From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Police Command has arrested a 34-year-old man, Elekele Messiah, for the physical assault on his nine-year-old son, Promise, at Edepie, a suburb of Yenagoa, the state capital.
According to investigations, Mr Messiah had taken custody of Promise from his mother in 2019 with an assurance that he was going to send him to school.
Neighbours at their Edepie residence had observed several maltreatments being meted out to the young lad.
Neighbours stated that the boy was starved most days and was left at the mercy of Good Samaritans that offered him food.
The serial assault on the boy reached its peak when the father allegedly used a razor blade to inflict a deep cut on his chest.
Checks indicated that neighbours concerned about the deep cut on the boy’s chest asked for an explanation from the father. His response that he “inflicted the injury to teach him a lesson for eating the remaining soup in the pot”, was said to have irked the neighbours prompting them to beat him (Father) into a pulp until he was rescued by Naval Officer, and handed to the Policemen attached to Akenfa Division for investigation.
Some of the neighbours were said to have contacted the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) to help the boy.
The Chairperson of FIDA Bayelsa, Mrs Deme Debra Pamosso confirmed that FIDA was contacted on the plight of the boy.
“When neighbours reported the matter to FIDA, on an interview with FIDANS, the boy said, the father gave him that cut because he ate the soup in the house due to hunger and on examination of the wound; it had started decaying for lack of proper treatment.
“Immediately the boy was taken to Tobis Clinic for treatment while the father was arrested at Akenfa Division of the Nigerian Police, thereafter, FIDA contacted the boy’s mother who was said to have been prevented by the flood in her community from coming immediately but she later struggled to come and FIDA Bayelsa handed the boy over to the mother with N10, 000 for drugs to treat the wound and some palliatives due to the flood,” she said.
Mrs Pamosso reminded the people that FIDA is still a watchdog even during the flood disaster ravaging the state and places paramount interest in the protection of children.
The spokesman of the Bayelsa Police Command, Asinim Butswat also confirmed the development,
“Elekele Messiah, 34 years old, was arrested for inflicting a grievous wound with a razor blade on his nine-year-old son. Investigation is ongoing,” the spokesman said.
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