• British couple wants to adopt
• Accused arraigned
By Vincent Ukpong Kalu
Daily Sun: Saturday, 29, 2007
The biblical story of Joseph whose life got elevated after being sold
into slavery by his elder brothers is unfolding in the life of seven
year-old-girl, Chinaza Ibe, the girl badly and wickedly tortured by a
couple in Okoko, Lagos.
the publication in Saturday Sun last week of Chinaza’s ordeal in the
hands of her aunt, Ifeoma Johnson and her husband Emmanuel Johnson,
many individuals and organisations have shown keen interest in her
and would want to assist to turn her life around.
The Okoko police station where the little girl stays has turned to a
Mecca for these individuals and various organizations that want to
have a look at the heartless treatment the couple meted to a little
On the way to London
A Nigerian-British woman, Mrs. Doreen Sarah Harris who read
Chanaza’s sordid story, went to meet her at the police station. The
woman wept on seeing her condition. She later went on a shopping
spree for her and gave some money for her upkeep.
Our findings is that she is already thinking of the possibility of
taking her to London to live with her so that she will train her to
become a medical doctor.
In this direction, she has started moves to enlist the support of
the British High Commission in Nigeria to actualize this desire.
Chinaza is fascinated about the idea of going to London. She is
already thinking and dreaming of life outside the shores of Nigeria.
Like the typical child, all her talks now is about London and has
even started listing some members of her family and some police
officers she will take over to London when she settles down. She
discusses very intelligently.
First Lady’s interest
Wife of Lagos State governor, Abimbola Fashola is also passionate
about Chinaza. Officers from her office were at the police station
on Tuesday to assess the situation.
On the same day, officers from the National Human Rights Commission,
Abuja were also at the police station to meet Chinaza.
Coincidentally, they met with the delegation from the office of the
First Lady of Lagos State.
Representatives from the office of the Minister of Justice and
Attorney General of the Federation had been there to see Chinaza
also. Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution is also in the
Several other human rights groups are not left out. They have lent
their voices to see that the couple who treated Chinaza so unkindly
is brought to book.
Only Ifeoma, Chinaza’s aunt was arraigned last Wednesday at the Ojo
Magistrate court for causing bodily harm to the little girl. When the
magistrate was told that Chinaza was seven years old and was a housemaid
and also shown the injuries inflicted on her by her aunt, the magistrate
expressed surprises and asked, “who will deliver such a girl as house
help and who will accept such as house help?”
Two lawyers from the National Human Rights Commission joined in
the prosecution of Ifeoma who was later granted bail at the sum
of N10, 000 and two sureties with evidence of gainful employment
and documentary evidence of payment of income tax to the Lagos
State government. The sureties must be resident within the Ojo
Magisterial district. The case was adjoined to November 26,
As reported last week by Saturday Sun, Chinaza was brutally
tortured and locked up in the room by her aunt, Ifeoma and her
husband, Emmanuel for disobeying them by taking their child she
was babysitting outside their apartment in Igboelerin,
Okokomaiko, a suburb of Lagos. The couple told their neigbhours
that Chinaza had been sent back to her mother when actually she
was kept in solitary confinement and starved of food for four
days, from Friday evening to Monday the following week. It was
the neighbours that rescued her from untimely death. Chinaza’s
body was a sorry sight as her skin was lacerated with deep cuts
in her skin