Woman allegedly boils 2year old stepdaughter’s hands; claim the little girl mistakenly put her hands in hot water.

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Residents of Langbasa, a community in
Ajah area of Lagos, are accusing a woman in the neighbourhood of causing a grievous
harm on her two-year-old stepdaughter. Kehinde, as she’s known, is in trouble
for allegedly dipping the two hands of her little stepdaughter, Esther, into
oven-hot water. The girl’s hands were boiled
terribly, and many are raising concern that one of them might have become
utterly useless. Esther, it was gathered, lost her own mum about a year ago a
few days after her first birthday. The poor little girl has since been living
with her father, known among residents of the area as Baba Eleja. Baba Eleja,
Esther’s dad, later brought in Kehinde, a mother of three, as his wife. He put
Esther in the care of his new wife, Kehinde.

Trouble started for the woman on
Wednesday, October 31. She wasn’t feeling good and invited a nurse to prescribe
drugs for her. It was the nurse that noticed Esther’s boiled hands. The nurse
also realised that the little girl was very unhealthy. She sought to know what
was responsible for the little girl’s condition and Kehinde allegedly explained
that the girl mistakenly put her hands inside a bucket of hot water in the
room. Obviously not satisfied with that explanation, the nurse went to inform
Kehinde’s neighbours about the strange development.

Many of the neighbours, who had all
along suspected that all was not well with little Esther as Kehinde was always
beating her, rushed to the room to see the girl. One of the neighbours, who
described himself as her father’s kinsman, spoke to the reporter. His words:
“When we saw Esther, lying on the floor with her boiled hands, we were moved to
tears. We feared that the poor girl might die any moment from then.
We quickly made efforts to rush her
to the hospital for treatment. I don’t think Esther was the one that dipped her
own hands in the hot water. In fact, if you see that damage done on those
hands, you would know that somebody must have dipped those hands in some
boiling water. The hands were boiled to the wrist. Even that poor girl wouldn’t
be able to use one of the hands again.” Another resident of the area, a woman,
said Kehinde never spared the cane on the little girl.
“She is always beating the girl with
canes. You can even see scars of the wounds that her canes inflicted on the
girl’s body. Since we noticed what happened to Esther, we have moved her away
from the woman. Earlier today, when the girl saw her stepmother, she was so
terrified that she cried and ran away. That shows she (Kehinde) has been wicked
to her. I advise the relatives of the girl’s mother to take her away from her
father so that something more terrible than this doesn’t happen to her,” she
told the reporter.
When Daily Sun sought to speak with
Kehinde in her husband’s one room apartment in Olugbe compound in the
community, her husband as well as some of her relatives wanted to prevent the
encounter, saying they didn’t want the family’s dirty linen washed in public.
Explanations by the reporter that since the matter had gone to the police, it
had already gone beyond their private domain, did little to persuade the angry
relatives. In fact, at a point, Baba Eleja got angry and rushed to the nearby
Langbasa police post where he reported the “intruding” journalist.
Meanwhile, other relatives as well as
the landlord of the apartment granted audience to the reporter and urged
Kehinde to grant an interview. In the course of the interview, Baba Eleja
suddenly materialised with a policeman in tow, apparently to get the ‘busybody’
arrested. But as soon as the police officer discovered the reporter’s identity,
he asked the journalist to continue his job. He advised the enraged husband to
cooperate with him. Amidst verbal invectives being hurled at her by neighbours
and some relatives, who believed she did dip Esther’s hands into a pot of
steaming water, Kehinde told the reporter her story: “It happened a few weeks
ago.
That morning, I noticed that Esther
was looking very dull. So, I asked her to come to me and I gave her a potty for
her to urinate into. I discovered that the urine was black, which showed that
she was sick. So, I didn’t allow her to go to school. That day, I was also
bleeding because I just had a miscarriage. After a while, I kept a bowl of very
hot water that I wanted to use on myself beside our bed and rushed out to the
kitchen. Suddenly, I heard Esther’s piercing cry and I rushed back into the
room only to see her struggling with the bowl of hot water.
By the time I could rescue her, she
already boiled her two hands. I thought she wanted to drink water because she
was eating the rice that I cooked for her and my own children before I left the
room. I quickly went to borrow N100 from a neighbour with which I bought some
balm that I applied on the hands. I also gave her some drugs for her fever and
she soon slept off. “When her father returned from work in the night and
noticed what happened to her, he beat the hell out of me, in spite of my
condition. It took the intervention of our landlord before he left me.
Since then, Esther has been staying
with me at home. She has not been going to school and I’ve been doing my best
to treat her. “But a few days ago, I invited a nurse, who is also a neighbour
to attend to me. As a result of the miscarriage, I have been feeling very weak
and I have lost a lot of blood. The nurse came and I was lying on the bed.
Esther was resting on a mattress close to the bed.
The nurse came to attend to me but
when she saw Esther, she looked worried and asked what happened to her. When I
explained, she asked why we didn’t take her to hospital yet and I said I didn’t
have the money and that I was expecting that Esther’s father would do that.
“The nurse promptly attended to me and hurriedly left after examining Esther’s
boiled hands for two or three times. It wasn’t long after she left that a crowd
of neighbours broke into our room to see Esther.
They soon pounced on me and started
beating me. It took the intervention of policemen, who were invited by some of
them, to rescue me from the mob. I would have been lynched. They thought that I
deliberately dipped her hands into boiling water. I didn’t do that at all. I
have always been taking care of Esther as if I were her mother. Even people
call me Mama Esther because of the way I treat her. I couldn’t have done such a
terrible thing to her.”
Source: Sun

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