Court remands Anambra lawyer for brutalising maid

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The Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court sitting at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Awka, has remanded a lawyer, Adachukwu Okafor, at the State Criminal and Investigative Department custody in Awka, for allegedly inflicting physical injuries on the body of her 11-year-old housekeeper.

Okafor, who resides at Chris Igwilo Street Akpaka GRA, 3-3 Onitsha of Anambra State, was arraigned before the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court presided by Genevieve Osakwe, in Awka, on Wednesday on two counts.

Okafor allegedly used various objects like a broken bottle, knife, and electric iron to harm her house help in response to an incident involving her daughter.

The two-count borders mainly on willful infliction of physical injuries on the body of one Happiness Nwafor, an offence punishable under Section 4(1) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition and Protection) Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 2017.

The charge was read and interpreted to the defendant to the court’s satisfaction; the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Okafor, who was reportedly said to be on the run, surrendered herself to the Anambra Police Command in Awka, after the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, had placed an N2m bounty on anyone who knew her whereabouts.

Meanwhile, a bail application was made by the defendant’s counsel, Chijioke Nwankwo, but the bail was denied by the court and the matter was adjourned till February 28, 2024, for ruling.

Speaking to journalists after the court’s session, the defendant’s counsel, Chijioke Nwankwo, when asked why it took his client time to report to the police, stated that he was unaware of any bounty placed on Okafor.

He explained that he was only contacted for the job and he immediately took the defendant to the police.

He, however, complained that the state Ministry of Women and Social Welfare is already doing trial by ordeal, which he noted is not in the best interest of the case.

The victim, an 11-year-old, had since been discharged from the hospital and made an appearance in court too.

Reacting to the development, the Anambra State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, stated that she trusts the court to do justice.

Obinabo also revealed that her ministry would soon embark on media sensitisation programme, during which Anambra residents would be educated and fully enlightened about the dangers and negative consequences of child abuse.

She said, “We advise members of the public to shun all forms of social vices in society, especially those vices that endanger the life of a child; and we call on everyone to be agents of positive social change.”