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Pain to gain: AG, First Lady, NHRC, others step in for tortured Chinaza

Posted by By Vincent Ukpong Kalu on 2007/09/29 | Views: 800 |

Pain to gain: AG, First Lady, NHRC, others step in for tortured Chinaza


The biblical story of Joseph whose life got elevated after being sold into slavery by his elder brothers is unfolding in the life of seven year-old-girl, Chinaza Ibe, the girl badly and wickedly tortured by a couple in Okoko, Lagos.

• British couple wants to adopt her
• Accused arraigned

The biblical story of Joseph whose life got elevated after being sold into slavery by his elder brothers is unfolding in the life of seven year-old-girl, Chinaza Ibe, the girl badly and wickedly tortured by a couple in Okoko, Lagos.

Since the publication in Saturday Sun last week of Chinaza’s ordeal in the hands of her aunt, Ifeoma Johnson and her husband Emmanuel Johnson, many individuals and organisations have shown keen interest in her and would want to assist to turn her life around.

The Okoko police station where the little girl stays has turned to a Mecca for these individuals and various organizations that want to have a look at the heartless treatment the couple meted to a little child.

On the way to London
A Nigerian-British woman, Mrs. Doreen Sarah Harris who read Chanaza’s sordid story, went to meet her at the police station. The woman wept on seeing her condition. She later went on a shopping spree for her and gave some money for her upkeep.
Our findings is that she is already thinking of the possibility of taking her to London to live with her so that she will train her to become a medical doctor.

In this direction, she has started moves to enlist the support of the British High Commission in Nigeria to actualize this desire. Chinaza is fascinated about the idea of going to London. She is already thinking and dreaming of life outside the shores of Nigeria. Like the typical child, all her talks now is about London and has even started listing some members of her family and some police officers she will take over to London when she settles down. She discusses very intelligently.

First Lady’s interest
Wife of Lagos State governor, Abimbola Fashola is also passionate about Chinaza. Officers from her office were at the police station on Tuesday to assess the situation.
On the same day, officers from the National Human Rights Commission, Abuja were also at the police station to meet Chinaza. Coincidentally, they met with the delegation from the office of the First Lady of Lagos State.

Representatives from the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation had been there to see Chinaza also. Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution is also in the picture.
Several other human rights groups are not left out. They have lent their voices to see that the couple who treated Chinaza so unkindly is brought to book.

Ifeoma arraigned
Only Ifeoma, Chinaza’s aunt was arraigned last Wednesday at the Ojo Magistrate court for causing bodily harm to the little girl. When the magistrate was told that Chinaza was seven years old and was a housemaid and also shown the injuries inflicted on her by her aunt, the magistrate expressed surprises and asked, “who will deliver such a girl as house help and who will accept such as house help?”

Two lawyers from the National Human Rights Commission joined in the prosecution of Ifeoma who was later granted bail at the sum of N10, 000 and two sureties with evidence of gainful employment and documentary evidence of payment of income tax to the Lagos State government. The sureties must be resident within the Ojo Magisterial district. The case was adjoined to November 26, 2007.

Reflections
As reported last week by Saturday Sun, Chinaza was brutally tortured and locked up in the room by her aunt, Ifeoma and her husband, Emmanuel for disobeying them by taking their child she was babysitting outside their apartment in Igboelerin, Okokomaiko, a suburb of Lagos. The couple told their neigbhours that Chinaza had been sent back to her mother when actually she was kept in solitary confinement and starved of food for four days, from Friday evening to Monday the following week. It was the neighbours that rescued her from untimely death. Chinaza’s body was a sorry sight as her skin was lacerated with deep cuts in her skin.

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