Onyinye Mbadike. Image credit: Nigeria Police Force

Police in Lagos state, southwest Nigeria, have arrested a woman for allegedly locking her 10-year-old cousin in a dog kennel.

Concise News reports that the video of the woman, Onyinye Mbadike, beating the boy, and thereafter locking him up in a cage with a dog had gone viral a couple of weeks ago.

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The video has generated comments on issues of child abuse and maltreatment.

In a statement on Thursday by its spokesman, Bala Elkana, the police said Mbadike, 24, was arrested at No 7 Trimnell Street, Aguda, Lagos.

He said, “On 14th August 2019, a team of detectives from the Gender Unit, Command’s Headquarters Ikeja, arrested one Onyinye Mbadike ‘f’ 24yrs of No 7 Trimnell Street, Aguda for assault and child abuse.

“This followed a viral video on the social media showing the suspect torturing one … ‘m’ 10 years old of same address. The video also showed the suspect locking the boy up in a dog’s kennel, sharing space with dogs. The video was widely condemned by well-meaning Nigerians.”

Elkana explained that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Zubairu Muazu, ordered the Gender Unit of the Command to identify the woman in the video, rescue the child and make the suspect face the full weight of the law.

According to him, the Domestic and Sexual Response Team (DSVRT), Alausa Ikeja also added its voice to the call for investigation with a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police to that effect.

The Command’s spokesman said the suspect was traced to a liquor store in Surulere and her residence at Aguda, where the boy was rescued and taken to a secured shelter.

The suspect, he said, admitted that she was the one on the video beating the child with a belt, but she denied locking him in a cage with dogs.

She said she only locked him in an empty dog kennel where bags were kept.

Onyinye also claimed to have locked up the boy for a few hours before bringing him out, alleging that the victim took a hot drink in their refrigerator and was misbehaving.

She added that the boy smashed the side mirror of her vehicle with a stone, which made her detain him in the dog kennel.

Elkana said investigations revealed that the victim lost his parents and was brought to Lagos in 2012 from Anambra State by Onyinye’s mother along with his two siblings.

He noted that the suspect and the boy were cousins, adding that her mother was the elder sister of the victim’s father.

The Command’s spokesman said the suspect would be charged to court, stressing that the police would continue to protect the rights of children and other vulnerable members of the society from all forms of violence and abuses.