Police are on the trail of Nkechinyere Bartholomew, the woman accused of inflicting severe injuries and inserting sticks into the private part of her housemaid.
The 12-year-old victim (name withheld) was released to Nkechinyere at the age of eight and they were living in Onitsha in Anambra state.
Loveth Odah, the Ebonyi state Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, said that the suspect’s sister, who came back with the victim to Ebonyi, had been apprehended and detained.
Chinelo Ngwuta, the detainee, would lead the police to get the principal suspect, Nkechinyere.
She explained that the matter would be treated as a case in transit as the state command does not have jurisdiction over the matter because the grievous harm caused on the child was done at Anambra state.
Frail looking and badly injured 12-year-old, had said that her madam subjected her to serious bodily harm and abuse during the four years she served as her maid.
“My mistress usually inserts sticks inside my vagina, hits me with iron rods, wires and also ties me with chain whenever she is going out,” she told journalists.
“My aunty always use blade to cut my skin.
“These scars, injuries on my head, body and lips were inflicted on me by my aunty for 4 years,” she said in her dialect.
The mother of the victim, who hails from Okoffia-Ohaji, is currently in custody of Ezza-South Local Government in Ebonyi State, said her daughter was 8 when she was handed over to Bartholomew.
Godwin Igwe, head of department, child development in the state ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, described the degree of injures on the victim as “real damage’’.
“This is worrisome. There is increasing cases of child brutalization,” Igwee said.
“From all indications the victim’s hand is condemned and we don’t know the extent of damage to her brain and other parts of her body,” Igwe said.
Meanwhile, Emeka Ogah, the chief medical director of the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, FEITH, said the victim was currently undergoing series of medical examination.
Ogah who was represented by Robbinson Ono, said that paediatricians have been directed to carry out various test on the victim.
“We are still investigating the case. We cannot give out any report now until the paediatricians have concluded the tests.’’