Finally, justice, freedom for teenage girls who are victims of domestic violence

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Aliyu

January 09 (THEWILL) – Joy Emmanuel and Jibrin Aliyu have both been victims of man’s inhumanity to man.

Twelve-year-old Joy was confined to a disused refrigerator and kept in a zinc house by her aunt, Esther Emmanuel, in collusion with her husband, Bassey Emmanuel. Claiming that she was mentally unstable, the couple, who live in the local Sokoto area of ​​northern Sokoto state, left the girl feeling unstable and half-starved for eight months until the government of l Sokoto State intervenes through the Ministry of Women and Children and helps her.

Jibrin Aliyu’s case was more dehumanizing. He was shackled and forced to eat animal fodder and his own feces to survive in his house in Badariya neighborhoods, Birnin Kebbi in Kebbi State for almost two years, to the knowledge of his biological father and three. of his mothers-in-law.

Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Bagudu’s Special Advisor on Women’s Affairs Hajiya Zara’u Wali, who called Jibrin’s state, prior to his rescue, unhappy and shocking, said the case had was reported on Sunday August 9, 2020.

She said: “We have received information that an 11-year-old boy named Jibrin Aliyu has been shackled in their home for almost two years. We mobilized our men and rushed to their residence where we confirmed the claim to be true. He was rescued and taken to a psychiatric hospital in Birnin Kebbi for medication.

“What we found out was that he had a pre-existing medical condition. The ignorant father saw the boy suffering from a mental health problem and after doing his best, subjected him to inhuman and degrading treatment.

Child rights advocate Serah Bashimi attributed the situation to the non-domestication of child rights law in some states since it was enacted by the federal government 18 years ago .

She said: “Children in Sokoto, Kebbi and other states where child rights law has not yet been domesticated face many challenges for their rights and well-being, including lack of access to education, adequate primary health care, good nutrition and protection from violence, all of which must be addressed.

“It is quite regressive that since the adoption of the Law on the Rights of the Child (2003) by the federal government under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, some states have not yet incorporated the law, mainly due to differences cultural and religious. “

It turns out that Joy’s aunt and her husband were telling the truth when they both claimed she was mentally unstable. Their claim was later found to be false by the police.

One of Joy’s neighbors, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said some people decided to call in the police when they noticed the dehumanizing way the young girl was being treated.

The neighbor said, “Immediately, the police rescued the young girl, Sokoto State Commissioner for Women and Children’s Affairs, Hajiya Kulu Sifawa, along with State Police Commissioner Kamaldeen Okunlola, and officials from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons attended the crime scene to obtain first-hand information.

State Police Command spokesperson ASP Sanusi Abubakar said the girl was rescued and the suspects were arrested and detained at Dadin Kowa police station.

Abubakar said, “They kept the girl in a cage in their compound and starved her for food for eight months. When our men broke the cage door, the girl was too frail to walk because she was emaciated. We encountered her in a horrible situation, urinating and excreting inside the cage. The girl was taken to the state specialized hospital for treatment. ”

When visiting the emaciated girl at the state specialized hospital where she was receiving medical treatment, Sifawa said, “The state government has taken responsibility for the treatment of the girl and will ensure that she is treated. for her to recover properly.

Reading the riot act, Sifawa called for a proper investigation of the case and prosecution of the suspects to deter others who might want to engage in similar acts.

She said: “Under this administration there is no room for assaults and violations of any kind in the state. The government is committed to fighting against these evil acts. ”

Joy was the focus of everyone’s eyes at a recent children’s party at the Sokoto State Orphanage by the Ministry of Women and Children.

The Akwa Ibom-born domestic violence victim, dressed in a skirt and blouse with a black hijab, appears to have forgotten the mistreatment she suffered at the hands of her aunt and husband.

Asked about her aunt, she replied, “I don’t know anything about her. I left his house and am happy to be enjoying my new home. I am happy with my new friends. I would like to go back to Makaranta (school) and learn sewing because I love fashion.

