* As Groups Order Arrest Of Culprit
By Obinna Ogbonnaya, Abakaliki
A Police nursing mother, one Mrs. Ugo Okochi residing along Mile 50 layout Abakaliki, Ebonyi State yesterday poured a 15 year old house help, Miss Chinyere Igwe with hot water and hot melon soup over alleged disobedience to the directive of the woman who was said to have been maltreating the young girl since she was brought to her from the village.
LEADERSHIP who visited the scene of the incident observed that the police woman who recently gave birth to twins two weeks ago through cesarean operation was said to have poured the girl with hot soup and water after the girl was directed to fry the melon but the girl mistakenly forgot and poured the melon inside the soup without frying it.
LEADERSHIP reliably gathered that the action of the girl infuriated the police woman who immediately started beating up the girl, rushed inside her room, brought teargas to use on the girl but on a second thought, dropped the teargas and carried a boiling hot water she wanted to use to bath her twins and poured on the innocent girl.
Narrating her predicament to LEADERSHIP, Chinyere who lost her father recently was taken in by her Mrs. Okochi as a house help and that her mother gave her out to her mistress because of poor financial status of her family adding that the woman is from same community with her and that she has been living with her for the past two years with maltreatment.
According to her; “I am from Bende Local government area of Abia state. Me and my madam are from same community , my father is dead, only my mother is alive and I have been living with my madam for the past two years . My madam asked me and her mother to go and cook soup and I obeyed the directive. The mother said I should go and cook the soup alone.
“I started preparing the soup, I put oil and onions. I told my madam that I want to put Egusi(melon) and that I want to pour out the Egusi on the plate and turn it with water before pouring it inside the soup. She said no, that I should fry the egusi before poring it inside the pot soup and I refused to fry it . In anger, she came out and carried the pot soup together with the egusi and threw at me. I dodged it but it landed on my back.
“The egusi touched her small on the body when she threw it on me and she quickly got water and clean it. She carried iron and hit me on the body and ordered me to pin down (place one of fingers on the ground and raise one of my legs up at the back) and I said no that my back is paining me seriously.
“She shouted at me seriously and asked who I am to oppose her order and I pleaded with her to have mercy on me. She then went inside and brought out her teargas and I started crying and begging for forgiveness. She rushed to hot water and poured it on me. She ordered me to remove the cloth on my body which she dashed me and I removed it.
“The husband came to me and beat me up. He did not know that his wife poured hot water on me because it was in the night and there was no light. Later, he saw my back with serious injuries and asked who did that to me and I told him the wife poured hot water on me’’.
‘’He asked me why she did it on me and I told him that she said I poured her hot egusi when she was the one that caused it because she carried the hot egusi and poured on my body and in the process, the thing touched her and she grew annoyed’’.
“He ordered the wife to use the substance he brought to treat my back that he had appointment in the office and left immediately and he apologized to me before leaving that he was very sorry and did not know that I sustained such injuries. When her husband left, she asked me to knell down and I did. She started beating. Me and my madam are from same village and I have been living with her for the past two years”.
In her reaction, Mrs. Okochi who regretted her action, accused Chinyere of stobornness. “This girl has been a problem to me, she has been giving me troubles and I have made several efforts to send her back to the mother but she wouldn’t agree to go”, she said.
Chinyere was not taken to hospital for medical treatment as her condition kept worsening while the inhuman treatment meted on her spread like wildfire.
This prompted officials of the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to storm the house of the woman and rescued Chinyere.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP after rescuing the girl, Director Child Welfare in the Ministry, Godwin Igwe expressed dismay that a policewoman who should protect lives should be the one that maltreated the girl in such manner.
“The treatment meted on this child is height of man’s inhumanity to man because the child sustained serious wound and there was no treatment given her. They have been using honey as treatment instead of taken her to hospital. This is a mother that has children that she is taking care of”, he said.