Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
A police woman attached to Ebonyi state Police Command, Abakaliki, one Mrs. Ugo Okochi yesterday poured a 15 year old house help, Miss Chinyere Igwe with hot water and hot melon soup over alleged disobedience to the directive of the woman who was said to have been maltreating the young girl since she was brought to her from the village.
The culprit however noted that she meted her action to her because of her stubbornness in th4 house.
Okochi, a nursing mother was said to have poured the girl with hot soup and water after the girl was directed to fry the melon but the girl mistakenly forgot and poured the melon inside the soup without frying it.
THISDAY reliably gathered that the action of the girl infuriated the police woman who immediately started beating up the girl, rushed inside her room, brought teargas to use on the girl but on a second thought, dropped the teargas and carried a boiling hot water she wanted to use to bath her twins and poured on the innocent girl.
Close source also noted that the police woman packed into the compound, she has been causing problems and maltreating the vulnerable house help.
The victim, Chinyere who lost her father recently was taken in by her Mrs. Okochi as a househelp and that her mother gave her out to her mistress because of poor financial status of her family, adding that the woman is from same community with her and that she has been living with her for the past two years with maltreatments.
According to her; â€œI am from Bende Local government area of Abia state. Me and my madam are from same community , my father is dead, only my mother is alive and I have been living with my madam for the past two years. My madam asked me and her mother to go and cook soup and I obeyed the directive. The mother said I should go and cook the soup alone.
â€œI started preparing the soup, I put oil and onions. I told my madam that I want to put Egusi (melon) and that I want to pour out the Egusi on the plate and turn it with water before pouring it inside the soup.
â€œShe said no, that I should fry the egusi before poring it inside the pot of soup and I refused to fry it. In anger, she came out and carried the pot of soup together with the egusi and threw at me. I dodged it but it landed on my back.
â€œThe egusi touched her small on the body when she threw it on me and she quickly got water and clean it. She carried iron and hit me on the body and ordered me to pin down (place one of fingers on the ground and raise one of my legs up at the back) and I said no that my back is paining me seriously.
â€œShe shouted at me seriously and asked who I am to oppose her order and I pleaded with her to have mercy on me. She then went inside and brought out her teargas and I started crying and begging for forgiveness. She rushed to hot water and poured it on me. She ordered me to remove the cloth on my body which she dashed me and I removed it.
â€œThe husband came to me and beat me up. He did not know that his wife poured hot water on me because it was in the night and there was no light. Later, he saw my back with serious injuries and asked who did that to me and I told him the wife poured hot water on meâ€™â€™.
â€œHe asked me why she did it on me and I told him that she said I poured her hot egusi when she was the one that caused it because she carried the hot egusi and poured on my body and in the process, the thing touched her and she grew annoyed.
â€œHe ordered the wife to use the substance he brought to treat my back that he had appointment in the office and left immediately and he apologised to me before leaving that he was very sorry and did not know that I sustained such injuries. When her husband left, she asked me to kneel down and I did. She started beating me. Me and my madam are from same village and I have been living with her for the past two yearsâ€.
Chinyere was not taken to hospital for medical treatment as her condition kept worsening while the inhuman treatment meted on her spread like wildfire which prompted officials of the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to storm the house of the woman and rescued Chinyere.
After rescuing the girl, Director Child Welfare in the Ministry, Godwin Igwe expressed dismay that a policewoman who should protect lives should be the one that maltreated the girl in such manner.
â€œThe treatment meted on this child is height of manâ€™s inhumanity to man because the child sustained serious wound and there was no treatment given her. They have been using honey as treatment instead of taken her to hospital. This is a mother that has children that she is taking care ofâ€, he said.
Meanwhile, Federated International Women Lawyers (FIDA) has waded into the matter. Speaking to THISDAY, the state Chairman of FIDA Olivi Okpalaeke said the organisation will ensure that the culprit was brought to book.
The state Police Spokesman, DSP Jude Mmadu said the command has not received official report on the incident.