11 Years Old Girl Set On Fire By Her Nurse For Complaining Of Hunger (photo)
Doctors at the General Hospital, Gbagada,
Lagos, southwest Nigeria, are seriously
battling to save the life of an 11-year old girl,
Ita Bassey-Eno, who was allegedly set
ablaze by the woman she lives with, Mrs
Nkese Iroakazi, a nurse at a hospital in
Iroakazi was alleged to have poured
kerosene on Bassey-Eno before lighting a
match stick to set her ablaze after the girl
was said to have stolen a piece of meat
from the pot.
Witnesses said the girl ran out of their
apartment at 7, Adeniran Ogunsanya
Street, Surulere, unto to the main road with
fire all over her body as she cried for help
from passers-by to rescue her.
It was gathered that someone quickly
stopped his vehicle and used his fire
extinguisher to put out the flame on her
The incident, which occurred last Saturday,
was immediately reported at the Bode
Thomas Police Station and the police from
the station arrested Mrs. Nkese.
The little girl was rushed to the Burns and
Trauma Centre, an annex of the Lagos State
University Teaching Hospital at the General
Hospital, Gbagada, for urgent attention as
the doctors in the hospital said she had
suffered 95 percent burns and would take
a miracle for her to survive.
Bassey-Enoâ€™s private part was damaged,
while almost all her body is burnt. The
whole of her body, except her face and her
feet, are bandaged, while she wears
pampers because her private part was
On her hospital bed on Monday when
WAPBAZE.COM visited, the little was groaning in
pains while health officials described Nkese
as callous woman and that she must be
made to face the music.
Executive Director, Esther Child Rights
Foundation, ECRF, Mrs. Esther Ogwu, who
was at the hospital to see the girl, wept
when she saw her pathetic state, saying
that in all her life as human rights activist,
she had never come across such a
gruesome case as that of the little girl.
According to Ogwu, â€œthe situation is
terrible. The doctor said the girl suffered 95
percent burns and that her private part has
been damaged. This woman is more than
wicked. Justice must take its course.
â€œOne of the health officials at the General
Hospital, Gbagada called me and said a
woman poured kerosene on the little girl
staying with her and lit up a match stick
and set her ablaze. The girl ran out of the
house to the main road where a Good
Samaritan used her car fire extinguisher to
put out the fire.â€
Little Bassey-Eno, who hails from Akwa
Ibom State, southsouth Nigeria, was
brought from the village with another girl,
Happiness Okon-Bassey, 13, to live with
Nkese in June 2013 on the premose that she
would send them to school, but that was
not to be as the two girls allegedly
performed the function of domestic
servants for Nkese.
The second house girl, Okon-Bassey, said
she did not see when her colleague was set
ablaze but that she heard her screaming
when their mistress was beating her
shortly before the she saw flame all over
her body when she ran outside their
She alleged that they were maltreated and
beaten thoroughly very often and that they
had no time to rest as they work almost
throughout the day for their mistress
without going to school, saying that they
normally eat twice daily.
Daughter of the alleged culprit, Ijeoma Akiti,
27, said she was not at home when the
incident occurred and that she could not tell
whether her mother poured kerosene on
the little girlâ€™s body and set her ablaze, but
that she heard such story at the police
She said her mother was first married to
her father and later remarried into the
family of Iroakazi and that her motherâ€™s
husband had gone on a business trip to the
eastern part of Nigeria.
At the Bode Thomas Police Station, police
sources alleged that the little girl confessed
that her mistress poured kerosene on her.
The police at the station said the woman
would be transferred to the State Criminal
Investigation Department, SCID, Panti for
further investigation into the matter, but
Ogwu alleged that the police were trying to
shield the woman from prosecution.
In her statement at the police station,
Iroakazi denied that she poured kerosene
on the little girlâ€™s body and set her ablaze.
According to her, she was in the sitting
room when she heard a loud cry and
rushed out only to see the girl on fire and
called on people to help put out the fire.
Officials of the Lagos State Ministry of
Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation,
WAPA, were at the hospital and the police
station where they spoke with the woman,
but she denied the story.
WAPA officials took Okon-Bassey, the
second girl with them for rehabilitation
pending when she would be reconciled
with her real mother.
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