An official of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Kwara State Command, Mr. Yemi Afolayan, has been arrested for allegedly inflicting injuries on a 12-year-old girl, Favour Emmanuel.
Afolayan was also said to have allegedly tied and beaten up Emmanuel before inflicting the injuries on her neck and foot.
Our correspondent learnt on Tuesday that Favour was under the guardianship of Afolayan and his wife, who is popularly known as Iya Beji.
Emmanuel, whose mother resides in Lagos, told PUNCH Metro in Ilorin that Afolayan had asked her to prepare a meal for the family.
She said while she was preparing the meal, Afolayan felt that it had taken a long time for it to be ready and became angry.
Emmanuel said, “He asked me to prepare rice. While I was preparing it, he became angry that it had taken a long time for me to finish cooking the rice. He grabbed me, tied me up and used the hot iron to inflict injuries on my body. It was really a very tormenting experience.”
It was also learnt that Afolayan’s arrest was sequel to a report to the state Ministry of Women Affairs by some concerned neighbours.
The Director of Child Development, Kwara State Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Lucy Adeniyi, said Favour sustained serious injuries on her neck and foot.
She added that the victim had been treated at the state Civil Service Hospital, Ilorin.
Our correspondent also learnt that Emmanuel was currently at the Children Reception Centre, Gaa Akanbi, Ilorin owned by the state government.
However, Afolayan, who is said to be a father of five, denied that he beat up and burned Emmanuel with hot iron.
He explained that he only scolded her, adding that she ran out of the house. He stated that she might have sustained the injuries while running away from him.
He said, “The girl was only being naughty. I am a father myself and I would not do that to any child. I wanted to scold her. Maybe when she was running out, she sustained the injuries but I didn’t burn her with a iron.”
But the state police command’s Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olufemi Fabode, said the police would ensure that the suspect was brought to justice.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Comfort Afolayan, urged parents and guardians to treat their children and wards with love.
She said, “The child is in our custody. We are taking care of her and we will take her back to her family. The act is very horrible. Such a treatment is not acceptable. This ministry will not relent on protecting the rights of children.”