The Lagos State Government has arraigned a woman, Funmilayo Samson, before the state Magistrates’ Court in Ikorodu for allegedly maltreating her stepchildren.
It was reported that officials of the Directorate for Citizens’ Rights had on December 27, 2019, rescued the children and arrested Funmilayo after a post about her alleged maltreatment of the victims went viral on social media.
Funmilayo was reportedly to be in the habit of locking the children, aged 12, nine and three, outside the house without food and beating them, which left bruises on their bodies.
It was gathered that the father of the children, who comes home on weekends, got married to Funmilayo after the death of their mother.
Funmilayo was arraigned before Magistrate F. A. Azeez on three counts of assault, a breach of the peace and causing grievous harm.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecutor, John Iberedem, told the court that Funmilayo committed the offences between August 2017 and December 26, 2019.
The charges read in part, “That you, Funmilayo Samson, between August 2017 and December 26, 2019, at Agbede, Ebuwawa, Agric, Ikorodu, Lagos State, in the Ikorodu Magisterial District, did conduct yourself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace by behaving in a disorderly manner, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 168 (1d) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.
“That you, Funmilayo Samson, at the same time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district, did assault your stepchildren, Sarah Samuel, Raphael Samuel and Moses Samuel, with horsewhip and wire, knowing full well that they were children and helpless, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 172 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”
The presiding magistrate admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N20,000 with two sureties in like sum, adding that the sureties must show evidence of two years’ tax payment to the state government.
The magistrate ordered that Funmilayo be remanded in the Kirikiri Female Correctional Centre pending the perfection of her bail conditions.
However, Funmilayo told the court that she was three months pregnant and did not want to have anything to do with the children and their father again.
The magistrate ordered that a test should be conducted to ascertain her claim and that the result should be brought to court on the next adjourned date, adding that the children should be in protective custody for one month pending when their father would make adequate preparations for them.
The matter was adjourned till March 11, 2020.