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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The story of Acid Victim, Comfort Sunday.


Sorry about the graphic nature of the pic...but that's a human being...a victim of a superstitious belief. Please don't ask me to take the pics down. Incidents like this need to be brought to the fore front so people are aware that crazy things like this are happening in our society.

For those who don't know her, Comfort Sunday is the 14-year-old girl whose father poured acid on her after a pastor convinced her family that she was a witch and the source of all her family's problems. The father took her to an uncompleted building, where he poured a tin-full of corrosive acid on her.

Comfort was until the incident a JSS II student of Government Secondary School, Akwanga, and was living with her father, Sunday James, 61, and her stepmother, Justina Abimiku, 52. She lost her mom at a tender age and had been severally maltreated by her step mum.



According to a 2010 Daily Trust Report...

After taking her to the uncompleted building, the father blackmailed her into swallowing the corrosive substance, saying if she does that without throwing it out, she is not the devil being thought of. But if she does throw it out, then she was confirming the fears that she is a witch which has been smothering family members, including her late mother. So, she tried drinking it, to prove her innocence. It hurt, biting her tongue. She threw it out immediately. She was guilty of the deaths in the family, including of her very mother as her father declared. So her father overpowered her and ran the acid on her face, then he left.
 James was acting the script of a pastor whose name Weekly Trust could not obtain because he and the entire family is concealing his identity. The priest pointed at Comfort and accused her of the deaths in the family, alleging how she is in a cult which demands blood from her all times and called her a witch. He did not allow her to deny, as he took his fee and left without casting out the demon.

Comfort was first accused in 2008 by her stepmother of being a witch. She accused her of being responsible for the ill-health of family members. Headache, stomachache, fevers; everything was blamed on her. Her father, a security guard at the Catholic Church in Alushi area of Akwanga, believed his wife’s story of how Comfort is the virus causing all illness around the family. The stepmom had this to say: “I have eight children with one of them dead. One day, about three years ago, after my husband brought Comfort to stay with us from the South-West and all my children and myself fell inexplicably sick.”
 Matters got worse for Comfort, as after being pushed her next door to her grandparents, her grandfather, Auta Anaku fell ill at this time and he passed on. Confession upon confession sprang up about how Comfort had told family members she is a witch. So, when James’ younger sister, Barmami fell ill in 2008, and was rushed to Abuja, she decided to explore other means to cure her illness. She ran to the pastor who followed her down to Akwanga to make the accusations. What followed was the acid bath.
 Better Leven, an NGO based in Akwanga, is trying to rehabilitate Comfort who had been in its custody since then. Timothy Tashi, programme officer of the NGO said on several occasions he contacted James and brought up the condition of Comfort, but that the father has always refused show any remorse even as the girl’s condition is not improving. Also, the NGO is having problems attracting government’s attention to her, just as the police have continued to look the other way. James is walking the streets scot-free after he made statements to the police.
Meanwhile, a doctor, who chose to remain anonymous, stressed the urgent need for surgery to be done on Comfort’s face, as her condition may worsen, making correction difficult or even impossible.

Victor Labesa, Nasarawa State coordinator of the Legal Aid Council, described the deed of James as barbaric and callous. He said with the Child’s Right Act domesticated in the state since 2005, James committed a crime against humanity and must be brought to book. But the police cannot act, as Comfort remains in pain, victim to the superstitious beliefs of those supposed to love and care for her.
***

A January 2011 Daily Trust update on the issue...

Stepbrother allegedly attempts to poison ‘Acid Bath Girl’

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police in Nasarawa State is investigating one Alexander Sunday, half-brother of Comfort Sunday, whose face and respiratory system have been disfigured after her father emptied a can of acid on her face in 2008 on the suspicion that she was a witch. Alexander, 22, is currently in detention after he was arrested by the police in Akwanga last Sunday, (January 2011) for allegedly poisoning the food of his half-sister the previous day at the family’s residence along Mai-Doki Street in Akwanga.

