Step-mother faces trial over alleged assault, locking up of foster children


A 35-year-old step-mother, Omoh Okowele, who allegedly beat her two foster children to a pulp and locked them up, is facing trial at an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court.

Okowele, who lives at Jenbo Street, Moshalasi in Igando, a suburb of Lagos, was arraigned on a three-count charge of deprivation of freedom, maltreatment and assault.

Police Prosecutor Benson Emuerhi told the court that the accused committed the offences on December 18, 2017, between 8.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. at her residence.

He said the accused locked up her step-children — Blessing, 9, and Daniel, 7 — in a room against their will thereby depriving them of their freedom and liberty.

According to him, the accused also maltreated and abandoned the children for several hours.

“On the said date, the accused assaulted Blessing by beating her to a pulp and injured her.”

The offences contravened Sections 172, 249 and 272 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused, on conviction, may be jailed for five years.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Chief Magistrate Bolanle Osunsanmi granted the accused bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

She said the sureties must be civil servants with an evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government and adjourned the case until April 2.