A woman, Christiana Eze, has been arrested by the police for pouring scalding water on her maid, Beauty Uwagie, on July 4, 2018, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the 13-year-old had been living with the woman for some time and had been sleeping on bare floor.

Beauty had allegedly fallen asleep on the couch while doing her chores, an action that angered her guardian.

It was gathered that in anger, the woman poured hot water on her and flogged her.

Uwagie’s condition was reportedly noticed by her teacher in the school and she called the attention of the school management.

The case was reported to the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Rivers State branch, which in turn reported the woman to the police, and took custody of the girl.

The Secretary of FIDA, Rivers State branch, Nnenna Igbokwe, said the girl reported that the injury she sustained was her guardian’s doing, adding that the body would see to it that justice was duly served.

She said, “She went to school on Wednesday and her teacher saw how she was writhing in pain. She was asked to remove her cloth only for them to see her scalded body. The school management brought her to us and we interviewed her.

“She said she had been living with that woman for some time and she had been sleeping on bare floor. On that day, after working the whole day, she was tired and she slept off using the couch to support her body. When the woman woke up around 2am, she went to get the water, which was boiled and kept in a flask for her baby, and poured it on her. Waking up from the shock and not realising who inflicted the pain on her, she ran to her guardian who pushed her to the ground and started beating her up as well.’

“We took her to the Kala Police Station and insisted that the woman must be arrested, while the girl has been in the custody of FIDA, receiving treatment.”

It was gathered that Eze had been arraigned before a Port Harcourt Magistrates’ Court on two counts of use of a child for forced labour and unlawful assault.

The police prosecutor, Inspector Chigenu, told the court that the offence contravened Section 22(a) of the Trafficking in Persons Prohibited Act, Law of Federation, Nigeria, 2015, and Section 355 of the Criminal Law of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1994.

The charges read, “That you, Christana Eze, on Ehiewurem Street, Rumuokwuta, Port Harcourt, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did forcefully hired one Beauty Uwagie for purpose of using her for forced labour.

“That you, Christana Eze, on July 2, 2018, on Ehiewurem Street, Rumuokwuta, Port Harcourt, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District did unlawfully assault one Beauty Uwagie by intentionally pouring hot water all over her body which does her harm.

The defendant pleaded not guilty.

The presiding magistrate, F.N Amanze, remanded her in custody till July 19, 2018