It came out steaming hot and horror the story of 10-year old Nneoma Nnadi who was repeatedly burnt with hot iron, and had a 6-inch nail drilled into her skull.
Satan the devil, himself, must have screamed at this horrific act of Mrs Ifeoma Ozougwu on her 10 year-old house help.
Mrs Ifeoma Ozougwu who hails from Aku in Igbo Etiti Local Government Council of Enugu State of Nigeria was reported as having drilled a 6-inch nail into the skull of Nneoma Nnadi, her house help.
It was at this report that several hot iron burns were discovered all over Nneoma’s body. Horrible sight!!
The sight of Nneoma with all the injuries questions the sanity of Mrs. Ifeoma Ozougwu. Mrs Ozougwu cherishes her own child but felt very free to destroy the life of another woman’s child. At 2am, Nneoma, a child herself, was required to stay awake and keep watch over Ifeoma’s child.
At the call of nature the baby fell out of Nneoma’s hand. For that, Nneoma deserved to have a nail in her head even when the
baby sustained no injury.
Why not, after all, mere throwing things on the floor had earlier attracted hot iron burns.
The truth of the matter is that Nneoma represents the face of many Nigerian house helps. There have been many cases of near-death experiences of the house helps in the hands of their madams.
Many such experiences do not get to the public. Those that succeed in getting to the public are as horrific as that of
In April 2016 we heard the case of Nneka Ifoeze of Nkwerre in Imo State who used hot iron on her 9 year old house help.
In March 2018 in Ikeja Lagos State, Nkeiruka Ngwu, a mother of 4, burnt her maid with both hot water and hot pressing iron.
In 2019, 13 year-old Monsurat had her stomach and laps burnt with hot iron by her Madam, Mrs Hafia of Ola Akinpelu Street,
Alimosho area of Lagos State over missing N500. She had earlier used razor on her over other wrongs before using the hot iron. It took the intervention of ACP Mary Ajunwa, the head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, Alagbon to get Hafia
arrested and prosecuted.
I do pray you get the import of the last sentence on the last paragraph. There are many cases of such a nature that were swept under the carpet and never heard by the public. Many house helps are going through a lot in the households they serve.
Some, if not raped by their madam’s husbands, or raped by the son(s) of the household, or forced to abort pregnancy by Oga or Son, they are tortured, abused, humiliated and termed ‘devils’. May I use this opportunity to inform us that it is offence to give out or hire an underage child as house help. Both the person that gives out, and the person that receives, an underage as house help, commit an offence under the Laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
So parents are to take note that when they give out their underage children as house helps, they too are culpable in whatever ill-treatment the child receives.
Some parents go as far as being shylocks, and seeing their children as source of income, or sort of an investment that must bring good returns. I once confronted a woman on how she was ill-treating her maid, and she said that the girl was more or less a property to her since the girl’s parents made her pay exorbitantly akin to marrying the girl. She only came to her senses when she realized what we could do if she had failed to return the girl to her parents.
Under the Child’s Rights Act/Laws and the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015, it is an offence in Nigeria to give out an underage child as a domestic worker.
The parents of such a child given out as a domestic worker are culpable and liable in court of law. It is important to point out here that the law protects the children from an abusive environment and empowers the removal of a child from such an environment even if it is her parent’s home. In other words, a child could be taken away even from her parents if the
child’s health, life, survival and proper development are threatened at such homes.
This is saying “Thank You” to all the neighbours who reported the predicament of Nneoma Nnadi, and also the Police Division that took prompt action and ensured the matter was not swept under the carpet; and also the Magistrate for insisting on serving justice.