In what seemed like an act of wickedness, one Edet Asuquo has escaped from sight after slapping his 3-week-old daughter, because he wanted a baby boy instead. The baby, Gift, is currently being hospitalised after sustaining injury from the slap.
The 32-year-old father was alleged to have said he did not see any usefulness in Gift and had threatened to kill her.
Both Edet and Gift’s mother, Rosemary Kingsley are from Calabar, Cross River State, and were only dating when she got pregnant and parked in to live with him on Ayinla Street after she was delivered of the baby.
But Edet, who is a bus conductor reportedly got angry seeing his girlfriend gave birth to a girl while he had expected a boy, which led to several quarrels between them.
The father reportedly slapped the baby on January 10, 2018, when she was crying because of hunger.
Gift was said to have gone into convulsion after the assaults and rushed to hospital for treatment, where the attention of the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender brought in and then Itire Police division was involved.
But by the time the police got the house, the suspect had fled.
According to report by Punch, OPD said blood spurted out of the baby’s nostrils as a result of the injury she sustained, adding that the mark of the slap was visible on her cheek.
“We gathered that the two lovers were not married. She sold plantain chips, while the man was a bus conductor. They just met on the road and agreed to date each other. She became pregnant a few weeks into the relationship,” the Director of the OPD, Mrs. Olubukola Salami, said.
“At the initial stage, the man didn’t want to take responsibility for the pregnancy. But after she was delivered of the baby, he bowed to pressure and allowed both mother and child to move in with him. They lived in a shop.
“According to the woman, the baby was crying that morning while the father carried her. He started abusing the baby and saying a girl would not be useful to him because he wanted a boy. She said he slapped the baby. At that point, the baby started convulsing. It was the neighbours who compelled him to get drugs for the girl’s treatment. She was later taken to a hospital. The mark of the assault is visible on the child.
“When the matter got to our attention, we mobilised policemen to the house. However, we were told that he had escaped. The police have promised to get him arrested for assaulting the innocent baby. Even the mother was being maltreated by Edet; he seized her phone.”
Mrs. Salami noted that agency would ensure that the suspect faced the full wrath of the law.
“The rising trend in child abuse is alarming. Children are vulnerable and should be protected, not pummelled. The Lagos State Government will ensure the rights of children are protected and perpetrators who violate these rights, irrespective of status, are brought to book, no matter how long it takes,” she added.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, confirmed the incident, adding that the Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, had ordered that the suspect be arrested.
The police boss confirmed awareness of the case, but saying “we are looking for him. In fact, the CP, who detests abuse of children and domestic violence, has ordered the Divisional Police Officer to get him arrested.”
He said what the man is no place in modern society and would be dealt with accordingly.