A 35-year-old employee of the National Examination Council is being quizzed by the Niger state Child Right Protection Agency for burning, with hot charcoal, the palms of her eight-year-old housemaid, accused of stealing meat from the pot.
The Director-General of the agency, Mrs. Mariam Kolo, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Minna on Saturday, said the accused, Grace Edeh, has three children of her own and is breast-feeding one of them.
She said Edeh was arrested by the staff of the Minna branch of the National Human Rights Commission and later brought to the agency.
She said that a good samaritan had seen the girl’s burnt hands and scars on her thigh in the market and interrogated her. The maid led the woman to her boss’s house.
Kolo said that the matter was reported to the National Human Rights Commission, which transferred the case to Kolo’s agency.
She said when interrogated Edeh told the agency that she ill-treated the girl out of anger as she was fond of stealing meat.
She said that the girl was also caught stealing meat from the neighbour’s kitchen.
Kolo, who said that the offence contravenes Section 26 of the Child’s Right Act, warned parents and guardians against maltreating children.
“For now, the contrite Grace Edeh may get a slap on the wrist for the offence as she has begged us for leniency and pleaded she should be saved from being docked in the court as she is a nursing mother.
“The agency has consequently ordered her to give medicare to her victim.”
The Director-General said the girl would attend the counselling unit of the agency and later be reunited with her parents.