James Sowole in Akure
The Police in Ondo State have rescued a minor (name withheld) who was quarantined by the foster parents in a kiosk inside a bush at Imafon Village in Akure South Local Government Area.
Subsequently, the police have arrested a 28-year old foster mother, Mrs Mary Matthew, who admitted to have taken the action because she was told that the child, who was about four years old, was possessed and also has HIV.
Matthew was paraded by the Ondo State Police Command along with 17 other suspects, who were alleged to have committed various offences.
Speaking on the little girl at the headquarters of the command in Akure on Thursday, the Commissioner of Police for the State Command,, Mrs. Hilda Harrison, said the girl was rescued in June this year following a tip-off.
“Mary Mathew and her husband alleged that the girl was possessed and thus decided to lock her inside the kiosk. On receipt of the information, personnel attached to Juvenile Welfare Center. (JWC) of the command visited the scene and met the girl in the cage as reported.
” She (victim) was immediately rescued and taken to police clinic for medical attention while the suspects are under interrogation and will soon be charged to court “, the commissioner said.
Harrison further explained that the victim would be taken to the state welfare home of the Ondo State Ministry of Woman Affairs and Social Welfare .
Also speaking, the police officer at the JWC of the command, Mrs. Olayemi Ojumu (ASP), who led the team that rescued the young girl told our correspondent that the youngster had tested negative to HIV.
“When we got to the village, we saw the girl with swollen body, holding bread . She had defecated on her body inside the cage she was kept in the bush. They didn’t allow her to come out. They gave her food and water there.
“When we asked Mary about the condition of the girl, she told us that her mother died of HIV in Enugu State and she discovered that the child had been infected with HIV by her deceased mother and she did not want her to infect her own children; that was why she kept her inside the cage,” Ojumu stated.