A beautician, identified only as Oby, has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly beating her maid, Miracle, to death on Lateef Aregbe Street, Ago Palace Way, Okota, in the Isolo area of the state.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the mother of two had descended on the eight-year-old on Saturday and beaten her till she collapsed and gave up the ghost.
She was allegedly plotting with some persons to dispose of the corpse when some neighbours raised the alarm and reported the case to the police.
The suspect was subsequently detained at the Isolo Police Division.
A resident of the area, who did not want to be identified, said the suspect had been beating Miracle for months.
He explained that anytime Oby, who hailed from Anambra State, was confronted by neighbours, she would shun and insult them.
He said, “She is a beautician and has two children and she is heavily pregnant with her third child. Her husband was deported from Libya before he travelled again to Angola, where he is now based.
“She brought the victim and another girl by name Chinacherem, from their village in Anambra State some years ago. They were formerly going to school before she stopped them.
“However, anytime I visit their house, she was always beating this particular girl. Whenever people intervened, she would tell them to go away because she brought the girl from the village and it was none of their business.
“She usually maltreated the two girls and would wake them up as early as 4.30am to start working. She beat them for the least provocation.
“Early Saturday, she descended on Miracle again and beat her till she gave up. She called some people to help her in disposing of her corpse. They were about taking the body out when people challenged them. The people she brought quickly ran away.”
The police from the Isolo division were said to have arrested the suspect.
PUNCH Metro was told that the case was also reported to officials of the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender.
An official of the agency, who did not want to be identified, said 12-year-old Chinacherem had been taken away from the community by some family members who didn’t want her to testify against the suspect.
She said, “We gathered that Oby told Chinacherem that when she is queried, she should tell people that she (Chinacherem) and the victim fought and she collapsed and died. After the girl told the crowd that, she quickly added that it was what her madam asked her to say.
“But the woman has confessed to the police that she killed the girl. When we went to the station, we were prevented from talking to her, but they confirmed it was a case of homicide. The case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.”
The Director of OPD, Mrs. Olubukola Salami, called for an end to child abuse in Lagos State, urging residents to quickly report such cases before it was too late.
She said the agency would follow the case to ensure justice was served.
She said, “The girl’s life could have been saved if people raised the alarm early enough and that is why we always say if you see something, say something. There is no room for child abuse in Lagos State and we will ensure due diligence is done in this matter.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the incident, adding that the victim’s corpse had been deposited in the Isolo General Hospital for autopsy.
He said, “The suspect, Obiageli, beat her housemaid, Miracle Edegwu, to death. She was arrested and transferred to the SCIID. The matter is under investigation.”