A female resident, identified only as Iya Keji, was attacked on Tayo Kehinde Street, in the Egbeda area of Lagos State on Tuesday for allegedly cutting her ward, Bose, with a blade, in different parts of her body.
The mother of one, who is a trader, later escaped. She has been declared wanted by policemen from the Shasha division.
However, her mother, aunt and daughter were detained by the police pending the arrest of the trader.
Punch Metro learnt that 12-year-old Bose was undergoing treatment in an undisclosed hospital in the area.
A Punch correspondent gathered that Iya Keji’s husband travelled abroad five years ago, leaving her with their six-year-old daughter, Keji, and Bose.
Bose is reported to be the suspect’s husband’s cousin and had been living with them before the husband travelled out.
It was learnt that around 4am on Tuesday, Iya Keji beat up the victim before inflicting deep cuts in her face and hands.
Around 8am, she reportedly asked her to buy plaster to cover up the injuries.
Residents, who saw the extent of the injuries, raised the alarm.
A woman, who did not want to be identified, said the suspect used a sharp object.
She said, “I was taking my daughter to school this morning (Tuesday) when I saw the girl. I counted four deep cuts– two on her face, one each on her hands. Her veins were showing and it was like her wrist would cut off.
“When we asked her what happened, she said her guardian saw N20 in her pocket, which she could not account for.
“She came to buy plaster in a shop on the street when people saw the injuries and accompanied her to the house. We all rebuked the woman for maltreating the child.”
A trader told Punch Metro that the suspect rebuffed the reprimands and abused the “uninvited visitors.”
She claimed that a friend of the suspect later grabbed the victim and put her on a motorcycle, while Iya Keji also joined the man.
“We all tried to trail them, but they escaped. Somebody alerted the police and when they arrived, we started making frantic attempts to locate Iya Keji, her friend and the victim,” the trader said.
Punch Metro was told that some minutes later, the suspect’s friend returned to the house.
“We quickly alerted the police and the man was prevented from leaving the house until the police arrived. He took the police to where the child was kept. She was not taken to a hospital. She was held up in a dingy room, where they had applied some powder on the injuries,” another woman added.
When a Punch correspondent visited the house, he met the landlord, who refused to be identified.
The middle-aged man, however, said he and other tenants did not hear anything when Bose was allegedly being tortured because of the noise of generators.
He said, “I was listening to the news on my radio around 8am when I saw six people in the house. They held on to the girl. I was alarmed at her injuries and I went inside the house to confront the woman while she prepared her daughter for school.
“I insisted that she would not leave until the police or human rights officials arrived. Some other people had also started hitting her. When I learnt that the police were on the way, I left her apartment.”
The landlord explained that the suspect took the girl on a motorcycle and escaped.
He said when the police arrived and they didn’t see her, another tenant, who had collected her contact, tricked her back to the house.
“She was nabbed by some policemen who wore ordinary clothes. The police had earlier arrested her daughter, mother, and aunt. They are all at the police station,” he added.
The Punch correspondent was told that Iya Keji, who sold shoes at Egbeda bus stop, always leave the house early in the morning and returned late at night.
“She does not have issues with anyone in the house, but she does not associate with anyone and that makes it difficult to know anything about her,” another tenant added.
When Punch Metro visited the Shasha Police Station, he observed that the suspect had not been arrested by the police.
Her six-year-old daughter was sighted by the Punch correspondent shedding tears, while the grandma lamented.
She was overheard saying, “I have always warned my daughter against beating that girl. I told her to always report her to me. I promise to produce her as soon as I find her.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the incident.
He said, “One Bose Arogundade, aged 12, was assaulted by her guardian, one Iya Keji, with a razor blade, thereby inflicting injuries in her face and hands. The girl was later rescued from where she was abandoned on Gowon Estate. She has been taken to a hospital for treatment while the suspect is at large.”