Their father, Sunday James, has been in detention and will be arraigned in court on February 3, for allegedly bathing his daughter with acid in 2008. James walked freely initially, but pressures from the Tashi A. Tashi-led NGO currently giving care to the teenage girl, as well as the Legal Aid Council, have compelled the police to re-arrest him for prosecution, while he awaits arraignment in court.
Comfort lost her mother while she was still young and had grown up under tough conditions because of maltreatment from her father and stepmother as well as her half-brother and sister, all of whom have raised emotions against her, alleging she is responsible for deaths in the family.
Alexander was caught with a pot of food his half sister kept in her room, by other occupants of the house who insisted on knowing what his motives were. On opening the pot, they discovered the food in it was foaming with a black substance suspected to be poison.
Comfort’s statement to the police indicates that she had long suspected her half-brother’s malice. She said Alexander had threatened to send her out of the house because she is responsible for the detention of their father.
State police spokesman, ASP Richard Akoji, confirmed the incident and the arrest, saying the police are investigating Alexander for the alleged poison.

32 Comments:

  • At 9 February 2011 at 11:19 , Anonymous Surprise said...

    This is not only barbaric and callous, it is inhuman. In this age and time, how could a father do this to his daughter. Even if she is a witch as alleged, is the acid bath the solution to the problem? The father, the step mother and the Pastor should be arrested and prosecuted. I don't know what evidence the police is looking for to prosecute the culprits. May God heal this girl and bring comfort her way.

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 11:22 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Makes me sad.

    Sad that people are so blinded by religion to justify extreme cruelty to close relatives

    Sad that a 14-year old will go through life (already hard as is) extremely disfigured because of ignorance and hatred

    Sad that our society is so jaded as stories like this are commonplace yet nothing happens.

    Who hasn't heard of a 'pastor' that 'casts' out 'demons' from unsuspecting souls and collects untold sums for 'deliverance', both high and low from the thousands crowding the famous private-jet flying conman to the Abule-Egba danfo-jumping conman

    gosh. so sickened

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 12:03 , Anonymous Carly said...

    Make a PACT – Prevent Abuse of Children Today in Nigeria

    PACT (Prevent Abuse of Children Today) is a global campaign established by the UK-based child rights charity, Stepping Stones Nigeria and their Nigerian partner organisations. The aim of PACT is to bring long-term positive social change to vulnerable children in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, particularly those at risk of witchcraft accusations, abuse and trafficking.

    With high levels of malnutrition, poverty, persistent violent conflicts and disease, increasing numbers of children in the Niger Delta are being forced to the streets putting them at risk of abuse, rape and trafficking.

    Witchcraft is often seen as the source of problems within Nigerian society with vulnerable children being the group most at risk of witchcraft accusations. Children stigmatised as witches face abandonment by their families and communities, torture, public humiliation, disgrace and even murder.

    To help end this terrible abuse we urge you to stand with us to Prevent Abuse of Children Today. There are lots of ways for you to get involved with the campaign, in particular signing our PACT, holding events and writing letters. Visit our website www.makeapact.org to sign the PACT and help us spread the word.

    Together, we are fighting for a time when all children in the Niger Delta are free from physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse and their rights are fully upheld. With your help, we can make this vision a reality.

    For more information about the PACT campaign please visit www.makeapact.org

    To find out more about Stepping Stones Nigeria, please visit www.steppingstonesnigeria.org

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 12:17 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Couldn't they have just kicked her out of the house? Why disfigure and scar her?

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 12:25 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    OMG! This story is incredible sad. I cant imagine the pain she is going through. It’s bad enough having the physical pain, but knowing it’s ur dad that did it …SMH. I hope he rots in jail!! Linda thanks for bringing this story out. Nigerians need to be aware of the injustice carried out in our country. It’s not all about designer bags, clothes and parties.

    Is there anyway we can get in touch with the NGO?

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 12:32 , Anonymous Patt said...

    Linda pls this is so sad but i still think a little warning b4 the picture would ne appreciated .Just so the mind gets prepared .Not everybody is good at handling shocking images.some people have had so many shocks in life that there is just no more room for any.Again its ur blog u have the final say its either we take it or leave it u might say

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 12:36 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    SAD!
    SAD!!
    SAD!!!

