By Patrick Ochei
A Police officer’s wife, Mrs. Precious Joseph has been jailed for two years without an option of fine for violently abusing her nine years old house-help, Miss Agatha Emmanuel at the Okwe area of Asaba Capital Territory in Delta State.
In a ruling delivered by His Lordship, P.O. Obayuwana, the Chief Magistrate of Court II in the Okwe Magisterial District, Delta State on Monday 3rd August, 2020, the 31 years old Mrs. Precious Joseph was jailed two years for using a hot kitchen knife to disfigure her victim’s mouth.
The consequences of the accused’s offence were contained in the two count charge in Charge No: OMC/118C/2020: “That you Precious Joseph ‘f’ on 31st day of July 2020 at Iyasele Street, Okwe, in Okwe Magisterial District did unlawfully assaulted one Agatha Emmanuel ‘f’ by causing her harm with hot knife on her mouth and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 355 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C21 vol.1 Laws of Delta State of Nigeria 2006.”
Also in Count 11: “That you Precious Joseph ‘f’ on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned Magisterial District, did threatened violence with kitchen knife on Agatha Emmanuel ‘f’ and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 86 (2) of the Criminal Code Law Cap C21 vol.1 Laws of Delta State of Nigeria 2006.”
The Chief Magistrate had therefore, ruled that Mrs. Precious Joseph be sentenced to two years in prison without an option of fine for abusing her victim, Agatha Emmanuel and inflicting bodily injuries on her.
The case of child abuse was reported at the B Division Police Station at Okwe by a good Samaritan neighbour, Mr. Simeon Morba who saw the deep injury on Agatha’s mouth while fetching water that same morning and on enquiry was told it was her aunt that inflicted it on her.
Mr. Morba then went to ask Mrs. Joseph why she did that, but instead was resisted with a fight which prompted him to hurry to the Police station to report the matter.
From the accused’s statement obtained from the Police charge file, Mrs. Joseph stated that she burnt Agatha’s mouth because she took meat from the pot of soup against her warning that she should not take meat when eating.
She confessed that the girl is her brother’s daughter, whom she travelled to her village in Cross River State to request that she came to live with her to take care of her three young children to enable her focus on her business.
However, the Delta State Child Rights Implementation Committee which immediately took custody of the victim, followed up in court where the nine years old Agatha got justice.
In her comment, the representative of the Child Rights Implementation Committee in court, Mrs. Awele Ideal Esq, said once again justice had been served to act as deterrent to persons who deal violently on children under their custody.
Meanwhile, the father of the girl had arrived Delta State and after all the formalities, the Ministry of Women Affairs then handed over his daughter to him on Tuesday 4th August, 2020.