General News of Thursday, 12 February 2015
The Kotobabi Police in Accra Wednesday rescued five children allegedly locked indoors by their parents for the past three years.
Forty-year-old Abdul Wakil and his wife, Ramatu, aged 36 have been accused of infringing on the children’s right to education.
The children, who live with their parents at Pig Farm Ebony in Accra, were not permitted to leave their room or attend school in the entire period.
Concerned residents, speaking to JoyNews’ Michaela Anderson who led police to the residence, expressed their frustration over the situation. They revealed that the parents, and in turn their children, are not on speaking terms with any neighbour.
Neighbours were unhappy with the fact that the children are not allowed to play with other children or go to school. According to them, the children only come out to fetch water but are not permitted to do anything else.
When police approached the residence and asked to see the children, an enraged 40-year-old Abdul Wakil refused to cooperate with them.
It took the pleas of his wife, Ramatu, to convince him to permit the police to see the children and cease resisting arrest.
Once at the Kotobabi police station, Ramatu continued to cooperate with the police while her stubborn husband remained unapologetic and uncooperative.
Despite revelations by his wife that the family is financially handicapped and could not afford to send their children to school, a proud Abdul claimed that the children are harassed by their neighbours and that he keeps them indoors in an attempt to prevent this. According to him, this was reason enough to restrict them from attending classes.
The truth of the matter, according to his wife, however, is that they feel ashamed because of their inability to fend for their children and that her husband pulled them out of school because spare himself the embarrassment.
Abdul Wakil, enraged by his wife’s revelations, threatened to beat her; in the presence of police officers.
The Kotobabi Police have referred the case to the Nima Divisional Police Command, where Divisional Commander ACP Nuhu Jango, said he is determined to get to the bottom of the bizarre situation.
ACP Jango told JoyNews the children’s right to education has been infringed upon and that the matter is one for the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU).
“It is an offense to deny a child of certain basic rights…You cannot deny a child the right to education,” he stated.
ACP Jango explained that he has concerns over the safety of the children and their mother following an accusation of physical abuse by Ramatu.
He added that the mother is “being intimidated by the man” and that the police would permit her to go home with the children but detain Adbul Wakil, in order to assure their safety.
In a twist, however, Ramatu appealed to the police to release her obviously abusive husband.