A five-year-old girl, Aondoaver Sewuesi, is on admission at the health centre in Omu-Ijelu Ekiti, Oye Local Government, Ekiti State, following serious injuries her aunt, Mrs. Esther Abgundu, allegedly inflicted on her private part.
In a petition by the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPI) in the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mrs Abgundu was said to have inserted a hot knife in Sewuesi’s vagina for allegedly eating out of her (Abgundu) daughter’s food.
The JDPI stated in the petition, signed by its Director, Reverend Father Emmanuel Akingbade, that Mrs. Abgundu, an indigene of Gwer Local Government in Benue State, had accused Sewuesi of partaking in the food meant for her daughter, and had severely beaten her and sprayed pepper in her private part before inserting the hot metal.
The petition, made available to journalists in Ado- Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, yesterday stated that Abgundu committed the act on November 26, 2017.
The petition explained, “The victim was baby sitting the baby of the respondent (Mrs Abgundu) and in the course of feeding the baby, the victim took a spoon of the baby’s food and ate.
“This annoyed the respondent so much that she threw pepper in Sewuensi’s private part. The respondent further put a knife in the fire and inserted it in the victim’s private part, and equally impressed the hot knife on the outer part of her private part. Still not satisfied, Abgundu beat Sewuensi mercilessly, warning her not to cry out aloud.”
The JDPI said after receiving the report, it despatched its officials to the community and to its traditional ruler, Oba Isaac Adetoyinbo Ajayi, for investigation.
“The Elejelu of Ijelu-Ekiti confirmed the report and further informed us that he has notified the Divisional Police Officer of Ilupeju-Ekiti of the incident and the latter sent officers to arrest the respondent a day after the incident was reported at the palace.
“The monarch confirmed also that the victim was on the night of the incident rushed to the Ijelu-Ekiti Health Centre for medical care,” it said.
The JDPI director, “We took a further step of visiting the health centre for verification and questioning”, adding that officials of the centre, as well as relatives of the victim all confirmed the incident.
The JDPI disclosed that the five-year-old had been a victim of “frequent inhuman and degrading treatments,” saying “we took a closer look at the victim to confirm the incidence of maltreatment, child abuse and molestation.
It called on the NHRC to intervene in the “matter of cruelty against the victim by ensuring that the respondent is brought to book to serve as deterrent to whoever still engages in acts of inhuman and degrading treatment of others, especially children.”