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 12:40 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Wonder shall never cease, may God have mercy.

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 13:22 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The pastor should be arrested too. This is just wickedness

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 13:23 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Why hasn't the father been charged with attempted murder? You see and hear cases of such callousness everyday yet no justice for the victims.

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 13:29 , Anonymous Damisola said...

    I wonder what all the christians that were attacking Muslims in your other post have to say about this now. This is even worse because the family does not care in anyway. Would it be ok for me to brandish all christians as barbaric because of this incident (and various more). I hope you have all learnt your lesson now.
    This problem of child witches has been going on for years. At a point in time Gov. Akpabio directed that there should be a clamp on the perpetrators of such nefarious activities but I guess as usual it was all just empty promises. I can't believe the police had no intention of prosecuting the father. @ least in Bangladesh, the offenders were arrested almost immediately without pressure from anyone. I pray that she gets the help she deserves. Most especially therapy because she has been through a horrific experience.
    Linda please find out if there is any account number money can be sent too.
    And I reiterate, please do not judge religions because of the barbaric acts of certain people.

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 13:34 , Anonymous de!icious said...

    This world is Wicked

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 14:08 , Anonymous VJ said...

    I just wish dat the girl is truly a witch, so dat she would show her bad side. My own father? Them no born am well. If the pastor is truly a man of God, y not deliver the girl instead?

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 15:59 , Blogger Tommy said...

    This story came out some time last year and was on Vanguard or Punch i am not sure which one of them i read the story...

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 16:26 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    this is so sad...linda u should put a warning that a picture is graphic, thats pure decency...i had my 5 yr old cousin just cream her head off. no professional blogger will just put a pic like that.

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 16:28 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You guys need to put pictures like those before a cut, and at least warn of graphic content. Also, your homepage is not easily navigable and not very endearing to the eyes, make it better. Otherwise, nice blog.

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 17:07 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Gus Said
    All children are God Children and even if evil has taking over then, a true man of God should be able to cast out the demons, and return the person back to the creator. Due to poverty in our country all this false pastors have played and take advantage of people lack of knowledge and wisdom of the word of God. May God forgive the Father as he is properly a victim of wrong information, protect the girl but for the pastor, he will meet is maker one day

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 18:33 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    @DAMI
    sharrap there
    you just want to foment trouble
    instigator oshi when matter don die finish
    here you go again abeg make we hear word!
    the anon apologised and linda even deleted the comment

    I read the comment the foolish anon passed
    what gives you the impression he/she is a christian
    there are loads of atheists out there
    so its only a christian that can say something wrong about islam

    je ka gboran joooooo

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 18:41 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    @DAMI
    sharrap there
    you just want to foment trouble
    instigator oshi when matter don die finish
    here you go again abeg make we hear word!
    the anon apologised and linda even deleted the comment

    I read the comment the foolish anon passed
    what gives you the impression he/she is a christian
    there are loads of atheists out there
    so its only a christian that can say something wrong about islam

    je ka gboran joooooo

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 19:44 , Blogger Nightingale said...

    Very sad...I dnt know when humans became gods.. to be treating people God took time to create in such manner.

    God helps us all.. I pray she finds help and healing soon...

    I'm smh for naija sha..

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 19:45 , Anonymous ejike said...

    Why? Why should things like dis happen? What sort of pastor is that?

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 21:16 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    One should Not only Blame the Father and the priest Things like this Starts from the step Mother, that Would have poisoned the Father mind them. Convince the Pastor to convince the Father too
    I Know what am saying i have been in this situation before thank God nö Acid was poured on me but i was Sent out of the House at 14 too, all infleunced by my step mum.......

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 21:17 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    One should Not only Blame the Father and the priest Things like this Starts from the step Mother, that Would have poisoned the Father mind them. Convince the Pastor to convince the Father too
    I Know what am saying i have been in this situation before thank God nö Acid was poured on me but i was Sent out of the House at 14 too, all infleunced by my step mum.......

