The Lagos State Government has vowed to prosecute a 70-year old woman for applying pepper in a 12-year old boy’s joystick for alleged stealing of money.
The government also vowed to prosecute another woman who engaged in begging for alms the two children she brought from the village to assist her in trading.
The children were brought to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, after they have been rescued in Badagry, Ajamgbadi and Maza-Maza areas of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria by government officials and the police 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 by applying pepper in his private part and beating him severely with marks on his body.
“Our team went to Badagry to rescue the boy who attends Ansarudeen Secondary School. From the information gotten from the school, the accused are old. 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 transient 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 said government had lots of child abuse cases being prosecuted at various Family Courts in the State, with some of the culprits being jailed, saying that “as we arrest culprits, we hand them over to the police for prosecution.”
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 disclosed how much he stole due to shame and fear, admitting that the old woman applied pepper to his joystick for stealing some money.
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 for her 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.