A 12-year-old boy, Michael Agu, has been brought to the Lagos State Government by a neighbour in the Victoria Island area of the state after five years of being allegedly tortured by her aunt, identified only as Mama Sarah.
Agu told PUNCH Metro that he did not want to go back to the woman because of the torture.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the boy, who was brought from the Imuneze area of Anambra State to stay with the woman around 2010, was registered in a secondary school just last year. He was said not to be punctual in school due to alleged abuse.
Our correspondent gathered that the aunt had been reported at the Bar Beach Police Division sometime last year and had been arrested, but she was freed when she signed an undertaking not to touch the boy again.
It was learnt that Mama Sarah, however, continued abusing Agu.
According to the neighbour who took Agu to the state Ministry of Youths and Social Development, Alausa, and who identified himself only as Ike, the aunt allegedly tortured Agu with razor blades and knives.
He said, “Mama Sarah is from Delta State, and she has three boys and one girl. But her boys do not stay with her. It is only the girl who stays with her. She constantly unleashed terror on the boy.
“The boy’s father is dead, but his mother stays in the village. The boy was not registered in school until last year. He does not attend school regularly.
“We once took the case to the Bar Beach Police Division, where the woman was detained. She was later released, but she has refused to stop the abuse.”
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, Agu, who could barely speak English, said his aunt usually cut his body with razor blades whenever he offended her.
“I don’t want to return to her. She cuts my body with blades and she also bites me to punish me,” he added.
Our correspondent learnt that the Child Protection Unit of the ministry had written to invite Mama Sarah on the alleged torture of the boy.
A copy of the letter, obtained by PUNCH Metro and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ogunmolu T.A., showed that the aunt was told to come to the ministry last Wednesday.
The letter read in part, “I am directed to invite you to a meeting with the Director, Child Development Department, Alausa, Ikeja, at 10am prompt on Wednesday, January 13. The meeting is in respect of the welfare of Michael Agu.”
It was gathered that the woman, however, had yet to show up at the ministry.
Mama Sarah, when contacted, denied abusing the boy, adding that Agu ran away to be sleeping under the bridge.
“I got the ministry’s letter. I did not beat him. He has run away to be sleeping under the bridge,” she added.