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Operatives of the Ebonyi State Police Command have arrested a couple, Philip and Agatha Iboko, for allegedly torturing an eight-year-old pupil, Osinachi Iboko.
The Ibokos, who hail from the Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, were said to have unleashed their anger on the little girl for eating part of the ₦10 sweet they bought for their two-year-old daughter.
The maltreatment of Osinachi was said to have been recorded by a neighbour, who posted it on the Internet.
In the video, Osinachi was kept in the scorching sun with her two legs tied by the family with whom she had lived for two years.
A source said, ‘It took the intervention of two of their neighbours – Mr Chinedu and Mr Raymond – to release the little girl. She was already getting weak from the beating she received from her aunty and the heat from the harsh sun.’
Efforts made to reach the Ebonyi State Police Command to comment on the matter proved futile.
Calls put across to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Loveth Odah, were not answered. She had also yet to reply text messages sent to her mobile telephone as of the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, two human rights groups, the Human Rights Defenders Foundation and the Save the Next Child Foundation, have condemned the couple’s action.
HURIDE’s Chairman in the state, Sam Nweke; and Save the Next Child’s Coordinator, Steve Ugama, said the maltreatment of the little girl was condemnable and unacceptable.
Nweke said, ‘Yesterday (Sunday), on receiving the report, HURIDE went to the crime scene on Divine Grace Street, Mile 50, Abakaliki.’
‘Before we got there, the couple had run away to their village and switched off their phones. Mrs Agatha Iboko is a 26-year-old mother of one and a serving corps member with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ebonyi State.’
‘We went to the Chairman of the Izzi LGA, Chief Paul Nwogha, who assisted us to bring the couple back to Abakaliki.’
‘This morning (Monday), we invited the police to arrest her alongside her husband. While we wait till tomorrow (Tuesday) to re-unite the abused child with her parents, she is in the custody of the council chairman on his request.’
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