by Chinwe Okafor
The father of a 17-year-old girl, identified simply as Senami, is on the run after allegedly cutting his daughter’s leg with a hot knife.
The father, who was identified only as Azama, tortured the girl, who hawks Dokunu (local dish), for returning home late on Sunday, May 4.
She was said to have returned home earlier on the fateful day, but went back to collect payment from some customers who bought Dokunu on credit.
According to reports, Senami’s explanation to her father fell on deaf ears. He reportedly tied her with a rope and used the hot knife on her left leg.
Apparently Senami had helped her stepmother, Rukayat, to hawk the goods, which she usually did in the evening every day. Senami lives with the couple in the Badagry area of Lagos.
Also, a seven-year-old girl, Aliat Musa, also lives with the couple. She was said to have been tortured by Rukayat. Musa, who is Rukayat’s cousin, sustained injury in the head during one of the tortures.
The injuries drew attention of the teachers in the school which Senami attended. One of her teachers, it was learnt, took her to a social welfare office in Badagry. The teacher later took her to the Ajeromi Police Station, where the case was reported.
Senami, an indigene of Benin Republic, said, “On May 4, after I came back from hawking, daddy (Azama) ordered me to go back and collect the N500 my customers owed me. I came back home late. I did not know my father had put a knife on the fire. He tied my leg and started stabbing me with the knife.
“When I got to the school the following day, my teacher, Mr. Okoafose, took me to a welfare office and we all went to a police station.”
An employee of the welfare organisation, who preferred not to be named, said the victim was “utterly abused.”
She said, “The subject (Senami) reported that she hawked Dokunu every day after school. This is a clear case of child abuse. It is high time parents stopped this inhumane act. We will ensure that the father is arrested.”
While Azama is still at large, his wife was arrested for assaulting Musa. She was arraigned before an Apapa Magistrate’s Court.
Appearing before the presiding magistrate, Mr. P.A. Adekomaya, on Thursday, Rukayat pleaded guilty to the two counts preferred against her by a prosecutor, Inspector Olusoji Ojaokoma.
The magistrate subsequently sentenced her to three months of community service.
Adekomaya said, “Upon the quilty plea by the accused, she is sentenced to three months community service to be carried out at the Badagry General Hospital.”