The wife of a former Comptroller of Customs, Rahila Yakubu, has been arrested by the police for allegedly battering her teenage step daughter, Hafsat Argungu, with a pestle over house chores.
The police arrested Mrs. Yakubu after pictures of the girl with fractured hand and bruises on her head, legs and other parts of her body went viral on social media.
Ms Hafsat who spoke to journalists on Tuesday evening at a hospital in Sokoto said she was accused by her stepmother of theft and dirtiness and 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 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 narrated.
Mrs Yakubu is married to Abdullahi Argungu, a former Comptroller of Customs, who is Hafsat father. Ms. Hafsat has been under her stepmother’s care for 16 years since her mother was divorced a year after her birth.
In reaction to the incident, the Commissioner of Women and Child Development in the state, Kulu Sifawa, said, “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.”
She said the case has been handed over to the police and will be treated judiciously, adding that the state ministry of justice has been directed to investigate the case and prosecute the culprit.
The Coordinator of National Human Rights Commission in Sokoto state, Hali Tambari, has also condemned the Mrs Yakubu’s alleged act, describing it as cruel.
“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.