Benue schoolteacher brutalises 10-year-old over pot of soup

Officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons have arrested a schoolteacher, Chioma Johnson, for allegedly brutalising a 10-year-old boy over a pot of soup in Makurdi, Benue State.

It was gathered that the victim was brought from Johnson’s husband’s village to live with the couple at their residence on Zakibiam Street in the Wadata area of Makurdi.

Johnson had allegedly been maltreating the victim for the past three years before she was arrested by NAPTIP.

A human rights activist, Ukan Kurugh, who spoke to newsmen, said there were torture marks on different parts of the victim’s body.

He said, “She denied the boy education. While her four biological children attended school, this child was always locked up inside the house.

“She inflicted injuries on him; he looks malnourished as a result of not being fed most times. He has scars on his buttocks and head.

“She used a razor blade to scrape the boy’s head and poured hot nylon on him so that he would feel the pain more. She would sometime heat her kitchen knife and used it to burn the skin of the boy.

“The last time neighbours tried to intervene, she refused to stop. She claimed the boy stole soup from her pot and she would punish him as much as she wanted. The child never left the house, whenever she and her children went out, they locked him up in the house; he would stay at the window and begged passersby for water and food.”

The NAPTIP Commandant for Benue State, Gloria Bai, who confirmed the incident, said the suspect had been granted administrative bail.

She said, “The command received a complaint from a reliable informant about a case of child abuse at Wadata behind Family Health Care, Makurdi. Officers of the command immediately swung into action and a 10-year-old boy was rescued and the suspect arrested.

“The suspect, Mrs Chioma Johnson, is a nursing mother who hails from Abia State. The suspect’s husband is an uncle to the victim. Preliminary investigation revealed that the victim has undergone physical abuse; there are lots of scars on the victim’s body and also, a medical evaluation showed that in addition to the physical abuse, the victim was malnourished. The case is still under investigation.”

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