A child as defined by the National Child Welfare Policy of 1989, is anybody aged 12years or below and has rights to dignity and freedom.
According to section 33 of the 1999 constitution as amended, “a child shall not be subjected to any form of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment” unlike what is seen in the case of 11years old Uboyo Clementina who was unlawfully detained by officers of the Nigerian Police, Ughelli Divisional Police Station, Delta State.
Findings by SecretReporters revealed that the police officers who were invited by a lady and her boyfriend to have Clementina’s mother arrested over a dispute between both parties during the early hours of the day, decided to arrest and detain her 11 years old daughter, as no one was home at the time of their arrival for the arrest.
King J-boy an elder brother of Clementina who raised the alarm over her detention stated that “In the early hours of the day, a small girl who was not even up to our last born was insulting my mum because they had a misunderstanding, so my younger brother went to warn her and they fought.
Later in the day, the girl and her boyfriend came and stabbed my younger brother, as if that was not enough, the girl also brought out a cutlass and cut my mum, so my mum got really angry and forcefully collected the cutlass from the girl and cut the girl on her head and that was why she and her boyfriend brought policemen to arrest my mum, but when they came she wasn’t around so they took our last born Clementina who is just 11 years old”.
Without regard for the rule of law and value for human rights, the Ughelli divisional police declined to release the minor more than 48 hours since her illegal detention despite several pleas from the families of the lady and her boyfriend who initially made the call for the arrest.
The actions of the Police officers contradict the Police Powers, Responsibilities, Rights, and Duties of the Citizens Act which restricts the police from detaining or taking a minor into custody minor without the presence of his/her parents or guardian.
Uboyo Clementina we learned yesterday regained her freedom following calls by Human Rights and Civil Society Organizations (CSO) for her immediate release.