Onlookers were held with shock and disbelief on Friday, September 7 at Iyaganku Police Division when an eight-year-old girl, Ewaoluwa (surname withheld), was brought to the station for changing the looks of her mother’s housemaid when she allegedly bathed the Togolese girl with hot water for not responding to her call that she needed to eat Indomie in time.
In a case that was said to have been reported on that Friday by a member of Child’s Protection Network, (a non-governmental organisation), Pastor Marcus William, the eight-year-old girl had allegedly poured hot water on the head, neck and back side of the 14-year-old housemaid, whose name was given as Mary Komule, on September 5 for not answering her in time when she asked Mary to make her Indomie.
Acting on this information, policemen and women attached to the Juvenile Welfare section of Iyaganku went to the girl’s parents’ house at Olaniran Fagbemi Street, Joyce B area of Ibadan immediately after receiving the information, but was said to have been resisted by the girl’s mother who reportedly told his gateman to tell the police that she was not around.
It was further gathered that the police officers spent close to four hours outside the gate and had prepared to obtain a search warrant from a court when the woman’s lawyer came around and persuaded her to follow the law enforcement agents.
In her statement to the police at Iyaganku, Ewaoluwa claimed that she wanted to eat Indomie and informed the housemaid, but she was busy cleaning the floor on which palm oil poured. The housemaid, Mary, had reportedly put some water on the fire to further clean the floor when she noticed the floor was still slippery.
Angered by the fact that her request was not promptly attended to, the little girl had reportedly ordered Mary to kneel down and put her hands behind her back, after which she tied them with a scarf. She was said to have claimed that she first poured cold water on the housemaid but when she saw that the teenager did not feel any pain, she took the water the maid was boiling on the fire and poured it on the helpless girl, right from the head to the back of her neck.
Writhing in pain, Mary had reportedly robbed the scalded skin with her hands, resulting in the skin peeling off. Though the girl’s mother was said to be away in Lagos when the incident occurred, Ewaoluwa, when asked whether she was punished for her misdeeds, told the police that her mother scolded her by asking her to ‘face the wall’.
The mother of the girl who was crying profusely as the crowd booed her and her daughter told the police that she took Mary to a nearby chemist for treatment when she returned from her journey and was informed of the occurrence. She also said that the girl had been with her for about six moths, adding that she didn’t want to come out to the police initially because she was scared.
However, the housemaid countered her, saying that she was not taken anywhere for treatment and had been in pain until the time of her rescue. Her burns were only dabbed with Gentian Violet when Crime Features saw the girl at the police station. When asked why she didn’t resist the abuse on her, Mary said her mistress had strictly warned her not to touch the girl on any account.
Sources living around the home of the girl’s parents told Crime Features that the housemaid had once attempted to run away but was held back by people. Since then, they said, she had been under close monitoring by her mistress. The gateman of the house also told the police that he had only worked with the family for nine days before the incident but had never seen the girl outside until that day.
Confirming the story, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Clement Adoda said that the housemaid had been handed over to the Ministry of Women Affairs in Oyo State while the NAPTIP had also been contacted so that proper repatriation of the girl back to her country could be effected. Mr Adoda added that the little suspect and her mother had been granted bail while the case would be charged to court after the resumption of the legal year.