The Police Command in Ebonyi has arrested one Mrs Nkechinyere Aja for alleged abuse and harm occasioned on the right eye of her house help, Miss Chinonyerem Chiude.
The Police Spokesperson, DSP Loveth Odah told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abakaliki that the act was child abuse and labour, an offence punishable under the law.
Odah was reacting to a case of abuse involving one Mrs Nkechineyre Aja who was arrested for abuse and harm occasioned on the right eye of her house help, miss Chinonyerem Chiude.
Odah said that the alleged perpetrator, who is a staff of Mile Four Hospital in Abakaliki, had injured the victim on her right eye while flogging her for using detergent to wash house hold utensils instead of soap.
The police spokesperson said that the culprit, Aja who admitted committing the act was later released to commence treatment on the victim.
According to her, the victim’s health is most paramount but investigation into the matter will continue as soon as the victim gets better.
“The police will enforce the law if Aja is found wanting in the cause of our investigation.
“However, the Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki has referred them to a hospital in Enugu.
“The woman was arrested but because the child’s case needed urgent attention, we released her to take the child to hospital.
“They are currently in a hospital at Enugu where her medical examination is being handled for now,” she said.
Odah cautioned Nigerian families against child abuse and maltreatment of their children and house helps.
Earlier, Chiude, the victim, who is a Primary four pupil in New Era International School, Abakaliki, alleged that her mistress, Mrs Aja, inflicted the injury on her right eye while flogging her.
The victim while narrating her ordeal to newsmen said that she was instructed by her mistress not to disclose the real cause of her injury.
“My aunt got annoyed immediately I told her I used detergent instead of bar soap to wash plates, she flogged me with cane until she injured my right eye.
“My eye got swollen and I was assisted by a passerby, suspected to be a nurse, who applied some medications that reduced the swollen eye.
“My aunt also instructed me not to tell anyone the cause but rather say that I sustained injury from old zinc,” Chiude said.
Mrs Dorathy Magbo, Proprietress of the New Era International School, Abakaliki said she reported the matter to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development after the victim’s mistress refused to honour several invitations made to her.
“I noticed Chiude was emotionally down and when I approached her, Chiude said she sustained the injury when her aunt beat her for using detergent to wash plates instead of soap.
“I confirmed this when I tried to examine her by closing her left eye, she could not see. Then I sent for her aunt on several occasion but she never came,” Magbo said.
Mr Godwin Igwe, Head of Department, Child Development of the ministry, expressed dismay over the incident describing it as `inhumanity’ to life.
The HOD, who also confirmed the incident, vowed that the department would go extra mile in addressing the situation.
He also disclosed that funds had been released to assist in the victim’s medical treatment.
“We assure that little miss Chiude will be given the proper treatment required,” Igwe said.