The police in Ondo State have arrested a woman, simply identified as Mrs Babalola, who along with her husband, allegedly tortured their four-year-old daughter, Testimony Babalola, to death.
The child was reportedly rushed to the Akure University of Medical Sciences, Teaching Hospital on Wednesday last week lifeless, and with bruises all over her body.
Doctors on duty confirmed that the child was brought in dead by the woman.
It was gathered that while the doctors and nurses were still trying to figure out what to do with the case, ”the woman grabbed the lifeless baby and disappeared into thin air”.
The police had been on the trail of the woman and her husband.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the police made several unsuccessful bids to arrest the couple who fled Akure to their hometown in Ikare Akoko, following the intervention of the people of the community.
Police spokesperson, Femi Joseph, denied that the police were prevented from arresting the suspects.
He said the woman was already in the custody of the police “providing useful information” to the command on the matter.
Mr Joseph said on Monday that the command was yet to fully ascertain the actual cause of the death of the child.
“The woman was arrested this morning (Monday), but her husband is still on the run,” Mr Joseph said.
According to him, ”Mr Babalola is not the biological father of the child, contrary to earlier reports”.
He assured that the suspect would be apprehended.
Earlier, the Parish Priest of Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Akure, Mathew Ologun, had informed journalists that the child had been undergoing torture at the hands of the couple ”who claimed that the child was possessed.”
He had revealed that while the woman attends the Catholic church, her husband attends a Cherubim and Seraphim church along Oba Adesida Road Akure.
The priest said that the church had two months ago got a hint of the ill-treatment meted out to the late Testimony through the church’s children’s caregiver, who noticed so many scars all over her body.
The cleric also revealed that upon investigation by the church, the father of the girl, identified as Felix Babalola, admitted he inflicted injuries on the girl ”which he claimed was done in line with his church ‘deliverance’ method”.
Meanwhile, Mr Joseph said the police is yet to see the corpse of the child, noting that it would have been buried by the suspects.
“It is likely that the child has been buried by now, but if we need to exhume the body for further investigations, we will go and do that,” he said.