A seven-year-old girl, Mazichukwu, is battling with burns allegedly inflicted on her by her aunt, whom she lives with on Josiah Aina Street, Alakuko, Lagos State.
The aunt, Mrs Loveth Ozoihu, reportedly punished the girl by beating her with a hot knife for allegedly stealing chewing gum belonging to their neighbour’s child.
She returned home with the gum, which she confessed to have collected from the neighbour’s kid when asked. Angry abvout the situation, Loveth lit a gas cooker at midnight and put a knife on the burner before proceeding to place the hot knife on the girl’s buttocks, leaving her to groan with pains.
Loveth reportedly then decided to take the girl to a chemist’s shop, where a substance was applied to the injury.
The case was however, reported at the Alakuko police station by a good samaritan and Loveth was arrested.
In her statement to the police, the 25-year-old suspect denied the assavlt saying;
“I sent her to our neighbour to give her change for what the woman bought. When she got there, the woman’s child started crying. When she came back, I asked her what she did to the child but she did not answer.
“I asked her where she got the chewing gum in her mouth from. She said she stole it from the child. I beat her with a cane and not a hot knife. She mistakenly sat on the burner by herself. There was also a day she stole my fish and I beat her.”
The girl however stated that her aunt’s claim were lies and insisted that the woman inflicted the burns on her buttocks.
“My aunt punished me for collecting chewing gum from our neighbour’s daughter. She put on the gas cooker and put a knife on it. When it was hot, she used it to beat my buttocks. The day I stole her fish, she beat me with a wire and gave me a mark on the face,” she said.
A neighbour of the suspect, also confirmed that Loveth had on several occasions subjected the little girl to assavlt on several occasions.
He added that he once told her husband about it.
“The husband insulted me and asked me to mind my own business. She doesn’t give the girl food regularly yet she would wake her up very early in the morning to wash clothes,” the resident added.
Ozoihu was subsequently arraigned before an Ogba Magistrates’ Court on one count of assavlt occasioning harm but was granted bail by the presiding magistrate Mrs Olufunke Sule-Hamzat, in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in the like sum.