The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a woman, identified only as Mary, for allegedly fracturing the head of her eight-year-old son. The son, Samuel, was punished for leaving the house without permission and going to a neighbour’s place. Punch reports that Mary, who lived on Furniture Avenue, Jakande Estate Gate in the Isolo area of the state, allegedly hurled a stone at Samuel which broke his head. Angry neighbours attempted to mob Mary before the arrival of policemen from the Isolo Police Division, who took the woman away, while Samuel was rushed to a government hospital.
On Friday, at about 1pm, Mary, who worked as a lotto agent, had returned and did not meet Samuel at home. She was said to have met the boy in a neighbour’s place and attempted to flog him. While Samuel ran, the mother allegedly picked a stone and hurled it at the boy. The stone hit the boy’s head, damaging his head. When Punch got to Furniture Avenue, a resident who gave his name simply as Salami, said the neighbours initially administered a first aid on Samuel before the arrival of the policemen, who arrested Mary.
He said: “We were attracted on Friday by the cries of the boy. What angered most people was the belief that Mary was hostile to the boy. He dropped out of school last year and has not been attending any school. When I got to the scene, the boy’s shirt was stained with blood. Blood was also coming out from his head. The mother explained that she had warned him to stay at home. But when she came back, she could not find him. That made her angry. “We initially administered first aid on the boy, and when he was stable, he was rushed to a general hospital. We then invited the police.”
A neighbour, identified only as Mama Ada, said Samuel was Mary’s only child, adding that the boy’s father had separated from Mary. She said: “Mama Sam (Mary) did not deliberately break her son’s head. The boy’s father had divorced her since last year, and he did not send any money for the upkeep of the boy. Samuel dropped out of school last year. The mother does not have a good job. Her fault was that she was too hard on the boy by hitting him with a stone. But she is now remorseful. One of the residents reported the matter to the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team who in turn got across to the Ministry of Youth and Social Development which sent an official to the area.
The Coordinator, DSVRT, Lola Vivour-Adeniyi, said the ministry had taken custody of the injured boy. She said: “The government has rescued the boy from his mother. The Child Protection Unit of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development was contacted, and a social worker was dispatched to rescue the boy. The boy’s father is no longer with the mother. The man has shown up at the police station, where he confessed that he was unable to financially look after the victim. The social worker subsequently took the child to a shelter until when he would be reunited with his family.
“The incidence of child abuse is on the increase. We, however, commend members of the public who report such cases. They will be treated with utmost confidentiality.”