victim was met by her friends on her way to the tap and they began to
pour water on her in celebration. Some poured dirty water on her, some
poured sand. Soon after, the culprit Moshood Yusuf, 13, arrived then he
entered a shop, picked a bottle and emptied the content on Victoria even
after she warned him not to. She fainted soon after and was taken to
the hospital. Parents of the boy have been going to plead with the
parents of the victim and have constantly shown their support.
A 14-year-old girl’s birthday celebration turned tragic after a male
friend of hers emptied a bottle of acid on her, thinking it was a
popular strong disinfectant known as Izal. Victoria Emmanuel had left
her home in Mafoluku, Oshodi, to fetch water somewhere around the night
market close by when the incident occurred on March 21.
to The Nation, Victoria, who is currently recovering, narrated what
transpired and revealed that though Moshood insists it was a mistake,
another friend, Ganiyu, told her he had said he would hurt her .
“It was my birthday. I had told my friends the previous Monday
that Wednesday, March 29 was my birthday. So, when I went to fetch
water at the night market that night, those who came to my house to
rejoice with me followed me,” she narrated to The Nation.
carrying a big bucket on my head but on the road, they put it down and
started pouring the water on me to celebrate my birthday. Some were
pouring dirty water on me and others sand. That was how Moshood ran into
a shop and brought out a container. There was something inside and I
told him not to pour it on me because we don’t know what was in it. He
opened it, smelled it and said it smelt like chemical. We told him again
that he shouldn’t pour that on me but he didn’t listen. As I walked
past 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 owns the
place chased us away that I was wasting her water, though she owed me
N70. That was the last thing I remembered. I was later told that I
fainted and was rushed to Edmark Hospital. I was discharged in the
evening of the following day because my daddy insisted he wanted to take
me to General Hospital. So, I was moved to Lagos State University
Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) where they have been giving me treatment.
was arrested by policemen from Makinde but he was later released. He
has not come to see me since then but his parents have been coming. We
didn’t fight. We have never quarrelled. He’s my friend. I don’t know
what happened. Although,one Ganiyu claimed that he told him he was going
to hurt me, I don’t know if that’s true.
“They said they have
asked him where he got acid from but he insisted he thought it was Izal
that was inside. He said he was looking for a container to enable him
carry more water and pour on me. 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.”
Victoria’s mother, Mrs. Chidinma Emmanuel,
wondered if her daughter’s skin will ever heal and said she is not
interested in pressing charges but needs the family of the boy to help
financially as her daughter’s treatment has cost her family so much and
has affected her petty trade.
“His parents have been coming. They
have extended solidarity but I think it shouldn’t just be by words of
mouth. You can see that we are a struggling family. This unfortunate
incident has cost us so much. There’s a drug we have been buying N1,200
per sachet to apply on her body.
She said to The Nation: “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.”