The Imo State Police Command has arrested Mrs Victoria Nwosu, a 26-year-old woman for abusing three of her stepchildren.
Her arrest follows a viral video clip which showed the three children chained and enslaved by Mrs Nwosu.
The video sparked public outrage and drew the attention of the Imo First Lady, Mrs Chioma Uzodimma.
Mike Abattam, the state’s police spokesperson who said the children had been rescued, assured that the couple would be charged to court at the end of the investigation.
He said: “Sequel to a report on child slavery/abuse received on June 17 around 2pm by the police from a good Samaritan residing at World Bank, Owerri, Imo State, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the New Owerri Divisional Police Headquarters, Owerri, Imo State, swiftly mobilised a team of policemen, including the officer in charge of Juvenile Welfare Centre to the scene at the World Bank area”.
Mrs Uzodimma in a statement said: “The heartbreaking video of a young boy who was chained by his stepmother at World Bank area in Owerri, went viral on social media on the 17th of June, 2022. Thankfully, the video was brought to my attention and my office quickly contacted the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Groups, Imo State.
“Within the next hour, we swung into action and involved the Imo State Police in New Owerri, and a few communities head to locate the children. Later that evening, the children were rescued and the perpetrators; their father and stepmother were placed in custody.
“We are grateful to report that the children have been secured in one of the state homes. Until justice is served, they will continue to recuperate and receive all they need; food, clothing, shelter and counselling to get them back on track.
“To the good Samaritan, Ogonna Obasi, who went out of her way to alert the public, people on social media who took the time to share until it got the attention of appropriate authorities, the Imo Police Department for taking swift action, Pearl Gods light of Godslight Helping Hand Ministry Inc. and the Commissioner of Women Affairs and Vulnerable Groups Hon. Nkechinyere Ugwu, who made sure the children were secured and placed in a safe environment”