By Precious Igbonwelundu
When a Lagos trader Mr. Emeka Omenka and his wife Ifeoma allowed their 13-year-old daughter Precious to go visit her married stepsister in Lekki, they never knew it was a decision they would regret the rest of their lives.
Precious, a Junior Secondary School (JSS) 3 pupil died on October 25 at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Ebute Metta as a result of complications that arose from beatings she allegedly received from her older half-sister Mrs. Nneka and her mother Seki Eko on October 14 and 15.
According to Mr. Omenka, Precious upon return complained of body pains and explained that she was mercilessly beaten by her elder sister, adding that Nneka’s mother who joined in beating her, kicked her several times in the stomach.
He said himself and his wife bought pain killers for her and used hot water to massage her body in the hopes that she would be relieved not knowing that the girl had internal injuries, bleeding as a result of the assaults she suffered.
“I am in pains. My heart is broken. I do not even know where to start. I am finding it so difficult to understand how my older daughter and her mother beat up my girl so badly to the point that she died as a result of wounds she sustained.
“Nneka is my first daughter. I had her out of wedlock with one Sike Eko I was in a relationship with. Her mother runs a beer parlour at Oyingbo. But Nneka was trained by my wife Ifeoma who loved her like her own child.
“When I got married to my wife, it was difficult for her to conceive and so, she brought up Nneka like her own child. So, when she came and said Precious should come to her place in Ikota, we did not have any reason to deny her request.
“She has been begging my wife for about two years now to allow Precious come and stay with her. Her husband lives in Dubai. She promised to send her to a private school to appreciate my wife for taking care of her when I married her.
“Precious went to her place on October 12. It was that weekend that it rained all through. Then, on October 14, which was a Monday, it also rained and Precious said she peed on the bed. That was her offence that made my daughter and her mother to descend on her like that.
“When they have finished, they brought her back and dumped her at my place in Apapa Road, Ebute Metta. She was complaining of body pains and narrated what happened to her at her sister’s place in tears. I could not bear it and I wept as she was talking.
a”My wife and I bought pain killers that we gave her. My wife was also using hot water and clothe to massage her body. We did not know that it was so bad. When we saw that she was not getting better despite the painkillers, we decided to take her to FMC because that’s where she was born.
“She was already stooling on her body and her mother was cleaning it. So, at the hospital, she was rushed to the Emergency room after the doctors said she was short of blood. They did so many tests and scans and discovered that she was bleeding internally and that her bladder burst too.
“She was in the hospital some days and was booked for emergency surgery. I was busy running around to raise money to save my daughter’s life. I even borrowed from friends and family members so that she could be saved but at least we lost her.
“Throughout this period, Nneka did not tell me what happened to my daughter. She did not even come to the hospital until her relative from her mother’s side who works at the FMC called her to rebuke her.
“That was when she came and spent about N14,000 on my daughter’s drugs that day. I am still trying to understand all these things because I honestly do not get it. I did not go to the police station then because I was busy running around for my daughter to be alright.
“But after she passed on and my kinsmen knew what happened, they advised I go and report at the station. I went to Denton Police Station and Iponri but they told me it did not happen in their jurisdiction and that I have to go to Lekki to report.
“How will I go to Lekki which is their area to report a case against her? Will I be able to afford the expenses? That is why I did not go there. I just sent a message to her husband and told him what she did. My wife has been inconsolable since then.
“Of course I want justice for my daughter. I feel.very disappointed that this happened to my family. I want human rights to come and government to investigate this case. Nneka is my daughter but Precious is also my daughter and she did not deserve to die like that,” he said.
Our correspondent contacted Mrs. Nneka for her reaction to the allegation and she said she would call back because where she was was noisy.
After 90 minutes without hearing from her, our correspondent called again but she insisted on knowing who gave her the information.
Efforts to reach her mother Sike Eko on her telephone number provided our Correspondent were unsuccessful at the time of this report.