condemned the action of the couple.
According to HURIDE’s Chairman in the state, Sam Nweke and Save The Next Child’s Coordinator, Barr Steve Ugama, the maltreatment on the little girl was both condemnable and unacceptable.
The duo, in a separate interview, said, “on receiving the report, Human Rights Defenders Foundation (HURIDE) in collaboration with human rights groups stormed the crime scene at No. 7 Divine Grace Street, Mile 50, Abakaliki.
“However, before we got there, the suspects had locked up their house and ran away to their village, switching off their phones. In our firm resolve to track the perpetrators of the heinous crime, we had to go to the chairman of Izzi LGA, Chief Paul Nwogha who later assisted us bring the fleeing culprits back to Abakaliki so they can face the consequences of their actions.
“So, this morning, October 26th, 2020, we invited the police to get her arrested alongside her husband for complicity. While we wait for tomorrow October 27th, to re-unite the abused child with her parents. She is left in momentary custody of the Izzi Council Chairman, Chief Nwogha, on his request.”
Vanguard News Nigeria.