‘My friend bathed me with acid on my birthday’
• Suspect’s family sues for peace, admits it was a mistake
Family of 14-year-old Victoria Emmanuel is battling to save her skin after her friend bathed her with acid on her birthday. The incident occurred on March 29, around the night market at Mafoluku, Oshodi area of Lagos State, when the victim’s friends were celebrating her new age.
It was learnt that while her peers were pouring water on her body, one Moshood Yusuf, 13, entered a woman’s shop, brought out a bottle and emptied its content on Victoria.
Yusuf, it was gathered, thought it was a liquid water disinfectant known as Izaal when he poured it on the girl.
When The Guardian visited the victim’s No. 1, Baba Elegbe Street, Mafoluku residence yesterday, Yusuf’s parents were there suing for peace.
Victoria, who just returned from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), where she was being treated, said she told Yusuf not to pour the content of the bottle on her since they did not know what was inside.
“It was my birthday. I had gone to fetch water at the night market when my friends stopped me on the road and started pouring the water on me to celebrate my birthday. Some were pouring dirty water on me and others were pouring sand. That was how Moshood ran into Iyawo pastor’s shop and brought out a container. There was something inside and I told him not to pour it on me because we didn’t know what was in it.
“He opened it and said it was smelling like chemical. We told him again that he shouldn’t pour it on me but he didn’t listen. As I walked pass him, he poured the content on my body from behind. I screamed and ran towards the tap but he got there before me and opened it so that water would pour on my body. While I was under the tap, the woman who owned the place chased us away that I was wasting her water. That was the last thing I remembered. I was later told that I fainted and was rushed to the hospital.
“Although one Ganiyu claimed that he told him he was going to hurt me, I don’t know if it is true. He insisted that he thought it was Izaal that was inside, but the shop owner has denied keeping any acid in her shop. The woman was crying and swearing that she didn’t keep anything like that since she has little children, who could have easily gotten to it.”
The victim’s mother, Mrs. Chidinma Emmanuel, lamented the hardship the incident has brought on her family, adding that she has not been able to concentrate on her petty trade. She said her family was not interested in making a case with the other family, but stated that they would appreciate if the expenses incurred were reimbursed.
Moshood’s mother, Mrs. Ganiyat Yusuf, said they were awaiting the final outcome from LASUTH before knowing what to do. She insisted that the incident was a mistake, adding that her son would not hurt anyone intentionally.
“It was just a mistake. In fact, Moshood also got burnt by the acid on his chest and leg. He didn’t know the content of the bottle and since they were jubilating, he poured it on her without knowing. It’s a regrettable mistake. But what we want is for peace to reign. We don’t want a situation where both families would start fighting over it or the two children becoming enemies.”