Operatives of the gender squad of the Lagos State police command at the weekend rescued a 14-year-old housemaid who was locked up in a toilet in an apartment at Baruwa estate, Ipaja. It was gathered that the girl was locked up in a small toilet by her boss, one Mabel Okechukwu, before she left for church on Sunday. A neighbour who could not bear the torture inflicted on the girl by her boss was the one who called in the police.
A police source said the suspect, Mabel, was arrested after the tip-off. The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who briefed the media on the issue yesterday, said based on the information, policemen from Ipaja Police Station raced to the scene.
Edgal said: “The arrest took place after a complaint made by a concerned neighbour on November 4, at about 1:30p.m. and this made the Divisional Police Officer of Ipaja Division to visit the house at Baruwa estate. On arrival they met the entrance locked prompting them to forced the door open to rescue the victim.
“The child narrated her ordeal since she started living with the suspect. On a close examination by the command’s gender personnel, wounds were seen all over the victim’s body.”
The suspect, however, pleaded not guilty. In her defense, she said the child is not her maid, but an in-law to her, adding that the victim had been staying with her for over six months. “The child attends the same school with my children and I will never do anything to hurt her.
I only punished her by locking her up because she feels reluctant to go to church anytime we are preparing for service. I have no intention to hurt her,” she said.The police boss, however, said the suspect would be charged to court immediately after the investigation is over.