A 17-year-old malnourished girl, Khadija who was locked up by her aunt in a house in the Rikkos, Jos North local government area of Plateau State has been liberated from her imprisonment.
An anonymous neighbour had felt the plight of the girl and alerted the office of the National Human Rights Commission in Jos and the Police were involved to rescue the girl.
It was gathered that the girl is an orphan who was living with her aunt who was in the habit of maltreating and starving her. It was not clear the reason for such action.
Confirming the situation, the State Coordinator of the National Human Rights Commission, Mrs. Grace Pam said, “The Commission received from an anonymous complainant that one Khadija, a 17-year-old girl who is an orphan, was locked up in the balcony of a house by her aunt, one Zainab. She was living with her grandmother before she came to the aunt’s house because the grandmother is sick.
“The complainant further alleged that her aunt travelled for close to a week and left the victim without food. Investigation revealed that the victim was truly malnourished and had scars on her hands, neck and other parts of her body. These are from the beatings she received from her aunt.
“The matter was reported at the Nassarawa Gwong Police station where the aunt’s statement was taken. The victim has been provided with temporary shelter until she recovers. We found out that the orphan girl is never allowed to go out, she’s locked up in the house and not fed.
“She has been taken to hospital by one of our partners Hajiya Amina to ensure the girl is taken care of while we follow up on the issue at Nassarawa Gwong Police station where we have reported the matter to.”
Pam lamented the increasing number of abuses of minors in the last few days, disclosing that “as we speak, there is a case of another victim, a nine-year-old girl, Mmesoma who just came to stay with her aunt barely two months ago.
“We had to rescue her on Thursday from her aunt, she beats her mercilessly but thank God, she did not blind her but she is injured in the eye, we are taking her to the hospital this morning. The aunt brought her from the East to somewhere along Rukuba road and she has been beating this girl, locking her up too. She also has scars all over her body.
“When our staff went there, she had locked her up in a zinc house where she keeps her goats. The girl is looking forward to going back to meet her parents in the East.”
The Coordinator appealed to citizens to stop the human rights abuses, reminding them that when apprehended, the available laws like the Child Rights law, Violence Against Persons Prohibition, VAPP, Gender and Equal Opportunities, GEO and others which have been domesticated in thee State would be used to prosecute them.