The Ebonyi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has rescued a 12-year-old girl, Faith Nwanja, from her mistress, Mrs. Nkechi Barthlomeow who tortured and abused her for four years in their home in Onitsha.
Nkechi, who is childless, adopted Faith and took her to Onitsha, Anambra State when she was eight.
But the scars on Faith’s body show that she might be a victim of inhuman treatment. She has shocking scars and injuries all over her body, including bloodied eyes and mouth.
Giving a graphic description of what happened, Faith revealed that her madam always tortured her with sticks, hot iron and other dangerous weapons for being stubborn.She said
“Nkechi Bartholomew my madam disfigured me like this. I was a full-fledged human being when she took me to Onitsha, Anambra State. She inserted her fingers in my eyes and inflicted these injuries on them.
“She usually put stones inside my mouth. I don’t normally brush my teeth and since I cannot do it, I must always suffer for it.
“The husband has never beaten me, he is always angry when the wife tortures me. At times, he will summon the courage and quarrel the wife because the wife is bigger than him.
My madam would lock me inside a dark room after beating me up. I was taken home by my madam’s sister who told her to take me home but she refused. She would tell me that nothing will happen if I die, that she will spend her money and regain freedom if she is arrested if anything happens to me.
I was attending school in the village before she took me to Onitsha. But in the four years I spent in Onitsha, I have not gone to school once. I only eat in the evening every day.
My madam would insert stick into my private part, saying I am stubborn. After beating me up, she will bring two gallons and placed on my two legs. She will tie my legs on them and insert stick into my private part.
Speaking about the case, The Head of Child Development of the ministry, Godwin Igwe, described Faith’s torture as “inhuman, degrading, torturing and tormenting”.
He said her actions were contrary to the 1999 Constitution as amended in 2011.
“No human being or child, for any reason, should be subjected to inhuman treatment. But this child was subjected to more. This is a pure case of attempted murder, attempted annihilation, snuffing of life and debilitating. Right now, she cannot use one of her hands, she is a disabled person. The head has been mutilated, she has been disfigured.”
Meanwhile, the suspect is at large while her sister who brought the victim home has been arrested.