Police in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, have arrested a woman who was recently seen in a recorded video flogging and locking a 10-year-old boy in a kennel with dogs.
In the said video which went viral on social media this month, the woman, who has been identified as 24-year-old Onyinye, is seen beating the child with a belt before dragging him into the kennel. She then locks the kennel and walks away.
Her actions were secretly filmed by a neighbour and after the video went viral, many social media users who were outraged called on the police to take action.
On Thursday, a police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, said the suspect had been arrested.
“Last week, we got the report of a lady who beat up a lad and threw him into a dungeon of dogs.
“The domestic violence response team of the Lagos State Police Command was activated. The team went into action and the lady was arrested.
“The suspect is in custody and will be charged to court. The boy who happens to be an orphan has been rescued and kept in a shelter provided by the Lagos State Government,” Badmos wrote on her Instagram page.
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana, gave further details in a statement cited by Punch.
He said Onyinye, who lives in Aguda, Surulere in Lagos, claimed after her arrest that the child, who happens to be an orphan, had stolen an item in the house.
“On August 14, 2019, a team of detectives from the Gender Unit, Command’s Headquarters Ikeja, arrested Onyinye for assault and child abuse. This followed a viral video on the social media showing the suspect torturing one Chibike of same address.
“The video also showed the suspect locking the boy up in a kennel, sharing space with dogs. The video was widely condemned by well-meaning Nigerians.
“The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Zubairu Muazu, ordered the Gender Unit of the command to identify the woman in the video, rescue the child and make the suspect face the full weight of the law.
“The Domestic and Sexual Response Team, Alausa, Ikeja, also added its voice to the call for investigation with a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police to that effect.
“The Gender Unit traced the suspect to a liquor store in Surulere and her residence at Aguda. The boy was rescued and taken to a secure shelter. The suspect admitted that she was the one in the viral video flogging the child with belt, but she denied locking the survivor in a cage with dogs. That she only locked him in an empty dog kennel where bags are kept.
“She claimed to have locked up the boy for a few hours before bringing him out. She alleged that the boy took a hot drink in their refrigerator and was misbehaving. That the suspect smashed the side mirror of her Toyota Camry with stone which made her detain him in the kennel.
“Investigation revealed that the survivor lost his parents and was brought to Lagos in 2012 from Anambra State by the mother of the suspect along with his two siblings. The suspect and the survivor are cousins.
“The suspect’s mother is the elder sister of the survivor’s father. The suspect will be charged to court.”
The police have, so far, applauded the resident who recorded the video and reported the incident for further actions to be taken.