Posted by News Express | 6 August 2021 | 994 times
A pregnant stepmother, Opeyemi Salawudeen, has been arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly brutalising her husband’s children left in her care in the Ikola Odunsi area of Ipaja.
It was gathered that Opeyemi allegedly tortured 14-year-old Fawasi Lukmon to the point that he sustained visible injuries on different parts of his body.
Fawasi’s yet-to-be-identified younger sister was said to have also not been spared of the alleged torture by their stepmother.
It was learnt that Opeyemi allegedly intimidated the minors to prevent them from disclosing the sources of their injuries to inquisitive neighbours.
A Samaritan, who saw Fawasi writhing in pain, engaged him, but he claimed that he was injured while playing.
Not satisfied by his explanations, the Samaritan proceeded to the human rights desk of the Meiran Police Division, where the Divisional Police Officer, SP Toyosi Shokunbi, mobilised personnel to rescue the victims.
The Samaritan said Opeyemi fled the house after getting to know that police personnel and human rights activists were in the area to arrest her and rescue the victims.
“I just took the initiative to go and report the case to human rights people, because the boy and his sister are very young. The children usually patronise me, because I am a trader on the street, and whenever I see scars on their bodies, I usually ask what happened.
“There was a time I noticed that the boy’s face was stitched and one of his eyes was closed because of an injury. I asked what happened to him and he said he hit his head when he fell to the ground. I cautioned him against playing roughly.
“After that encounter, I didn’t see him for a while until last Saturday and noticed that his head was swollen. I asked what happened again and he said he fell down. I started inquiring further from people in the area, who told me that his stepmother had been maltreating him and his sister.
“I was told that kids’ mother died and the children were brought from the village to live with their father and stepmother. They usually look unkempt and wear tattered clothes while roaming the streets,” the Samaritan said.
She said when the victims were rescued around 6pm on Monday, they claimed not to have eaten that day, adding that neighbours were jubilant when they were rescued.
The informant added, “People on the street, including their neighbours, kept quiet and were unwilling to take action. I was feeling pain because I am a mother as well and I can’t see children being brutalised like that and keep quiet. So, I went to the human rights desk at the Meiran Police Station to report.
“The children are the ones even washing their father’s clothes. I learnt that the father, Rasheed, and the stepmother went to the station and the police locked her up. Neighbours have also been going to the station to testify against her,” she said.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the incident.
“Yes. We have the case under investigation. The stepmother is with us. The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered that the matter be transferred to the gender unit of the command for further investigation. We are duty bound to ensure that justice is served in the matter,” he stated.
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