Justice Bashir Yusuf Shittu of the Magistrate Court 3 sitting in Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Kaduna, has denied bail to Deaconess Yemi Awolola of the Living Faith Church and Staff of the Nigeria National Petroleum Coorporation, NNPC, Kaduna who is been charged for battery and sexual assualt.
Her bail application was overturned having pleaded guilty over a crime she mete out on 14-year old Princess Michael and she is been remanded at the Kaduna Correctional Center. According to a legal expert who pleaded anonymity, “The Magistrate was unable to convict Mrs Awolola having pleaded guilty because it lacks the jurisdiction as it was only taken cognisance of the offence.”
However, Justice Shittu granted a N700,000 bail to each of her 2 Children/accomplices while her son who escaped arrest when Police visited the Awololas home for arrest is still at large.
After a preliminary hearing at the court yesterday, Justice Shittu adjourned the case to 27th August, 2020.
Princess’ ordeal began in December, 2019 when her parents entrusted her to Deaconess Awolola to serve her as a housemaid. When they did that, they didn’t anticipated their daughter would be subjected to this level of cruel inhumanity. A gesture that was envisaged by Princess parents as a viable move to enhance her educational development and will bring glad tidings in the future to their family. Ironically, it has turned out to be not only a hoax but, a life threatening experience.
Princess hails from a farming community, Kuturah Village in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Life was dicey in the village and the potential for child development, especially the girl child was very slim. Her father decided to give her out as housemaid. A common practice that has helped in educational development of several children from poor homes and impoverished communities in the north.
A few months after Princess started staying with Mrs. Awolola, her father called to find out how his daughter was fairing. To his dismay, he was told he could only speak with Princess in English. That’s when he sensed that things weren’t adding up as expected. He suspected something was going wrong. In his response, Princess father told Mrs. Awolola that, he could not speak English but, the madam didn’t care.
In December of 2019, the madam called Princess’ father and told him Princess was stealing and he became worried because Princess was not known for stealing at home. So, he became curious, he asked what Princess was accused of stealing and the madam said “stuffs.” He then asked if she had ever stolen money, and the madam replied: “no.” Immediately, he demanded the madam to bring his daughter back to him, but Mrs. Awolola refused to yield to his demand, instead she asked for his bank account number, which he sent to her and she sent him N10,000.
Later, Mrs Awolola re-iterated to him that the money that was sent to him was sent not because Princess is staying with her, but she usually gives out alms during Christmas.
In any case, because he still couldn’t really communicate with his daughter he asked his wife, Princess’s mother, to go to Mrs. Awolola and bring Princess back to the village. On reaching Mrs. Awolola’s house, Princess mother was refused entry, saying she doesn’t receive visitors in her house due to Corona Virus.
Princess mom refused to leave without seeing her daughter and so Mrs. Awolola brought Princess to the door and told the mom to see her. She wasn’t allowed to touch her mother or go close to her mother or even hug her, and the mother left without her daughter that day. It is a tradition in most tribes in Southern Kaduna, if parents are visiting where their child is been trained, they usually come along with a gift. In the case of Princess’s mom, she brought a live chicken and grains as a gift. But, Mrs. Awolola turned down the gift, in Princess mom presence, she dashed the items to a “maiguards” in the area.
That was when the family knew there was definitely a problem, even though unaware of the intensity. Over the weekend the father kept calling to get his daughter back and the madam kept telling him she was in Abuja.
Then, the family gave an ultimatum to have their daughter back by 6pm last Wednesday or they would call the Police.
The girl was brought to them on Wednesday at 6pm, in Sabo Tasha area of Kaduna. That was when the family realised what their daughter had been going through.
She has scars on her face, which she sustained from the hot knife that she used to burn her face and genital area with it. It is disgusting to note that, Mrs. Awolola was not alone in this act of despicable inhumanity, her two children, Nifemi and Tito, often held Princess’s legs while their mother used a lighter to burn the girl’s vagina and buttocks.