A 42 year-old woman, Mrs. Mary Matthew, has been paraded by the Ondo State Police command for allegedly maltreating her late younger sister’s daughter, Miss Precious Michael, Five years.
Mary who is a mother of six children, was accused of chaining and caging the little Precious in a kiosk for five months for allegedly being possessed and suffering from Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Mary, an indigene of Enugu State but a resident of Imafo in Akure North local government was said to have traveled to their home town around last year December, when she was informed about the death of her younger sister and returned to her base with Precious.
It was learnt that Precious was caged, when Mary and her husband accused her of being spiritually possessed and also suffering from HIV.
The five year-old girl was always fed, defecated and urinated in the cage for five months before she was rescued last month by the police.
When she was rescued by the police, her condition became pathetic, forcing an Assistant Superintendent Police (ASP) officer in charge of Special Children Centre at Akure “A” Division, Mrs. Olayemi Ojumu to donate her blood when the medical team demanded for blood transfusion.
But, Mary, who denied ever caging the little girl said she was always locking her in a shop when going to farm, saying, when she returned, she would remove her from the shop.
Mary said she took to locking her up when she observed few months after she brought her from Enugu that one of her legs was swollen.
She said “Immediately, I called my mother in Enugu that Precious’ leg was swollen up and she said that she must have contacted HIV, which she said was what killed her late mother.
“I became perplexed and in the cause of preventing her from spreading to my other six children, I always put her in a shop when going to a farm and when I returned, I always remove her from that place, God is my witnessed.
Precious accused her aunt of chaining her two legs and hands and also flogging her before putting her in a cage. She also said that sometime, she would not be fed by her foster parents.
The Police Commissioner, Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison said the police came to the kid’s rescue when their neigbours hinted his officers on the girl’s situation.
Ibifuro-Harrison said the aunt also accused Precious of being possessed, adding that only medical personnel can confirm if the little girl was HIV positive or not.
The commissioner said when she saw the kid in her terrible state, she could not controlled her emotion. She, however, commended her officers, particularly the one who donated her blood for the survival of the girl.
The police assured that the suspect and others who are have been apprehended in connection with the case would be charged to court soon.