Following the investigation and the indictment of the couple in court, Bassey Emmanuel and his wife, Esther, were sentenced by the Sokoto district court to three years’ imprisonment and N 175,000. fined for confining their 12-year-old niece in a disused refrigerator for eight months.

Delivering his judgment, Chief Magistrate Shu’aibu Ahmad fined the couple N 25,000 or six months in prison for criminal conspiracy

He also imposed a fine of N 50,000 on them for unjustified confinement and failing that, they would spend 12 months in prison.

He said the couple had been found guilty of child cruelty and sentenced to 12 months in prison with a 100,000 N fine. Otherwise, they would spend three years in prison.

Ahmad noted that they would be serving sentences at the same time.

However, he granted their two children, Bonté Emmanuel and Bonheur Emmanuel, a deposit of N 500,000 and a deposit each of an equivalent amount.

The penultimate Thursday was a reunion day for Jibrin Aliyu and his parents, after spending 15 months in healthcare, thanks to the Kebbi state government.

In his narration, the Chief Medical Director and Permanent Secretary in charge of Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital, Dr Aminu Haliru Bunza, said: “More than 20 medical specialists treated Jibrin while he was living in the hospital.

“The boy is now well rehabilitated and the state government, in addition to taking good care of him, would maintain the relationship and support with the boy, as part of plans to continue to take care of his health and of his well-being.

“We are handing over Jibrin to his parents today, having stayed with us from August 10, 2020 until today. When he was brought, about 15 months to Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital, he was in dire straits.

“During his stay in the hospital, we were able to rehabilitate him, take good care of him, physically, nutritionally and mentally. While in hospital he was seen by more than 20 different medical specialists from different medical backgrounds, those who work here and some who came from University College Hospital, Ibadan, Lagos University Hospital and other facilities outside the country to ensure that he is in good health. A team of medical specialists will visit him in his new home to monitor him and see how he is doing. “

As an extension of the aid, Governor Bagudu, who assumed responsibility for the boy’s medical care, also mandated the Kebbi State Health Insurance Agency to provide Jibrin health insurance coverage for him. allow the benefit of free medical services.

From Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital, Birnin Kebbi, Jibrin and his parents moved into a two-bedroom apartment donated by the state government in the Badariya neighborhoods. In their new home, Hajiya Zara Wali presented the sum of 50,000 naira given by the governor’s wife, Dr Zainab Bagudu, to Jibrin’s family as a monthly allowance for the boy’s upkeep.

Recounting how the boy’s ordeal began, Jibrin’s father Aliyu Umar said: “He was born healthy and hearty like any normal child until he started showing certain traits about three years ago. , which I considered abnormal.

“I tried as much as possible to resuscitate him, his condition did not improve. He has become a source of concern for the whole family.

“The reason I decided to keep him indoors at all times was to hide him from the public, due to his deteriorating condition and to save the family from public embarrassment. “

A delighted Umar thanked Governor Bagudu and his wife for their compassion and magnanimity towards his son and the whole family.

“We can only say, may Allah abundantly bless the governor and his family,” he prayed.

He recalls that the state of Sokoto joined on November 18, 2021 other states that had domesticated the law on the rights of the child.

The law aims to protect the rights of the Nigerian child in tandem with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State described the law as a major historic achievement of his administration and praised key players who ensured that it was responsive and consistent with states that enshrine cultural and religious concerns. .

Tambuwal said the Prohibition of Violence Against Persons Act has also been signed by his administration, which has shown its commitment to ending all forms of gender-based violence, sexual abuse and related anomalies in the society.

“We have the best Child Protection Law and the VAPP Law which is in line with the character concerns of the people of Sokoto State. The bill was made possible through the efforts and commitment of the Sultanate Council, the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Suleiman Usman (SAN), the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs and others, ”said the governor.

States that have not yet incorporated the Children’s Rights Act are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Yobe and Zamfara.

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