- We’ll prosecute her if found culpable – Police
These are not the best of times for 13-year-old Fathia Alarape. The little girl has been at the receiving end of a failed marriage between her father and mother and now she’s left at the mercy of her stepmother.
Apparently having no motherly feeling towards her, she allegedly would always treat the teenage girl in not too palatable ways. At home, Fathia does not enjoy even a modicum of that affection and privilege a mother’s boy or girl of her age usually gets.
For Fathia, life under her father’s roof has been a hell-hole.
According to neighbours at her father’s Owode Street, Igbogbo Road, Ikorodu, Lagos, residence, the little girl has been a regular victim of her father and step-mother’s anger. At the slightest provocation, Fathia is said to be subjected to serious beating and battering by her step-mother and even her father. Recently, mother luck smiled on little Fathia as the alleged wickedness of her step-mother was exposed.
Our correspondent gathered that Fathia’s step-mother, Tawa Alarape, had accused the little girl of stealing her money and infuriated at this infraction, she decided to teach her erring step-daughter the lesson of her life.
After giving her some strokes of the cane and not satisfied, Mrs. Alarape decided to give her an extra punishment. She allegedly inserted some pepper in Fathia’s vagina!
Like a mentally deranged person, our correspondent gathered, the little girl almost ran berserk, struggled with her step-mother for a while inside their residence, broke free from her hold and ran to the streets, where she attracted other residents of the area.
Caught unawares by the sight of the little girl running and shouting loudly, the neighbours at first thought she had gone mad and avoided her.
After identifying the little girl as Fathia, who, allegedly, had always been subjected to frequent punishments by her father and stepmother, some residents of the area came to the rescue of the little girl, detailing some women to quickly give her some treatment to sooth the hot effect of the pepper in her private part.
A resident of the area, who spoke with our correspondent, Ademola Lateef, said the parents of the little girl, who he alleged hardly cared for her, had been in the habit of subjecting her to series of corporal punishments.
“That girl must be someone that God has deliberately kept alive, because if you know the kind of beating and punishments those people usually subject her to, you will imagine how she has survived till now. On several occasions we have seen her been battered mercilessly by her step-mother and there is nothing anyone could do about it,” Lateef said.
This girl started this hell of a life shortly after her father married this woman. And the woman, despite being a nursing mother, will never spare this little girl anytime she does anything wrong
Regarding the incident which resulted in Fathia’s step-mother inserting pepper in her private part, Lateef told our correspondent that the little girl was severely punished upon an allegation that she stole certain amount of money belonging to her stepmother.
“Though I was not there on that fateful day, but my younger brother told me that the girl was punished by the woman over suspicion that she stole her money in the house. According to him, the little girl was tortured seriously before she later resorted to putting pepper in her private part. When she did it, the girl, after struggling with her for some time, was able to escape and ran to the street, where people had to come to her rescue,” he said.
Another resident of the area, who simply identified herself as Shade, gave another reason behind Fathia’s step-mother’s alleged cruel attitude.
“The woman is one of the people that are not supposed to be living among human beings. I cannot imagine, no matter how grave the little girl’s offence may be, that she would decide to punish her by putting pepper inside her private part. I hope you people will help us to get this to the government so that she can be dealt with. “On that day, I was just passing by when I saw people around the young girl. At first, I thought she was caught for stealing and I was even afraid of what may happen because people may resolve to mob her if she is a thief. But to my surprise, when I moved closer, I realized that she was not a thief but a young girl, who had been maltreated by her step-mother. I learnt that the woman accused her of stealing her money and decided to torture her with pepper after beating her for some time,” Shade said.
She added that the residents at first wanted to confront and deal with Fathia’s step-mother, but they were prevailed upon by some other persons to report the matter to the police rather than taking the law in their hands.
They then took the battered little girl to the police.
When our correspondent visited the family’s residence at Owode Street, Igbogbo Road in Ikorodu, the house was under lock and key.
It was gathered that Mrs. Alarape was invited by the police and detained at the Ikorodu Police Divisional Headquarters in Igbogbo for interrogation over the matter. Her husband, too, was also said to have been similarly invited by the police.
A neighbour of the Alarapes, who pleaded anonymity, explained, “I was in the front of my shop when we saw Fathia crying and running towards us that someone has inserted pepper inside her private part. At first, I thought that she was not normal, but after some times, we discovered she was serious and one of the females around had to attend to her and discovered that she was saying the truth. Later, some of the people that attended to her called some human right activists to take the issue up and they decided to take her to the police station in order to report the case.”
She further explained that Fathis’a ordeal began since her father decided to take a new wife after he was separated from the little girl’s mother.
“This girl started this hell of a life shortly after her father married this woman. And the woman, despite being a nursing mother, will never spare this little girl anytime she does anything wrong.” She said.
It was also alleged that rather than cautioning his wife against maltreating her daughter, Fathia’s father had always backed his wife.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the matter. Badmos, a superintendent of police, stated that police would ensure justice for the minor while anyone found culpable in the matter would not go unpunished.
“Police is aware of the case and necessary action is ongoing to ensure that the girl gets justice while offenders will be punished to deter others in the society,” she said.