Anambra State Moves against Child Abuse

By Chinwe Onuigbo, Awka 

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The wife of Anambra State governor, Mrs Nonye Soludo has affirmed that the present administration maintains zero tolerance for abuse against women and children.

 

Mrs Soludo who urged parents to stop giving out their children as maids, made the statement when she visited the hospital where Miss Happiness Nwafor, the eleven-year-old maid who was recently by battered her guardian in their 3:3 Akpaka residence, Onitsha, Anambra State.

 

The governor’s wife, who visited the hospital in the company of the Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, described the girl’s speedy recovery as miraculous and praised the medical team that oversaw her treatment for its thorough commitment.

 

Mrs Soludo also noted that having been cleared to go home, the government will now take due steps to ensure that the girl is protected and further taken care of.

Mrs Soludo once again appealed to parents to resist the temptation of giving out minors as maids, stating that giving away a child at an age when they should be getting parental love and direction, is always counterproductive.

 

She stated that since the current administration maintains zero tolerance for abuse of women and minors, anyone found culpable would be made to face all the existing laws against such acts.

 

She described the guardian’s act as barbaric and reassured that full justice would prevail in her ongoing trial.

 

Meanwhile, the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State, has remanded a lawyer, Adachukwu Okafor, in the custody of the State Criminal and Investigative Department for allegedly brutalising her 11-year-old house help.

Mrs Okafor who resides at Chris Igwilo Street Akakpa GRA, 3-3 Onitsha, of Anambra State, was arraigned before the court on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, on a two count charge, mainly, willfully infliction of physical injuries on the body of one Happiness Nwafor, an offence punishable under Section 4(1) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition and Protection) Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 2017.

 

The lawyer allegedly used knives and other sharp objects to inflict injuries on the minor.

 

The accused handed herself to the police after the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, had placed an N2m bounty on her.

 

The charge was read and interpreted to the defendant to the satisfaction of the court and the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

 

The bail application made by the defendant council Chijioke Nwankwo was denied by the court and the matter was adjourned to February 28, 2024, for the ruling.

 

Reacting to the development, the Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Anambra State, Mrs Ify Obinabo stated that she trusts the court to do justice to the matter.

The Women Affairs Commissioner also revealed that her Ministry will soon embark on a media sensitisation programme, during which Anambra people will be educated and fully enlightened about the dangers and negative consequences of child abuse.

 

Dominica Nwabufo


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