By Bola Kougbe
Two women, identified only as Amadi and Mama Esther, have reportedly tortured a girl named, Joy Esemonu, and used her to beg for alms at FESTAC Town, Lagos State.
The suspects who were arrested by the state Police Command, allegedy poured a chemical substance on Esemonu repeatedly which resulted to injuries on different parts of her body.
It was gathered that the nine-year-old victim was subsequently led by the accused to a pedestrian bridge in the area on daily basis to beg for money. The women allegedly shared the alms collected after every begging trip.
It was reported that Esemonu lived in Port Harcourt with her parents before she relocated to Lagos to live with Mama Esther due to her family’s financial constraints. The latter handed her over to Amadi, who she owed money. The second suspect then decided to use her as a beggar.
According to a source, “the girl said she noticed that Amadi would make her sleep before pouring a substance suspected to be chemical on her body.
“By the time she woke up and scratched the spots after feeling some pains, they would become sore. The woman would then bandaged the place and take her out for begging.
“She said whenever the injuries heal, she would make her sleep again and pour the chemical on her. The woman started with her bottoms and then her laps. She said such had happened about four different times.”
The Zonal coordinator, Joseph Famakin, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons, NAPTIP, confirmed that the victim was in the agency’s shelter.
He said “the girl was brought to us last Friday and she is going through some psychological counseling and treatment. We are also investigating if there are other people involved in the crime. The two suspects are with the police.”