…victim needs financial assistance
Policemen attached to Alagolo Police Station, Ipaja, Lagos State have arrested an Islamic cleric, Lukman Oyewole, for allegedly fracturing his 13-year-old nephew’s arm after attacking him with a plank and cable. The police were alerted of the abuse by a human rights activist, Mrs. Esther Ogwu, who is the Executive Director of Esther Child Rights Foundation.
Ogwu said the boy, Afeez Oyewole, was an orphan and was brought to Lagos by his Uncle, Lukman, who happened to be his late dad’s younger brother. Ogwu also said that Afeez wanted to be a fashion designer, adding that it would be great for well-meaning Nigerians to assist the boy. Neighbours alleged that the abuse of Afeez had been going on for years.
“Every day the uncle maltreats this innocent boy and sometimes he goes to bed without food. Anytime the uncle wants to beat him, he would chain the boy as if he was a slave and then start beating him. Everyone in the compound knows what this boy has been going through but no one could come to his aid until now,” one of the neighbours said. Ogwu said: “Our foundation reported the case to the police and we were asked to take him to the General Hospital, which we had done. Our foundation paid for a doctor’s checkup and some drugs.
The case is beyond us, we need help and financial support for this child. From Ilepo General Hospital, we were referred to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and from there to Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi.” An official of Esther Child Rights Foundation, Esther Salisu, said doctors at Ilepo General Hospital told them that if they didn’t hurry and do something about Afeez’s arm, it could be amputated. She said: “The arm was swollen, smelling and emitting fluid. Afeez said that his uncle used to chain and padlocked his legs before beating him. After beating him, he would pass him to his friends to assist in beating him. The boy couldn’t lift the arm and his body, head, legs and hands were covered in scars.
“When we got to Igbobi, he was admitted to the Emergency Ward and after receiving treatment there for three days, he was moved to Ward C, Children’s Ward. I go there every day to wash and look after him. I was there one day, when someone who claimed to be his family member came and started harassing and threatening Afeez, telling him that he had put the whole family into trouble and that they would deal with him. I warned him to stop such talks, but he refused. The third day, another group, who claimed to be his family members, also came.
They also harassed and threatened him. They said I should leave because I was not part of their family. When I couldn’t bear how they were harassing the boy, I challenged them. The nurses and security guard supported them; it was a family matter. The security bundled me out.” Salisu said that she had to go to the lawyer of the hospital, to explain everything. The case was arraigned yesterday at Samuel Ilori Court 8, Ogba, Lagos and adjourned till April 28, 2021.