Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Wednesday arrested a couple in Umuahia, the capital of southeastern Nigerian state of Abia, for allegedly abusing a minor.
The suspects, Uzochukwu Madu and his wife – Lorita Madu, Sunday night flogged their 11-year-old house help – Glory John – mercilessly before rubbing wet dried, ground pepper all over her body (including eyes and vulva), causing the girl severe pain and temporary blindness.
Glory was reportedly rescued by a concerned neighbour when she staggered out of her guardians’ house stark naked, groping in the dark and screaming for help with a broken lip.
She begged her rescuer never to give her back to her guardians, telling him the Sunday incident was the fifth time the couple had meted out such treatment to her and that her only crime was not remembering in time to inform the husband and wife that their two young children had ran out of food.
Regardless of Uzochukwu’s threats to his neighbour aimed at forcing him to release Glory to him, the man refused handing over the visibly shaken and traumatized girl back to him. Instead, he called up NAPTIP that night and narrated the girl’s ordeal to them, beseeching them to come to her immediate assistance.
The organization, first thing Monday, came and took the girl to safety.
In an interview, the Abia State commissioner for women’s affairs, Rose Urenta, expressed dismay at the heartbreaking incident, assuring that in line with the state’s zero-tolerance policy to gender-based violence, she would ensure the victim gets the justice she rightfully deserves.
Also speaking, the state coordinator of NAPTIP, Nkemdilim Okafor, said the agency swung into action as soon as it received the report, promising the matter would be handled diligently.