The Lagos State Police Command says it has begun investigation into the case of a teenage girl, Onyeka John, who was allegedly chained by her mother to a burglary-proof bars for about one month on Serebe Street, Abaranje, in the Ikotun area of the state.
Onyeka, who lived with her parents in the rented apartment, was reportedly tied by the neck and legs for habitually running away from home.
The parents ascribed her condition to mental illness, saying the only way out was to pin her down, The Punch reports.
The victim’s parent’s Mr. Oladapo Olubajo, was said to have gone to the backyard to check a pumping machine when he saw the girl in chains on Wednesday.
He reportedly alerted a resident, who reported the case to the police at the Ikotun division.
The landlord said he wanted to take up the matter with the parents, but some residents prevailed on him not to.
While explaining that he met the 14-year-old girl naked in the apartment, he bemoaned that the condition she was subjected to, could frustrate her to commit suicide.
He said, “When I saw her chained to the burglar-proof bar, I raised the alarm. The police later got the parents to the station and interrogated them.
“The girl said she had been there for almost one month. Her parents moved here a year ago.
“I have noticed that their behaviour was odd but I didn’t know they could go to the extent of chaining their daughter.
“People begged me and the police eventually released the girl to them on Wednesday.
“The conclusion we reached is that I want them out of my house. They also claimed the girl is mentally ill.
“Even if she is mentally challenged, was that the right way to go about it? She could have killed herself.”
Onyeka’s father, on his part, dismissed allegations he and his wife were out to frustrate their own daughter.
He said he and his wife meant no harm for the girl.
According to him, “She always runs away from home. That was why we chained her. I think she is mentally ill.
“We planned to take her to a hospital this month. As I speak now, she has fled home again,” he added.
But the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, on Thursday said the case was under investigation.
Badmos said, “The lady, believed to be suffering from mental illness was chained by her parents.
“They have no intentions to harm her. They only put her in chains in order to prevent her from entering the street.”