From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Police Command has arrested a 39-year-old woman, Esther Otoniye over an allegation of using a hot knife to burn the buttocks of her 10-year-old stepdaughter (names withheld).
According to investigations, the Police picked up Otoniye, at Akenfa, Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state, following directives from the State Commissioner of Police after complaints by various Child rights advocacy groups, including the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), and the Gender Response Team Initiatives (GRIT).
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It was gathered that Otoniye allegedly placed a knife on fire and used it to burn her buttocks for allegedly lying against her while the girl’s father was in the bathroom.
The suspect, however ,denied the allegation noting that hot water accidentally poured on the girl’s buttocks in the kitchen.
However, her story was punctured by some members of the child right advocacy groups that observed that the body of the primary 3 pupil was filled with scars suspected to have come from severe and repeated flogging.
The Chairman of the Gender Response Initiative Team, Dise Ogbise, expressed concern over the rising cases of violence against the girl child in the state.
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“We don’t know when issues of domestic violence will come to an end in our region.
It is even sad to note that we have more cases of physical violence on children being perpetrated by women.
The law is no respecter of persons and we are calling on the Bayelsa State Police command to quickly investigate this case and charge the suspect to court.”
Findings by Daily Sun indicated that the gender desk of the state police command has taken charge of the case and taken the child to the police clinic for evaluation,while the case has been transferred to the state police headquarters.
Bayelsa state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Asinim Butswat, said the case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCID) for further investigation.
” It is a case where the step mother used a hot knife to inflict bodily injuries on her 10 years old step daughter. Investigation is ongoing.”