The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) Imo State Chapter, has condemned in strong terms the brutality meted out on a 12 year old Chikamso Ekeocha by her guardians as was shown in a viral video on social media.
The victim, an indigene of Umunali Mbeiri, in Mbaitoli local government area of Imo state, was a house help living with her guardians known as Uzoma and wife Njideka at area L , World Bank housing estate, new Owerri.
The Imo NAWOJ Chairperson, Dr. Dorothy Nnaji who visited the young Chikamso Ekeocha in company of National Human Rights Imo State Coordinator Ukachi Martha Ukah at the Imo State Specialist Hospital Umuguma expressed displeasure over such inhumane treatment.
Dr.Dorothy Nnaji described the act as a beastly, cruel unrestrained abuse on a minor which was a clear example of man’s inhumanity to man.
According to her, ” such treatment should not be meted on anyone no matter the crime committed.”
She further observed that such maltreatment can not be visited on an animal, moreless a child of 12 years, a minor prone to misbehave at her age.
Nnaji sympathized with Chikamso who was in excruciating pain.
Narrating her ordeal , young Chikamso said it all started on Saturday 25 June, 2022 when she rode the bicycle of her guardian’s child. Njideka the mother of the children Chikamso looks after caned her.
She recounted that upon the return of Njideka’s husband one Uzoma , who having gotten wind of what happened the previous day, went to the kitchen and placed a fork on the cooker and repeatedly burnt her with it while she was bathing. Chikamso said she wept and begged but no help came her way not even the wife came to her rescue.
She also recalled another occasion when Uzoma used peppery substance on her eyes as a means of repriminding her.
When questioned about their relationship with the suspects, Chikamso Ekeocha’s mother Amarachi Jude said they are not related to her daughter’s guardian but that she gave her child to Njideka and Uzoma on recommendation from her sister and that her daughter has stayed with the said guardian for two years.
Reacting, the National Human Rights Commission Coordinator for Imo State, Ukachi Martha Ukah pointed out that what was done to the victim was an absolute violation of the rights of a minor.
She said that the Commission would work hand in glove with other civil society organisations (CSOs) within the state to ensure that the perpetrator who is already in police custody faces legal actions.
That the government should stiffen punishment on offenders of such crimes.
Innocent Ikpamezie former GM, Owerri Capital Development Authority OCDA, who visited Chikamso made cash donations and promised to ensure that she gets the best medical treatment and restore back to school.
Dr. Nnaji thanked Ministry of Women Affairs and Vulnerable Group,FIDA, NBA, Imo State Child Protection Network and the various CSOs for ensuring that Chikamso received medical attention and the justice that would be served once the perpetrator is brought before a court of competent jurisdiction.