Margaret Joshua, an 11-year-old girl, died in Jos as a result of alleged physical abuse by Mrs. Nneamaka Nwachuku, a microbiologist who works in one of the research institutes in Vom, Jos South local government area of Plateau State. Mrs. Nwachuku was Margaret Joshua’s guardian.
According to Vanguard, the accused took the victim, a resident of Kebbi State who had fled from community instability, and offered to aid her.
The girl was allegedly beaten daily by the suspected abuser, a mother of two who failed to enroll the victim in any school for the more than a year that she lived with her, until the attack ultimately claimed her life.
It was alleged that after a recent beating, the girl was forced to sit in a container with hot water which burnt her buttocks and she died in the hospital on Monday, November 14.
The Plateau State Coordinator of the National Human Rights Commission, Grace Pam, whose office is following up on the case told Vanguard that based on the number of scars and wounds on her body, her guardians must have subjected her to a series of torture during the period that she stayed with the family.
“Our attention was called to the situation on Monday by a staff in the hospital who said that an a 11-year-old girl was seriously beaten and injured by her guardian, Mrs. Nneamaka Nwachukwu in Vom. The girl had scars and burns on her body. We were told that she was taken to Mandela hospital in Kaduna Vom before she was referred to come to Jos.
When some of our staff met with Mrs. Nwachukwu at the Police Station in Vom where she was detained, she confessed she has been beating her and claimed the girl used to masturbate so she was punishing her so she could stop. She claimed she did not know what used to come over her because she felt bad anytime she beats the child.” Pam said
Speaking on the burns on the victim’s buttocks, the guardian claimed;
“she fell into hot water and ran out of the house after the incident for almost 24hrs.”
It was however gathered that someone saw the traumatized girl on the street and took her to the Police station at Kaduna Vom. The security agents then took the girl to the hospital before calling the attention of her guardian as Mrs. Pam expressed worry that, “no action was taken to take care of the girl in her condition for about 24hrs until someone saw her and took her to the Police station.”
It was also gathered that this was not the first time the Nwachukwus would assault the girl as the Police had earlier warned them against maltreating the girl and asked them to return the girl to her parents. The supposed guardians have not met the girl’s parents who are in Kebbi State but are said to have been speaking with them on phone.
However, the case has been transferred from the Police Station in Kaduna to the Police Headquarters in Jos as investigations continue.