Margaret Joshua, an 11 year-old-girl, has died after allegedly being physically abused by her guardian, Mrs. Nneamaka Nwachukwu, a Microbiologist who works with one of the Research Institutes in Vom, Jos South local government area of Plateau State.
The victim is said to fleeing from Kebbi State, her state of origin, over insecurity and was brought to Jos to serve Nwachukwu.
The alleged abuser, a mother of two who did not enrol the victim in any school in the over one year that the girl had spent with them, rather indulged in the daily beating of the girl until she finally died.
It was gathered that after a recent beating, the girl was forced to sit in a container with hot water which burnt her buttocks and she died in the hospital on Monday.
The Plateau State Coordinator of the National Human Rights Commission, Mrs. Grace Pam whose office is following up on the case told Vanguard that based on the number of scars and wounds on her body, her guardians must have subjected her to a series of torture during the period that she stayed with the family.
She explained, “Our attention was called to the situation on Monday by a staff in the hospital who said that an a11-year-old girl was seriously beaten and injured by her guardian, Mrs. Nneamaka Nwachukwu in Vom. The girl had scars and burns on her body. We were told that she was taken to Mandela hospital in Kaduna Vom before she was referred to come to Jos.
“When some of our staff met with Mrs. Nwachukwu at the Police Station in Vom where she was detained, she confessed she has been beating her and claimed the girl used to masturbate so she was punishing her so she could stop. She claimed she did not know what used to come over her because she felt bad anytime she beats the child.”
Speaking on the burns on the victim’s buttocks, the guardian claimed: “she fell into hot water and ran out of the house after the incident for almost 24hrs.”
It was however gathered that someone saw the traumatised girl on the street and took her to the Police station at Kaduna Vom, the Police took the girl to the hospital before calling the attention of her guardian as Mrs. Pam expressed worry that, “no action was taken to take care of the girl in her condition for about 24hrs until someone saw her and took her to the Police station.”
It was also gathered that this was not the first time the Nwachukwus would assault the girl as the Police had earlier warned them against maltreating the girl and asked them to return the girl to her parents. The supposed guardians have not met the girl’s parents who are in Kebbi State but are said to have been speaking with them on phone.
However, the case has been transferred from the Police Station in Kaduna to the Police Headquarters in Jos as investigations continue.