A 10-year-old boy has been taken into protective custody by the Lagos State Government after his brother’s wife set him ablaze at their home in Ikorodu.
A nursing mother identified as Gift Igwe, who allegedly set her husband’s younger brother ablaze at their home in the Ikorodu area of Lagos, has been apprehended by officials of the Lagos State Government.
According to Punch Metro, the offence of the 10-year-old victim identified as Chimobi, was that he misplaced his trousers and could not produce them when Gift demanded them from him.
It was gathered that the residents of the community, who heard the cry of the victim, put out the fire, during which he reportedly passed out and was subsequently rushed to the Ikorodu General Hospital, Ikorodu, while Policemen from the Igbogbo division were said to have arrested the suspect.
The officials of the Office of the Public Defender, who had been monitoring the treatment of Chimobi, took him into custody.
While speaking to a correspondent, a source disclosed that the child was brought to Lagos in 2016 by the brother to start living with his family, adding that since then, Gift had been abusing Chimobi, adding that matter came to a head when she set him ablaze that Wednesday.
He said, “He is the younger brother of the man, who is a security guard in a firm. He was not enrolled in any school after he was brought from the village. The brother wanted him to be assisting the wife, who had a baby about a year ago, with house chores and other things.
“The woman has been abusing him for some time now. There are marks of past floggings on his body. He also has sores.
“People in the community could no longer keep quiet when the last incident happened on Wednesday, September 6. She poured kerosene on the boy and lit him with a matchstick.”
Chimobi who hailed from Ishielu, Ebonyi State, who spoke with a correspondent on Saturday, said he had some education before he was brought to Lagos from Ebonyi, adding that his brother and his wife had refused to enrol him in a school since he started living with them.
“I misplaced my trousers and ‘mummy’ (sister-in-law) poured kerosene on me and used a matchstick to light fire. People came to help me. I have not been going to school since they brought me from the village,” he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the incident, noting that Gift had been granted bail because of her child, saying she was mandated to be reporting at the police station daily.
He said, “We gathered that the boy was accused of misplacing something and because of that, she got kerosene and set him ablaze. Some Good Samaritans put out the fire. The boy is recuperating.
“When our attention was called to the case, we ensured the prompt treatment of the boy at the Ikorodu General Hospital. We also involved other government agencies, including a human right group working with the police in that area. The suspect was arrested and interrogated.
“She is a nursing mother; she has a child that is less than two years old. She has been admitted to bail with instruction to be reporting daily to the Investigating Police Officer and the Office of the Public Defender, pending the conclusion of investigation.”