Enforcement officers from the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development rescued a 14-year-old girl, Unwana Emmanuel, from her guardian.
The ministry on Friday, in a statement, explained that the move became necessary because Emmanuel had allegedly been “suffering physical abuse in the hands of her guardian known as Mummy Chidera in the Mushin area of the state.”
The Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Agboola Dabiri, said, “The government would not fold its arms and allow the rights of children to be trampled upon in Lagos State.”
It was discovered that the government was alerted to the plight of the minor by an anonymous resident, who sent text messages to the child protection unit of the ministry.
The resident reportedly gave an account of the “16-month torture” of the girl along with pictures of scars all over the victim’s body, allegedly inflicted by the guardian.
Emmanuel, who hails from Akwa Ibom State, was said to have been handed over to Mummy Chidera in July 2016 following her parents’ inability to fund her education.
Emmanuel, who was in school when government officials got to her neighbourhood in the Mushin/Isolo Local Government Area, was taken to a juvenile welfare centre after the allegation of the abuse was established.
Dabiri said Mummy Chidera had been charged to court, adding that government would not tolerate such actions in the state.
“The law is very clear in Section 1 of the Lagos State Child Protection Law. We will not allow the abuse of children by parents or guardians. The guardian is already facing the law. Let her give reasons for her action and let justice prevail,” he said.
Dabiri also warned parents and guardians to desist from engaging children in hawking during school hours.