The landlord’s case of molestation brings issues of child abuse to the fore

“Upon the report, the Area Commander in Ijebu-Ode, Adeniyi Omosanyin, deployed some policemen to the scene where the two boys were tied on both legs and hands. They were rescued and taken to the hospital for treatment.”

65-year-old landlord, Samuel Adekoya, has been arrested for alleged child abuse and physical molestation of 11-year-old twins, Taiwo Olishe and Kehinde Olishe.

Adekoya tied the victims with a rope and dragged them to the ground for excreting in his compound.

Gbenisola Olishe, the mother of the twins, had lodged a complaint at Ijebu-Ode Area Command. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

The PPRO said, “while she was away on her business, she received a phone call from a good Samaritan, informing her that her landlord was seen tying her twins’ hands and legs like goats and dragging them on the ground with the rope after beating them with a cable wire.

“The suspect was also video recording the cruel act while carrying it out. She stated further that the twins sustained varying degrees of body injuries as a result of the wicked act meted on them by the landlord.

“Upon the report, the Area Commander in Ijebu-Ode, Adeniyi Omosanyin, deployed some policemen to the scene where the two boys were tied on both legs and hands. They were rescued and taken to the hospital for treatment.

“The suspect, who happened to be the landlord of the victims’ parents were promptly arrested and taken to the station.

“On interrogation, the suspect explained to the police that he was informed that one of the twins excreted within the compound despite his warning that the compound must be kept clean always.

“When asked to take policemen to where the point where the victim excreted, he said the boy had already washed it. One of the twins is currently on admission at Ijebu-Ode General Hospital due to injuries sustained while he was being dragged on the ground by the suspect.”

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The problem

Child abuse

It is no news that child abuse is cultural in Nigeria – may also be an African phenomenon. ‘Discipline’ is the excuse used to define abuse, and it is said that ‘love’ comes in at some point.

Every other day, we hear parents telling their kids they will ‘abuse them’ (I will beat the heck out of you is the language), and when they are cautioned, they respond with, “No be you go tell me how I go take train my pikin.”

Sometimes, the abuse may have been caused by an external factor, and the some children die in the process.

Child abuse

Child abuse is not just physical violence directed at a child. It is any form of maltreatment by an adult, which is violent or threatening for the child. This includes neglect.

Government of the Netherlands

According to Wikipedia, “Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical, sexual, and/or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child or children, especially by a parent or a caregiver. Child abuse may include any act or failure to act by a parent or a caregiver that results in actual or potential harm to a child and can occur in a child’s home, or in the organizations, schools, or communities the child interacts with.”

In Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2003, The Encyclopedia of Child Abuse, “Child abuse is any act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, and sexual abuse or exploitation.

These definitions tell you that child abuse is not streamlined to physical abuse. There is exploitation on the basis of the fact the adult has overwhelming power and influence. There is emotional abuse, where words are thrown at children because the adult thinks anything can be said to a kid. There is also sexual abuse – a prevailing monstrosity.

What the law says

The emergence of the Child Right Act of 2003 was enacted bring the menace to its knees. But sadly, the Child Right Act has not been effectively enforced by our legal system. 

If you take a walk, you will still see parents turning household items into weapons and using it to beat their kids, you will still kids hawking items. Also, parents use their kids for alms begging fronts. Besides, the prevalence of sexual abuse, even by family members of the kids, has not reduced.

Section 30(1) of the Child’s Right Act of 2003 has failed to prosecute offenders of the foregoing acts. The law specifically outlines the prohibition of buying, selling, hiring or otherwise dealing in children for the purpose of hawking or begging for alms or prostitution, etc.

Punishment for such acts as stated in Section 30(3) of the Child’s Right Act provides that a person who contravenes the provisions of Subsection (1) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of ten years. The prevalence of child abuse in Nigeria due to the fact that the penalty has not been enforced effectively. 

Unfortunately, Article 295 of the Criminal Code (South), article 55 of the Penal Code (North) and the Shari’a penal codes in the Northern states confirm the right of parents to use force to “correct” their children. This already gives superpowers to parents and guardians of supposed erring kids.

The rights of every Nigerian child must be protected by all means. And, we can’t continue to fold our arms, watching parents attempt to murder their kids or neighbour’s kids – as in the case of Samuel Adekoya all in the pretentious name of discipline.

There are always many gates into the market.

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