Mrs. Toyin Abiodun lives with her four children in a one-room apartment at Number 24, Adekunle Street, Akute- Odo , Ogun State. In her room she cooks, eats, washes her clothes and dishes. She and her four children defecate, and have their bath in the same room.
According to her co-tenants, Toyin abuses her children by locking them up and using cutlass, knife and belt to beat them. Evidence of this is on their bodies. Their heads and bodies are full of scars while their hands are dislocated.The eldest of the kids, Dejitade is 11 years old. When The Nation got to the school, the teachers described the situation of the three children as pathetic, “we are so afraid and full of pity for these kids and we had to report the incident to our community head , Oba Aleeh Idowu Akindele.”
According to the children, their mother would give them caps to cover their heads in order to avoid the scars from being seen or discovered. The other girl has a strange big Bob Marley strands of over 500 woven on her head to cover the scars on her head. The hair looked weird as it is too heavy for such a small girl of four!
One of the teachers with misty eyes said, “The eldest one is in Primary Two at age 11, yet he cannot read or identify numbers one to four, he is always afraid and his speech is blurred and could no longer reason well, this is as a result of abuse from her mother.” Another teacher who was full of pity said “The children are always afraid to go home when it is time for them to go.They said their mother used to beat them with any object from knife, cutlass, belt to iron. These kids need to be rescued before it is too late.”
However, at school the first born is said to have been affected psychologically as he does not know how to identify numbers and cannot identify any of the alphabets. Another teacher said “these children’s bodies are full of scars, the first born Dejitade is about 11years old but he said he is nine, he is in Primary Two. He does not speak properly while his hands have broken as he has dislocation. How can an 11-year-old boy be in Primary Two and still does not speak properly? I believe this has affected his brain.”
Dejitade said his mother uses stick, cutlass, and knife to beat them. He said it is true that she maltreats them always. He said she does not care. “She would put knife in the fire and use it to cut our body.”
Emmanuel said he is in KG Two, he said his mother used to beat them with cutlass, belts , sticks and knives.
Damilola, 4, said she does not want to live with their mother again. “My mother is wicked”, she kept on repeating the statement.
The landlord of the house, Samuel Soyemi, said “I asked of her husband but she said she was no longer with her husband. When I called the husband he said he is no longer interested in their relationship. This woman is weird, she would lock up the children and leave home till evening while they would be crying. She has done like that four times locking the children in the room. She does not cooperate with anybody. It’s like she has psychological problem .One day she locked up the children and used a knife she brought from the fire and cut their scalps, their heads are full of scars. She gave them caps to be wearing and tutored them to tell whoever asked about their scars that they were involved in motor accidents. That is why they wear caps .She baths for them in the room, cooks, wash clothes and defecates in the same room they live.”
When The Nation visited Toyin at her residence she was met with a belt in her hand with eyes frowned, possibly she had just finished beating one of the kids. While the last one was on a potty defecating and at the same time eating along with his brothers and sister from same plate!
When asked about her life, she said she had the eldest child for her husband and later had another for another man but both are not serious men .On the last baby , she denied she is the mother and said the baby belongs to her sister, when asked where the sister lives, she kept quiet and started challenging the reporter on his mission. However, she confessed that she at present has no man in her life as she had divorced her first and second husband who did not care for her. She added that all the tenants in the house hated her including the landlord , “they all hate me here and do not mind their business. In fact, I suspect it is either the landlord who had wanted me to befriend him and I refused or my former husband who came to report me in your office.”
Her four kids are in a terrible condition as their bodies are full of scars. The head of the first born is full of scars, while their bodies are full of sores and scars as well, no wonder the first born wears cap like the fabled Alade in Yoruba folktales who had horn on his head and wear cap always to cover the horn.
Asked why she use to beat the children, she denied and claimed that the belt she was holding was just to discipline them at that moment. She said “the scars on them had been there for long. The first born had all those marks as a result of the beatings he had when he was with my brother in law in Lagos Island.” Asked about the second one with scars and dislocation, she could not say a word but insisted that her enemies had sent the reporter to her.
When the interrogations continued she confessed that she has been to the Welfare office. She then called a number to inform the woman who spoke with this reporter.
The Welfare Officer spoke with this reporter on phone and confirmed the scars on the children’s bodies and she asked the reporter “has she started bullying the kids again? We once took the custody of the kids.”
Oba Aleeh Idowu Akindele, the Alakute of Akute said the case has been reported to him from the school the children attend. He said ” I have called the landlord to confirm what was happening in the house and he said it is true. I have instructed them to call the human rights organization to wade into the matter. I don’t believe we can allow the children to still be under the mother’s care. We need to rescue the children.”