The police have arrested the wife of a former Comptroller of Customs, Rahila Yakubu, for allegedly battering her step daughter, Hafsat Argungu, with a pestle.
The teenage Hafsat suffered fractures on her hand and bruises on her head, legs and other parts of her body.
Mrs Yakubu is married to Abdullahi Argungu, a former Comptroller of Customs, who is Hafsat father.
The teenager has been under her stepmother’s care for 16 years since her mother was divorced a year after her birth.
She was accused by her stepmother of theft and dirtiness.
The police arrested Mrs Yakubu after the news of the ‘battering’ went viral on social media, with pictures of the girl circulated
“She nearly killed me”
Speaking with journalists Tuesday evening at a hospital in Sokoto, Ms Hafsat said her step mother nearly killed her, saying she had been suffering ”in the hands of her step mother and brother.”
“They beat me for every small mistake and sometimes even for no mistake. They barbed (cut) my hair although I protested,” she said.
“She asked me to do the dishes in the morning and when I didn’t do it, she started beating me. After that she also asked me to go and wash some clothes but I decided to run away because of the level of pain in my body. She used pestle and shoes to beat me which resulted into all these wounds.
“There was a day she beat me and when I didn’t cry, she decided to barb my hair. She pour cold water on me,” she said.
The Commissioner of Women and Child Development in the state, Kulu Sifawa, said the state government has formally taken over the matter to ensure that the suspect, if found guilty, is punished.
“This is too bad. I am following the case and during the review I discovered that the girl was wounded badly. It is not good to beat someone to such level no matter what the offence is.”
Mrs Sifawa said the case has been handed over to the police, expressing hope that the case will be treated judiciously.
The commissioner also said the state ministry of justice has been directed to investigate the case and prosecute the culprit.
It is cruel – Human rights commission
The Coordinator of National Human Rights Commission in Sokoto state, Hali Tambari, described Mrs Yakubu’s alleged act as cruel.
He added that the commission would ensure that justice is done to serve as a deterrent to others.
“When you look at the pictures once, you cannot watch it again because it is horrendous. We will not fold our arms to watch things like this happen in the state. Our commission is saddled with the responsibilities of ensuring that human rights are protected while those who commit the offences are prosecuted. We will ensure justice is done,” Mr Tambari said.
Governor’s wife steps into case
Premium Times gathered that the wife of Governor Aminu Tambuwal has vowed to follow up the case to its logical conclusion.
Mariya Tambuwal said her project, MTDI, is collaborating with the Human Rights Commission to follow up the prosecution of the suspect if found guilty.
The police spokeperson in Sokoto, Sanusi Abubakar, did not respond to calls and SMS but a police officer in the state said the suspect was being held at the C.I. D wing of the command and would be taken to court later on Wednesday.
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