Men of the Ogun State police command yesterday rescued a 12-year-old boy, Segun Azeez, who was chained for three months by his grandmother, Mrs. Yemi Kazeem.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Illiyasu, led his men to the residence of the boy in Ife-Lagba, Obada town in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the state to set the boy free and arrest his grandmother.
The boy’s mother, Yomi Kazeem (maiden name), an auxiliary nurse, who had separated from the boy’s father, allegedly provided the chain and padlock with which he was tied to a spot at home. According to mother and grandmother, the motive is to prevent the boy from fleeing.
Segun, who broke down in tears after being rescued, said his ordeal began in his paternal family in Sagamu, where he alleged someone charmed him, which made him to detest home and kept fleeing from it.
He added that he was accustomed to deprivations and hunger, which compelled him to stop his education at primary three in Sagamu, explaining that when his mother brought him to Obada town from Sagamu, he had thought his sufferings would lessen but unknown to him it was a continuation in another dimension.
Illiyasu, while speaking to journalists, described the ill-treatment of Segun as inhuman, heinous, and capable of leading to “ritual killing or child disappearance.”
He said the crime was discovered through technical intelligence by men of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) who were patrolling flash points and found the boy emaciated because until his rescue, he was “starved, urinated and defecated at the spot where he was chained.”
The grandmother, Yemi Kazeem, told journalists that the boy was stubborn and she decided to chain him down to prevent him from stealing and fleeing home. She said she suspected that Segun was having spiritual problems and had been fasting and praying so that what troubled him could be exorcised.
Segun’s mother claimed she was not aware that chaining his son was a crime, adding that she bought the chain for the purpose of confining him to save the grandmother the stress of searching for him should he flee home.