Operatives of the Imo State Police Command have arrested a couple for child abuse and enslavement.
The suspect, a 26-year-old woman, Victoria Nwosu, allegedly chained and starved her three stepchildren while her husband, their father, 30-year-old Chimezie Nwosu, did nothing.
A video clip of the three children was circulated online by a concerned neighbour wherein the minors were chained and made to undergo excruciating mental and physical torture.
This led the state chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers to intervene and arrest the woman and her husband.
The Lagos State police spokesperson, Michael Abattam, confirmed the arrest of the suspects and rescue of the children, assuring that the couple would be charged to court after investigation.
“Sequel to a report on child slavery/abuse received on June 17 around 2pm by the police from a good Samaritan residing at World Bank, Owerri, Imo State, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the New Owerri Divisional Police Headquarters, Owerri, Imo State, swiftly mobilised a team of policemen, including the officer in charge of Juvenile Welfare Centre to the scene at the World Bank area,” Abbattam said.
“On arrival, police operatives went into the identified house where they found a malnourished child, later identified as Kelechi Nwosu, aged seven, in an uncompleted security post; his two legs chained and locked with two padlocks. The child was immediately rescued alongside two other children — Destiny Nwosu, 11, and Chinemerie Nwosu, nine, all looking unkempt and malnourished.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the child was chained by his stepmother, Mrs Victoria Nwosu, 26. The father of the three children, Mr Chimezie Nwosu, 30, seeing his wife maltreating the child never showed concern or cautioned his wife. It was also discovered that the three rescued children were left by Mr Victor Nwosu’s estranged wife.
“On rescuing the children, the police operatives immediately rushed them to a nearby government hospital where they were treated and discharged. However, they were later handed over to a government-recognised orphanage home, where they will be well taken care of pending when their mother is located.
“Meanwhile, the two suspects are presently in police custody undergoing interrogation and they will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.”