Osun court frees father, son who allegedly locked up girl over disabilities

Osun court frees father, son who allegedly locked up girl over disabilities
By Ekene Agbor, Osogbo
Opeyemi Olatoke
Opeyemi Olatoke
A man, Prophet Samson Olatoke and his son, Elijah Olatoke who were arrested recently for allegedly locking up a 20-year-old girl living with disabilities have been discharged and acquitted by a Family Court in Osogbo,Osun state.
The girl, Opeyemi Olatoke was said to have been confined alone in an unkempt house by her parents for five years.
The girl was rescued by the combined efforts of the State Ministry of Women, Children & Social Affairs, an NGO in the state, Value Female Network (VFN) and the Police on January 23, 2021 at Alfa Fire’s area in Obaagun Street, Ikirun, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun State. 
Consequently, Samson and his son, Elijah were arrested by the Police while the disabled girl, said to be the suspects’ last daughter, was taken to the hospital for treatment after being evacuated from the family house.
The duo suspects were arraigned before a Family Court in Osogbo for allegedly neglecting the girl.
The presiding Magistrate, Mrs Oyebiyi blamed he parents and siblings for their actions saying that everyone should know that being handicapped does not mean that one won’t be useful in the society.
After blaming Opeyemi’s parents and siblings, the Magistrate and two assessors in the family court sent a social worker, Mrs Lola – Wey and NTA crew to visit the hospital where Opeyemi was and interrogate her.
They brought report to the court on Wednesday that Opeyemi, denied being locked up for five years. According to the report brought to court, the girl claimed she was only isolated in the ancient house for fee months.
The report further revealed that the girl said her elder brother, Elijah used to bring food for her daily and that her confinrment only lasted for few months when her mother traveled to Lagos to baby-sit last year.
At the end of all deliberations in the family court, Samson and Elijah were discharged and acquitted and ordered to accept Opeyemi under their roof and take care of her.
The court also asked that the Ministry of Women Affairs, the NGOs involved, and others present in court to contribute to the care and welfare of Opeyemi Olatoke.
The court said the first thing Opeyemi needs is a good wheelchair to aid her mobility.


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