The Ebonyi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has rescued a 12-year-old girl, Faith Nwanja, from her mistress, Nkechi Bartholomew.
Nwanja was tortured, mutilated and abandoned by Bartholomew for being too stubborn. Bartholomew, a childless woman, adopted Nwanja and took her to Onitsha, Anambra State, when she was 8 years old.
Faith, who has lost the use of one hand, yesterday, gave a graphic description of her ordeal in the hands of Nkechi. She said: “My madam disfigured me like this. I was a full-fledged human being when she took me to Onitsha, Anambra State.
She inserted her fingers in my eyes and inflicted these injuries on them. She usually put stones inside my mouth. I don’t normally brush my teeth and since I cannot do it, I must always suffer for it.
The husband has never beaten me, he is always angry when the wife tortures me. At times, he will summon courage and quarrel the wife. My madam would lock me inside a dark room after beating me up.
She would tell me that nothing will happen if I die, that she will spend her money and regain freedom if she is arrested if anything happens to me. I was attending school in the village before she took me to Onitsha.
But in the four years I spent in Onitsha, I have not gone to school once. I only eat in the evening every day. My madam would insert stick into my private part, saying I am stubborn. After beating me up, she will bring two gallons and placed on my two legs. She will tie my legs on them and insert stick into my private part.”
The Head of Child Development of the ministry, Godwin Igwe, described Faith’s torture as “inhuman, degrading, torturing and tormenting”. He said: “Right now, she cannot use one of her hands, she is a disabled person.” Meanwhile, the suspect is at large