On Tuesday, May 2, 2015, Kafayat’s father, Ibrahim, pounced on her and whipped her till she could not walk. Not done, he plugged their pressing iron and burnt her multiple times, inflicting severe injuries all over her body.
Kafayat, whose case has been taken over by the Office of the Public Defender under the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, explained that on the day of the incident, she was given the duty of attending to a client who needed manicure and pedicure in her mother’s beauty parlour.
“When I finished attending to the customer, I left the shop to play with some of my friends. When I got back, my mother asked where I was and told me she would report me to my father. When I got home and my mother told my father what I did, he started to beat me very hard and he then went off to plug a pressing iron, which he used to burn me all over my body,” the girl said.Saturday PUNCH reports that when the brutal action of the father became too scary for Kafayat’s mother who stood by as her husband punished their daughter, she rushed out to call neighbours for help, who later came in to restrain him against further damage to the girl’s body.
OPD officials who handled the case said Ibrahim locked up her daughter after the incident and warned her not to go out until the injuries healed so that no one would know what happened.
“But when her classmates came looking for her from school they told her she had missed some tests. In order not to miss more tests, she rushed to school on Thursday, two days after she sustained the injuries. When she got to school, that was when we discovered the extensive injuries,” a school official who reported the case said.
As soon as the case was reported, Ibrahim was arrested and OPD took over the case. Punch says they counted at least 15 visible spots on the body of the girl where she sustained severe injuries from her face down to her thighs.
Cases of brutality by parents against their children may not be a new issue but the rising incidents of such crimes have become a source of concern to authorities. Apart from the case of Kafayat, more cases which have drawn the ire of authorities include that of five-year-old Olamilekan Mustapha, whose father, Adigun beat him till he lost consciousness. His 28-year-old father reportedly resuscitated the boy but damage had been done to his body. The series of brutal beating Olamilekan’s father has meted out to him seems to have turned his young body to a map of some sort as healed and fresh marks of whiplashes crisscross all over his body and face. All the boy could say was “my father beat me all the time” when asked about the marks all over his body. Like Kafayat, observant teachers in Olamilekan’s school promptly reported his case to the authorities when they noticed the extensive marks all over the boy’s face and body when he went to school the following morning. Adigun, who is an auto mechanic, was later invited by the Office of Public Defender, where he was later handed over to the police for prosecution. OPD said a protection order was being processed for the custody of Olamilekan in a government children’s home, where the boy would be kept pending the determination of his father’s case in the court.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that Olamilekan’s mother and Adigun had separated some years ago. But that his step-mother, who is nursing a two-month-old baby also beat the boy ruthlessly regularly as well.
Director of the OPD, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, told our correspondent that the children were victims of transferred aggression but that the severity of the cases has warranted that the fathers be charged to court.
“When we were notified about the case of the young boy, it was so severe and fresh that we had to call the police. He is receiving treatment at a hospital at the moment and he would be handed over to government care for rehabilitation after that. In the case of the boy’s father we did not want the police to waste time on it. That was why we insisted he be charged to court immediately.”
It was learnt that Adigun has been arraigned and his case has been adjourned till July 20 for mention.
In the hot iron assault case, Omotola said her office would continue to monitor the case to ensure that Ibrahim was diligently prosecuted. Rotimi said:
“The case of the girl that was burnt with iron was so severe that she could have lost her life in the process. We also have the father in custody and would ensure that he is prosecuted diligently for the severe assault on the girl.
While he kept the girl at home, he invited an auxiliary nurse to treat her injuries but the nurse did a very shoddy job. The injuries could have deteriorated and caused further damage to the girl’s body if not because we were notified on time. We had to ensure the girl receive adequate treatment first.”