A pregnant woman faces child abuse and human trafficking charges after she attacked her housemaid with boiling water for waking up late. According to PREMIUM TIMES, mother of one, Kemi Egbukole, 36, poured boiling water on 16-year-old Hope David, leaving her breasts with severe injuries. Police said Egbukole would be charged after investigations are concluded. Mrs. Egbukole, a resident of of Minta 1 Estate, Lokogoma, Abuja, is currently being investigated for child abuse and trafficking offences by the Police, National Human Rights Commission and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons,( NAPTIP)
According to the Deputy Director, Protection and Investigations, National Human Rights Commission, Lambert Oparah, Mrs. Egbukole initially denied the assault charges but later admitted the attack, claiming it was an accident, and the victim was immediately taken to the hospital for treatment. The Director however revealed that Hope wasn't taken to the hospital as claimed by the suspect. "She was taken to a chemist, they put plasters around her breast which was not quite good," he said
Neighbours who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES described Mrs. Egbukole as a "notorious child abuser" who repeatedly attacked Hope with dangerous objects including rods. "She ran out of the house and came to my side," one of the neighbour said. "Mrs. Egbukole was still trying to flog her with a mop stick."
The neighbour said at first, she thought Hope was attacked with pepper or cold water as in the past. "I thought it was just water and pepper, or something, until the girl screamed back again in my room and I shouted, ‘What!’ the breast has peeled already. So I shouted and said ‘Come you did this thing to this girl and you still want to flog her again? I will report you to the police and NAPTIP; at that point she started begging and immediately she started telling lies," the neighbour said.
Mrs. Egbukole claimed Hope poured herself water, according to a neighbour. But the woman had a history of abusing the girl, the neighbour said, citing how Mrs. Egbukole a day earlier, had hit Hope with a curtain rail, injuring her in the head.
Mr Opara alleges that Hope was trafficked to Abuja. According to him, Mrs Egbukole said the girl was brought to her by a pastor who usually supplied girls from Nasarawa State to Abuja residents seeking house helps. "She said she does not know the girl’s parents, Mr. Oparah added.
The commission immediately made a report to the Commissioner of Police, Abuja, who directed further investigations into the case. Mrs. Egbukole will most likely be charged for abuse of the Child Rights’ Act, 2003.
"The Child Rights’ Act clearly states the responsibility of parents or wards, as well as government or other agencies involved; regarding the dignity of the child, as well as the child’s right to adequate health and health services, which have both been abused in this case," Oparah said.
Mrs Egbukole and her husband had been at the FCT police command for interrogation and would be required to return intermittently till the end of the investigation.
The Abuja police spokesperson, Manzah Adjuguri, who confirmed the incident said Mrs. Egbukole claims that the pastor who brought Hope from Nasarawa was her uncle. He assured the matter will be charged after investigation. "It is a matter of concern to the command based on the rate of injuries that has been sustained by the girl. And for us, here at the command, justice must take its full course," he stated.
Adjuguri further said the command was still in touch with Hope, who is currently recovering under the custody of NAPTIP. The spokesperson of NAPTIP, Joshua Emerole, said Hope would remain under the agency’s care until the end of the investigation and that Mrs Egbukole faces other charges including the violation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, 2015.
Source: PREMIUM TIMES