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 21:55 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    the pictures are too hard linda, maybe you should do something for that.....

     
  • At 9 February 2011 at 23:52 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Jesus Christ...I wasn't expecting that.

    Linda, I am very weak when it comes to looking at this kind of pic or the lady with bone cancer. I couldn't even read the story, all I know is that this is sad.

    Linda dear, can you please make graphic pictures smaller and people who want to see more can enlarge it.

     
  • At 10 February 2011 at 00:18 , Anonymous Damisola said...

    @Anon 6:41 I have no clue what you are talking about. When I sent my earlier comment there were still 0 comments. I was referring to an earlier post of Linda's about some girl whipped to death in Bangladesh so just relax. I didn't insult anyone and if you read the last line of my previous comment clearly you would see that I just said one shouldn't jump to conclusions about any religion (or non-belief in religion) so easily. Which you still did by the way. Why would you think atheists would hate on muslims? That's the same myopia I was hoping to correct. And I know that they are christians because they said they were christians.
    It really isn't rocket science to reply a comment with just a little bit of decorum now, is it?
    Have a great night/day.

     
  • At 10 February 2011 at 00:23 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Why should Dami shutup?Were people not insulting moslems?Now this is an act carried out in the name of Christianity and you are telling her to shup up?I am a christian too but i clearly remember the moslem bashing that took place here...abeg lets hear word

     
  • At 10 February 2011 at 08:56 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    you people stop derailing the thread
    carry your muslim vs christian nonsense away from here
    and stop digging up past issues

    @topic
    this is more than sad
    I am sure like someone said the step mom has some kinda involvement I hope shes happy now
    I hope justice is served
    Religious Bigots all of 'em
    wolves in sheeps clothing

    brown

     
  • At 10 February 2011 at 11:15 , Blogger Edwin said...

    this is carlors.

     
  • At 10 February 2011 at 13:12 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This is really terrible for a father to do. She was accused of being a witch hhmmm when they see this witch now they would run ooo.

    What a horrifying piture her father would surely pay for this and the person who accused her would get his reward.

     
  • At 11 February 2011 at 02:10 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Nonsense,

    Nigerians, we are STUPID, STUPID, STUPID. It is a proven fact that when societies find themselves in turmoil under hardship, they look for scapegoats. And those tend to be the more vulnerable people in the society - children, aged etc. I am tired of these pastors. They come out with so much rubbish and we all believe them, hook line and sinker. They have destroyed so many lives, reputations and we continue to "worship them". Pastor say you it is evil to have pets, pastor say it is evil to have friends, pastor say jump up and down ten times, pastor say....and the madness continues. Our God is a God of reason, a God of science and a God of compassion. He is a GOd of light and of knowledge and empathy. These Nigeriam pastors, they preach darkness, ignorance, sordidness. It is all about wealth and acquisitions, there is no introspection or call to be better people. There is nothing God-like in their preachings. They prey on the ignorance and fears of people - like this father. The most cupable person in this whole thing is the pastor. STOP him before he ruins any more light. I am just sick sick sick sick and sick. I remember the BBC documentary on the abuse of children in Nigeria under the pretext that they were witches in the presence of oyibo christian friends. They were looking at me we shock!!! And one of my fellow Naija girls said: "well maybe they were really witches" I blame the born-again churches, I blame ignorance, poverty, irresponsible pastors driven by lust for riches. (I know I am ranting now). Why don't we find the children of the rich and wealthy being labelled as witches??? Who would dare??? Even pastor knows that these ones are sacred!! You need their money and goodwill. Oh this thing, it also shows socio-economic discrimination????? I am going to the PACT website now. I am tired of talking!! I want to do something - anything. But this has just got to STOP!!!

     
  • At 11 February 2011 at 02:49 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    If this girl's mother were alive, I doubt that this would happen to her. I bet it was the stepmother that was behind this. And for the so called "man of God" that suggested this, may he perpetually burn and rot in the hottest part of Hades. And it is this reason why I pray that I may live to see my children to adulthood so that no other woman will come in and oppress them. Tufia!

     

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