The nightmare many children never have to experience came true for 16 year old Kafayat Bello when on May 2, 2015 she got a beating that she is not about to forget in a hurry from her father, a commercial bus driver, Ibrahim Bello.
According to reports, there are about 15 different spots, from face to thighs, were the father had burnt his daughter with a pressing iron for what many would term normal teenage behaviour.
According to Kafayat, after the very severe beating she received for the offence of playing with her friends, her father went ahead to plug in a pressing iron and then proceeded to literally iron her out which left Kafayat severely burnt. She said she had been assigned to give a manicure and pedicure treatment to a client who came to her mother’s shop.
“When I finished attending to the customer, I left the shop to play with some of my friends. When I got back, my mother asked where I was and told me she would report me to my father. When I got home, my mother told my father what I did, he started to beat me very hard and he then went off to plug a pressing iron, which he used to burn me all over my body,” she said.
Her mother who had initially stood by watching the beating later ran out when it was clear that the situation was getting out of hand to call neighbour’s to help intervene in the matter. It was the cry for help that made the neighbours come rushing in to restrain Ibrahim from inflicting more injuries on his daughter.
The case has now been taken over by the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice. According to OPD officials who are part of the team called in to arrest Ibrahim said that after all the beating and the injury, he locked up the girl with a warning that she shouldn’t step out of the house till her injuries were properly healed.
However, Mr. Ibrahim had not counted on the fact that even if Kafayat couldn’t go out, her friends would come looking for her to see what was wrong especially as she missed her test. The school official who reported the incident to the police said; “But when her classmates came looking for her from school they told her she had missed some tests. In order not to miss more tests, she rushed to school on Thursday, two days after she sustained the injuries. When she got to school, that was when we discovered the extensive injuries.”
Ibrahim was arrested as soon as the case was reported and the OPD took over. The Director of the OPD, Omotola Rotimi speaking about the incident said that her office would continue to oversee the case to make sure that Ibrahim doesn’t wiggle through the system.
She said; “The case of the girl that was burnt with iron was so severe that she could have lost her life in the process. We also have the father in custody and would ensure that he is prosecuted diligently for the severe assault on the girl.
“While he kept the girl at home, he invited an auxiliary nurse to treat her injuries but the nurse did a very shoddy job. The injuries could have deteriorated and caused further damage to the girl’s body if not because we were notified on time. We had to ensure the girl receive adequate treatment first.”