Elias Joy, a 40-year-old woman who connived with her husband to force an 8-year-old minor to fast from morning till evening for 7 days, was on Friday brought before an Ogudu Magistrates’ Court for aggravated assault on the minor. Elias, a fashion designer, who resides at Ogudu in Ojota, Lagos State, is facing a two-count charge bothering on assault occasioning harm. The Prosecutor, Sgt. Ihiehie Lucky, told the court that the accused committed the offences at her residence on Aug. 30. He said that the eight year old girl lives with the accused.
“The minor said she has been living with the accused who is her father’s sister since she was three years old and that the accused beats her all the time, causing injuries all over her body. “She said the accused sometimes bites her on her hand and tells her that she doesn’t have any mother again since her mother is dead. “The accused and her husband made her fast at one point from morning till evening for 7 days without telling her the reason. “She goes to sleep in the night everyday by 10pm. or 11pm. and wakes up every day by 5am,” he said.
Lucky said that the neighbours’ children in their compound always lie against the girl and the accused uses that opportunity to beat her at will without trying to find out the truth. He said: “a witness told the police that before the accused was arrested, she had made the minor carry a big stone for a very long time in her tailoring shop. “As the little girl was carrying the stone, she started flogging her with two canes all over her body and neighbours’ gathered to try and stop her from the continuous beating of the girl.
“The accused even pushed her sewing machine down on the little girl and still continued flogging her with the canes until a neighbour came to her rescue. “He (neighbour) dragged the little girl from under the machine and out of the shop and warned the accused to stop beating the girl as the beatings were just too much to bear. “Before the neighbour even knew what was happening, the police came to arrest the accused as some some of her neighbours’ had already gone to the Ogudu Police Station to report the matter.
The prosecutor said the offences contravened Sections 170 and 171 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. He said that the case was that of child abuse and that witnesses are in court to testify against the accused. Sections 170 and 171 prescribes three years jail term for assault and assault occasioning harm. The accused, however, entered a plea of `not guilty’. The Magistrate, Mrs. O. Sule-Amzat granted the accused bail in the sum of N50, 000 with two sureties of which one must be related by blood to the accused. She said that the sureties must deposit N50, 000 each into the Chief Registrars account. Amzat said that the minor should be kept in custody of Love Home Orphanage, Ogudu, Lagos State and adjourned the case till Oct. 6.