Women Group Hails Couple’s Conviction For Assaulting Maid

Prof. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo OON

Women Aid Collective on Friday applauded the Enugu State High Court for sentencing a couple, Mr Jude Ozuogu and his wife Ifeoma to 13-year imprisonment for child abuse.

Justice A.C Ogbuabor of Enugu State High Court 10 on Tuesday convicted the couple in a three-count charge bordering on inflicting grievous harm, administering noxious or poisonous substance and employment of a 10-year-old child as a home help.

Ifeoma, 24 at the time of arrest in 2020, alongside her husband, Jude Ozuogu, were nabbed for allegedly inflicting injuries on the home help for the fall of their baby.

The convicts were accused of conspiring and inserting pepper into the little girl’s private parts and locked her up in the toilet for refusing to wash the plates.

Reacting to the judgment in a statement on Friday, WACOL said the decision of the court was in tandem with justice, and would serve as a deterrent to those likely to do the same.

In the statement signed by Prof. Joy Ezeilo (SAN), founder of WACOL, TamarSARC and GirlsWill, the WACOL, an organisation fighting violence against women and girls, lamented the rate of child abuse in Nigeria, adding that the conviction of the couple didn’t come at a better time than now when the society could be losing its focus on child right protection.

Describing child abuse and neglect as a serious public health problems that could have long-term impact on health, opportunity and well-being, the group identified child abuse as a community problem.

The statement partly read, “Recall that in July 2020, a formal complaint was lodged at the WACOL head office in Enugu, regarding the maltreatment and torture of 10-year-old Miss N, by one Mr Jude and Mrs Ifeoma Ozuogu, who alleged that the young lady caused the fall of their baby at their Enugu residence. The couple, in their wickedness of heart, descended heavily on the young girl, burning her skin with a hot pressing iron, drilling a nail into her head, and inserting pepper into her vagina, after which they locked her up in a toilet.’’

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