The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in the early hours of this Saturday in Kuje, arrested Mr. Ayo Yahaya (43years old) and his wife Khadijat (30 years old) for the violence meted on a child of less than 2years. The child is Mr. yahaya’s son from his first marriage that ended less than six months ago. The little boy had his hands, buttocks and genetals burnt by his step mother who is supposed to be his caregiver in conspiracy with the father.
It was gathered that the boy had faced loads of maltreatment including starvation since the father forcefully took him away from his biological mother recently. The little boy was said to have been starved from morning till 2pm on the fateful day and he crawled to the kitchen where he saw some wraps on Moi-Moi (Beans meal) and decided to help himself with one. No sooner had he managed to open one than the step mother arrived and descended on him.
The father (Yahaya Ayo) is a mechanic and has a workshop near Zuba, the Federal Capital Territory. Yahaya, anindegene of Kogi State leaves his Kuje home early to his mechanic workshop and returns late in the night. He divorced the mother of the victim about six months ago. She left his house with the little boy but a few weeks ago, the mechanic husband traveled home and eloped with the little boy without the knowledge of the mother and against her wish.
He brought the boy to Kuje and kept him in custody of the step mother (KhadijatYahaya,l). For the offence of trying to eat the Moi- moi, the woman used her bathroom slippers to flog and design the little boy’s body. Witness account has it that, the boy was beaten until he couldn’t cry anymore. He was then left on the cold, wet and muddy floor. The neighbors thought she was done beaten the little boy, but they were
The step mother proceeded to peel a tuber of yam, poured it inside a pot, added water and salt to the yam, and placed it on fire. When the yam was done, she grabbed this little boy, held both hands and deeped them in the hot boiling water which has now turned into a light paste owing to the cooked yam. She held the boy’s hands pinned into the hot water for a while before letting go…
The boy’s shout for help and cry of agony drew the attention of neighbours who came to his rescue, but it was too late. The father returned without doing anything. It took public spirited individuals to bring this to the front burner and NAPTIP then intervened on Friday with the support of the good Samaritans and the child was rescued. He has gone through a successful surgery at a specialist hospital in Abuja through the support of same good Samaritans.All attempts to apprehend the couple since Friday failed as the husband took her into hiding until early Saturday morning when they were smoked out of hiding by NAPTIP operatives. They are now in NAPTIP custody making useful statements while investigations continue.
Reacting to this, the Director General, Dame Julie Okah-Donli expressed appreciation to the informants for exposing the evil act. She however, promised to bring the culprits to justice.