Couple Sentenced To 3 Years Imprisonment For Starving And Confining 12-year-old Niece in Fridge For Eight Months in Sokoto
The Sokoto Magistrate Court has sentenced Emmanuel Bassey and his wife, Esther, to three years in prison and a fine of N275,000 for starving and detaining their 12-year-old niece for eight months in an underused refrigerator.
Joy Emmanuel, the victim, was rescued from her guardians’ home in the Sokoto Cinema area of the Sokoto North Local Government Area by the State Police Command.
The duo claimed she was locked up due to her unstable mental state, but the authorities later disproved this claim.
Chief Magistrate Shu’aibu Ahmad handed down his decision on Wednesday, fining the couple N25,000 or six months in prison for criminal conspiracy.
He also fined them N50,000 for improper imprisonment and sentenced them to 12 months in prison if they did not comply.
He stated that the duo was found guilty of child maltreatment and were sentenced to 12 months in prison and a N100,000 fine, with a three-year prison sentence if they did not cooperate.
They will serve the terms simultaneously, according to Ahmad. He did, however, award their two children, Goodness Emmanuel and Happiness Emmanuel, bail in the sum of N500,000 apiece, as well as one surety in the same amount.
According to ASP Sanusi Abubakar of the Sokoto Police Command, the couple kept the girl in an unused fridge at their compound and deprived her of food for eight months.
“When our men broke the door of the cage, the girl was too frail to walk because she was emaciated. We met her in a very horrible situation, urinating and excreting inside the cage. The girl was taken to the Specialist hospital for treatment,” he said.