The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a woman for allegedly flogging and locking up a 10-year-old orphan in a kennel.
The Punch learnt that the incident happened in the Surulere area of Lagos.
There had been outrage on the social media after a video went viral showing the suspect beating the boy for an unstated offence before throwing him into the kennel.
Not done, she padlocked the kennel, which was placed by others housing dogs and walked away, while a neighbour secretly filmed the incident.
Nigerians had called for the arrest and prosecution of the suspect, as a former spokesperson for the Zone 2 Police Command, Dolapo Badmos, promised to act on the footage.
In a post on her Instagram page on Thursday, Badmos said the suspect had been apprehended.
She stated, “Last week, we got the report of a woman, who beat up a lad and threw him into a dungeon of dogs.
“The domestic violence response team of the Lagos State Police Command was activated. The team went into action and the woman was arrested.
“The suspect is in custody and will be charged. The boy, who happens to be an orphan, has been rescued and kept in a shelter provided by the Lagos State Government.”
The Coordinator of the Lagos State Domestic Sexual Violence Response Team, Lola Adeniyi, commended the resident, who recorded the video and gave information to security agencies.
She said the suspect was traced based on the information provided by the mandatory reporter.
Adeniyi stated, “On getting to the house, the suspect was not around. So, we dropped a letter of invitation for her and she responded yesterday (Wednesday). She was arrested and the child taken into protective custody.
“The 10-year-old is her cousin. Apparently, the boy is an orphan and had been living with her. She claimed that he stole.
“But locking him in a kennel cannot be the right thing to do. It is a violation of his right as a child. He has the right to life and dignity. “He should not be tortured. So, aside from the beating, he was debased as if he was a dog and that will not be allowed in Lagos. We have enacted the Child Rights Law since 2007 and we are ensuring that the law is enforced.”
She urged Nigerians not to keep quiet when they see children being abused in their environment.
Adeniyi applauded the mandatory reporter for being a good Nigerian.
“You can report anonymously so that your identity will be preserved. The most important thing is that when you see something, say something,” she added.
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana, confirmed the arrest of the suspect in a statement.
He identified the suspect as 24-year-old Onyinye Mbadike of Trimnell Street, Aguda, Surulere.
Elkana stated, “On August 14, 2019, a team of detectives from the Gender Unit, Command’s Headquarters, Ikeja, arrested Onyinye for assault and child abuse. This followed a viral video on the social media showing the suspect torturing one Chibike of the same address.
“The video also showed the suspect locking the boy up in a kennel and sharing space with dogs. The video was widely condemned by well-meaning Nigerians.
“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Zubairu Muazu, had ordered the Gender Unit of the command to identify the woman in the video, rescue the child and make the suspect face the full weight of the law.
“The Domestic and Sexual Response Team, Alausa, Ikeja, also added its voice to the call for investigation with a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police to that effect.
“The Gender Unit traced the suspect to the Chumpe Liquor Store, Surulere, and her residence in Aguda. The boy was rescued and taken to a secure shelter. The suspect admitted that she was the one in the viral video flogging the child with a belt, but she denied locking him in a cage with dogs. She said she only locked him in an empty kennel, where bags were being kept.
“She claimed to have locked up the boy for a few hours before bringing him out. She alleged that the boy took an alcoholic drink from the refrigerator and was misbehaving and that he smashed the side mirror of her Toyota Camry car with a stone, which made her detain him in the kennel.
“Investigation revealed that the boy lost his parents and was brought to Lagos in 2012 from Anambra State by the mother of the suspect along with his two siblings. The suspect and the assaulted boy are cousins.
“The suspect’s mother is the elder sister of the boy’s father. The suspect will be charged.”