Child Abuse: Court Sentences Enugu Lady To Five Years Imprisonment For Child Abuse

An Enugu State High Court has sentenced an employee of the Central Bank of Nigeria Jude Ozuogu and his wife, Ifeoma Ozuogu to 13 years imprisonment for child abuse.

The couple were found guilty of inflicting bodily harm on their 10-year-old home help.

Ifeoma was 24 at the time she was arrested in 2020 alongside her husband, Jude Ozuogu, by personnel of the Enugu command of the Nigeria Police Force.

The victim, Nneoma Nnadi, was abused for allegedly causing the couple’s baby to fall to the ground.

The convict was also accused of inserting pepper into the little girl’s private parts and locking her up in the toilet for refusing to wash plates.

Ozuogu used hot pressing iron, knife, nail and hammer to inflict injuries on the little girl.

The incident happened at Aku in the Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of the state.

Nnadi was said to have carried her mistress’ little baby to pamper her to sleep around midnight when the baby mistakenly fell to the ground.

Though there was no physical or internal injury suffered by the baby, Ozuogu descended heavily on the girl over the incident by burning her skin with a hot pressing iron and also driving a nail into her head.

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The following day, Ozuogu inserted pepper into the little girl’s vagina and locked her up in the toilet for refusing to wash plates.

It took the intervention of neighbours, who heard the girl’s cry, to rescue and rush her to the hospital for treatment.

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Consequently, the neighbours reported the incident to the police, which swiftly arrested her. Her husband, Jude was also arrested for being an accomplice to the crime.

Thereafter, they were arraigned before Justice A. C. Ogbuabor of State High Court 10 on three counts bordering on inflicting grievous harm, administering noxious or piousness substance and employment of a child as a domestic worker.

Delivering judgment in the suit marked No: HE/121c/2020 between the State (Plaintiff/Applicant and Jude Ozuogu and Ifeoma Ozuogu (1 & 2 Defendants), the court convicted them.

Condemning the treatment meted out to the 10-year-old girl, the court sentenced the couple to 13 years imprisonment (total individual tally) each.

Justice Ogbuabor convicted the couple on all three counts and sentenced them accordingly. On count one – Inflicting grievous harm, the court sentenced them to three years imprisonment.

On count two – administering a noxious or poisonous substance, the court sentenced the couple to five years imprisonment and on count three – employment of a child as a domestic worker, the court sentenced the couple to five years imprisonment.

The court, however, ordered that the period the convicts had stayed in custody from the day of arrest should be discounted. “All sentences shall run concurrently,” the judge so held.

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