A two-year-old girl, Chidinma Okasu, escaped death by a whisker after an injury to her head reportedly affected her brain.
The injury, it was gathered, was inflicted by her uncle, one Seyi Shodiya, who allegedly tortured her for excreting on a bed.
Not done, he reportedly threw her off the bed and the survivor hit her head on the floor, collapsing on the spot.
She was said to have been rushed to the Alimosho General Hospital, from where she was referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
Okasu and 34-year-old Shodiya lived in the Ikotun area of Lagos State.
A source told PUNCH Metro that Shodiya’s wife reported the incident at the Ikotun Police Station and the man was arrested.
He said, “The suspect brought the girl from their village some months ago. As little as the girl is, the man tortures her whenever she excretes or urinates on her body.
“This particular incident occurred on May 30 while the girl was asleep. The suspect beat the girl and threw her on the floor because she excreted on her body and the bed.
“She passed out and was taken to the hospital. It was discovered that she had internal injury in the head and was transferred to LASUTH, where she had a surgery.”
Our correspondent was told that LASUTH reported the matter to the state Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team.
The DSVRT Coordinator, Mrs. Lola Vivour-Adeniyi, said doctors at LASUTH battled for about two months to revive Okasu.
She explained that her team had taken up the case on behalf of the survivor as the suspect’s wife, who reported the matter to the police, had refused to show up again.
Vivour-Adeniyi added that the DSVRT would ensure that justice was served.
She said, “The child was in a coma for about two months in LASUTH. She even had to undergo a brain surgery before she came back to life. She has been moved to an orphanage.
“We learnt that the wife had warned her husband several times to desist from beating the girl. We tried our best to reach the wife to no avail. So, DSVRT has no option but to serve as the complainant of this matter.”
Shodiya was arraigned on Tuesday before an Ogba Magistrate’s Court on two counts bordering on assault.
The charge read in part, “That you, Seyi Shodiya, on May 30, 2017, at about 11pm, at Ikotun, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did unlawfully and indecently assault one Chidinma Okasu, aged two, by beating her up mercilessly, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 135 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.”
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty before the presiding magistrate, Mrs. D. Abegunde, who granted him bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in like sum.
The magistrate stated that the sureties must provide two years tax clearance certificate as well as details of their bank accounts, adding that each of them must deposit N30,000 to the account of the Chief Registrar.
Abegunde directed that a duplicate case file should be forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
The case was adjourned till October 9.