A man, identified as Emmanuel Bassey and his wife, Esther, have been sentenced to three years in jail, by the Sokoto Magistrate Court, for starving and confining their 12-year-old niece in an unused fridge for eight months.
The State Police Command had rescued the victim, identified as Joy Emmanuel, at her guardians’ home in the Sokoto Cinema area of Sokoto North Local Government Area.
According to the couple, she was locked up because of her unstable mental condition, a claim which was later proved to be false by the police.
Chief Magistrate Shu’aibu Ahmad in his judgement, on Wednesday, fined the couple N25,000 or six months jail term for criminal conspiracy.
He also fined them N50,000 for wrongful confinement and in default they would spend 12 months in prison.
He averred that the couple were found guilty of cruelty to child and sentenced them to 12 months imprisonment with N100,000 fine each, and in default they would spend three years in prison.
Ahmad noted that they would serve the sentences concurrently. He however granted their two children, Goodness Emmanuel and Happiness Emmanuel bail in the sum of N500,000 and one surety each in the like sum.
ASP Sanusi Abubakar, the spokesman of the Sokoto Police Command, said the couple kept the girl in unused fridge at their compound and starved her of food for eight months.
He also said “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”.