Freedom has come the way of a 14-year-old girl identified as Onyeka John after she was chained by her parents for over a month for fear she may run away from home due to mental illness.
Reports say the victim was chained by her mother to the burglar-proof bars by the neck and legs at their rented apartment on Serebe Street, Abaranje, in the Ikotun area of Lagos State.
The bubble burst when the parents of the girl locked her up as usual and went out only for the landlord of the house Mr. Oladapo Olubajo to find the girl in chains when he went to the backyard, of his compound to check a pumping machine.
Mr. Olubajo reports say alerted a resident, who tabled the case before the police at the Ikotun division who swung into action.
According to a resident who pleaded anonymity, the parents of the girl claimed she has brought shame to the family.
“The parents locked the girl up. She is about 14 years old. She was chained naked to the burglary inside the room by the neck and legs. Policemen came to rescue the girl. Her parents later turned themselves in at the station. They said the girl had been a disgrace to the family.” The resident said.
According to the landlord, the condition he found the girl was not palatable while also noting that such treatment could force the victim to commit suicide.
“When I saw her chained to the burglar-proof bar, I raised the alarm. The police later got the parents to the station and interrogated them.” Mr Olubajo said.
Continuing, he added that; “The girl said she had been there for almost one month. Her parents moved here a year ago. I have noticed that their behaviour was odd. but I didn’t know they could go to the extent of chaining the own daughter.
“People begged me and the police eventually released the girl to them yesterday (Wednesday). The conclusion we reached is that I want them out of my house. They also claimed the girl is mentally ill. Even if she is mentally challenged, was that the right way to go about it? She could have killed herself.”
But the parents, speaking through the father, revealed that they meant no harm to their daughter.
“She always runs away from home. That was why we chained her. I think she is mentally ill. We planned to take her to a hospital this month. As I speak now, she has fled home again.”
Confirming the incident, SP Dolapo Badmos, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, revealed that investigation into the case is currently on-going.
“The lady is suffering from mental illness. Her parents chained her to prevent her from entering the street, and without intention to harm her,” she added.
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